Women are more likely than men to find themselves in a financial bind suddenly after becoming single whether through an unexpected divorce or the death of a spouse. No one plans to lose a spouse or get divorced, although you should. When you lose your spouse, financial obligations do not go away. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation without a contingency plan, there are ways to plan for your future so that you can move forward confidently.
Working with a financial advisor and other financial professionals, such as accountants and attorneys, can help alleviate the stress that comes with this new reality. Many financial experts have experience assisting divorced or windowed individuals who need to develop a new financial strategy. Some of these professionals work with primarily women as well. Here is some advice for those finding themselves suddenly single:
- Determine which financial decisions need to be made immediately and prioritize
- Identify and document all sources of income
- Create a budget
- Put together an inventory of your assets, investments and debts
- Meet with financial professionals
While the issues may be different for those with greater or lesser financial resources, there are important considerations, goals and risks regardless of which end of the financial spectrum you may find yourself. Having a financial professional analyze and work with you through your individual circumstances, understanding your discretionary and necessary expenses, and potential sources of income can be invaluable managing stress associated with these types of major life changes.
When considering a divorce or faced with the sudden loss of a spouse, most people fear that they will not be all right, both emotionally and financially. The lack of understanding about the law and your financial situation can add to your stress through these already very challenging times. By seeking out expert legal and financial advice you will be better prepared to face your future. If you are contemplating divorce, consider pre-divorce planning to minimize the fear and stress associated with this process.