By Mark Colgan, CFP®
In the aftermath of a spouse’s death, many surviving spouses experience periods of financial worry and uncertainty. In addition to dealing with the emotional challenge of losing a beloved partner, they are often left to contend with unwelcome financial and legal responsibilities. As a result, you may find yourself juggling new roles and responsibilities, not to mention the emotional turmoil of dealing with your loss.
Having once been a widower myself and having had the privilege of guiding several other widows and widowers through the financial planning process, I know that until you gain financial confidence, making decisions about money will likely feel stressful and overwhelming. So we’ll take it one step at a time and keep you informed.
I also recognize that when you’re uncertain about your financial plan, it’s hard to feel confident about your future. But I want you to know that there is hope. With proper planning and careful execution, you can survive this time and come out on the other side with a financial plan that will boost your financial confidence and help you achieve your goals.
At Montage, we have designed a proactive planning process that helps you identify unknown opportunities and make informed decisions through every stage of life, so you’re free to do more of what you love.
Here is what you can expect when you work with me.
We Address Essentials First
There’s no doubt that the loss of a loved one is an emotionally overwhelming and challenging time in one’s life. Unfortunately, this experience often makes decision-making quite difficult.
That’s why initially the financial plan should only address the essentials; your focus is to regain some stability during this time.
The essential financial items include things like:
- Collecting survivor benefits
- Getting your finances organized
- Reviewing your financial obligations and income sources
- Establishing a budget
- Rewriting your will, healthcare directive, and power of attorney
This process can be a lot to handle alone, so when attending meetings with your financial advisor, accountant, or attorney, we recommend you bring a friend or family member that can take meeting notes and assist you with the execution of tasks.
We Take it Slow and Steady
Avoid the temptation to “get through” the process quickly. Sure, the process is not fun, but rushing yourself only leads to hasty decisions and potential missteps. Also, working with a financial professional and an actionable resource guide can be invaluable in helping you start on the path toward financial confidence. For this reason, during this process, we go over the steps outlined in my book, Details After Death: Navigating the logistics after a loved one dies.
The Ultimate Goal: Financial Freedom
After the essentials are taken care of, we look to planning for your future. I understand that it can be hard to think of what life will look like after loss, so we only move forward once you are ready. When that day comes, we will examine what is important to you and help you build a Financial Freedom Plan focused on helping you spend your time and money on what you love, without worrying if you’ll have enough in the future.
At Montage Wealth Management, I’ve seen countless clients transform from financial doubt to financial freedom. It’s at this juncture that you can begin to focus on saving and spending strategies, so you’re free to create more memories with your money and experience a fulfilling future.
If you or someone you know has recently lost a loved one, consider giving them a copy of Details After Death: Navigating the logistics after a loved one dies or setting up a consultation.