If you are not single yet, plan to become single. And plan to live well. Statistically it will happen, and you must already be savvy in many important lifestyle areas.
Even if you are married, do NOT skip this article.
Elaine and her adult daughter Jane came to our meeting with two large brown paper grocery bags, stuffed to the brim with statements and legal documents. Elaine’s husband, Ed, a business owner, had suddenly died the month before, and now Elaine wanted to know what she owned and if it was enough to provide for her, for the rest of her life.
Her husband had always made all of the financial decisions, and now Elaine felt lost! She had never written a check or balanced their checkbook. She had been protected from all of the family’s financial decisions, and had never seen any financial statements before finding them in her deceased husband’s desk. This meeting was a real awareness meeting for Elaine and Jane. Now they needed to face reality, as Elaine’s protector was gone. They were seeking answers. After they dumped the contents of both grocery bags on the conference room table, we sorted and made lists of Elaine’s assets. Fortunately, her husband had provided well for her, and the assets were well over $1 million.
But we don’t want you to learn about your family’s assets this way! If you don’t know what’s in your family’s portfolio, it’s time to find out. NOW, not next month.
When you have a life altering event, such as a death of a loved one, your body and mind sometimes have a difficult time adjusting, as your emotions have multiple layers of grief to process. The survivor many times gets disoriented and experiences difficulty in thinking and reasoning. One of our long-term clients was not even able to locate our office after her spouse passed away. She experienced a “mourning fog” as she was driving around the area.
We encourage recent widows to put off making any important life-changing decisions within two years of the death of their spouse. If some decisions are needed, include a person who has your best interest in mind, maybe an adult child or sibling. Life-altering events are difficult enough on their own, without the addition of selling the house, moving out of state, or loaning money to the children. We have seen too many regrets within a couple of years after similar quick decisions. Slow down and be patient. Time is a great healer. Once you are over the initial mourning phases, look forward to your future, and start living and planning your future.
Five Savvy Single Woman Guidelines:
- Keep life simple and organized!
- Know your net worth, where the money is, and how to access it. You need to know you could take care of yourself, no matter what happens.
- Make a contact list of all your and your support person’s names and contact information: house maintenance, attorney, wealth coach, tax preparer, insurance agent, credit cards, bank accounts, etc.
- Keep a current list of all usernames, passwords, and PINs.
- To avoid loneness, stay involved with church, bible study, community groups, widow support groups, or volunteering. Be the friend you want others to be.
Greatness comes from who you are! Continue living your life according to your lifetime goals, and keep building the legacy you want to leave when you graduate to glory!
Written by: Maria J. Wordhouse Kuitula and Phyllis J. Veltman Wordhouse, Free Market Wealth & Stewardship Coaches, co-authored the book Stress-Free Investing, available at Amazon.com. Maria is the president of Wordhouse Wealth Coaching and could be reached at 616-460-6518 or at [email protected]. For QUESTION LISTS and INVESTOR EDUCATION VIDEOS, go to www.WordhouseWealthCoaching.com. © Wordhouse Kuitula 2013. Photo: stock.xchng