In “Money-Smart Steps for Recent Widows,” finance expert Kathleen Rehl writes:
“Especially during the early phases of widowhood, women are so very vulnerable and may be easily taken advantage of.”
Perhaps you have heard people say that one should not make any major decisions after the death of someone close to you because grief may cloud your thinking. According to Rehl, this is sound advice. One major decision you can make before you find yourself going through the grieving process is to get help with financial planning so that you do not have to worry about financial security during this difficult time. And if you have not had the guidance of a Fee-Only financial planner before becoming widowed, you will find this help invaluable should you find yourself in that situation.
Rehl provides some interesting statistics about widows in the United States:
“• The average age of widowhood is 56
• 80% of baby boomer wives (born 1947 to 1964) will experience widowhood
• On average, only 7 of 100 widows remarry
• Most widows experience financial decline”
She also writes about her own experiences with being a widow and of being afraid. Despite the fear and great loss, a widow needs to examine her finances, take steps to make sure she is on solid financial footing, and in time, begin to form goals for her new life. With the right guidance, a widow may be able to avoid financial decline.
Whether you knew nothing about the household finances or were handling the finances right alongside your spouse, as a widow, you will want someone reliable to help you start this new chapter in your life. Claire Emory, MBA, CFA, CFP® is among the credentialed and ethical financial advisors listed in the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors (ACA) Guidebook for Widows. She is dedicated to helping people, and women especially, take care of themselves and the people they love.