Latest widows want monetary steering after a partner’s demise


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You have suffered an incredible loss. Now is the time to start thinking about protecting your future.

Losing a spouse could be one of the hardest things anyone will ever face. However, despite the emotional distress, a widow can emerge stronger than ever from the loss and better manage her financial future.

It’s obvious that money problems can be one of the biggest stressors in life – but it doesn’t have to be. Once you are ready to take control of your financial situation, there may be things that you need more clarity and direction about. You may have some bigger questions about your financial future, such as: B. how you can earn your money permanently.

You may also need help settling your spouse’s estate, transferring assets in your name, closing accounts, updating beneficiaries, and planning your future needs. A financial advisor can help with all of these questions.

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Various surveys show that almost 80% of women will eventually become the sole decision-maker in the financial world. In addition, many widows spend several decades controlling their own finances.

By that time, half of all women widowed in the United States will be under the age of 59. Since the average life expectancy of women is 79 years, this means that these women will often have to manage their finances on their own for at least two decades.

While some women like to manage their finances themselves, others prefer to work with an advisor. For those seeking advice on important topics such as estate planning, tax planning, and long-term financial planning and investing, it is important to work with a financial advisor who understands your unique needs and goals.

A recent study by UBS found that 85% of women manage daily expenses, but only 23% take the lead when it comes to long-term financial planning. While women are proactive with their day-to-day household finances, they may not necessarily be experienced in making long-term financial planning decisions and managing an investment portfolio.

You may have had a relationship with a financial advisor before your spouse died. If you like this person, it is time to schedule a meeting with them to “get to know” each other and discuss your future financial plans.

However, you may end up going to a different counselor who is a better fit. If you decide to make a change, know that you are not alone. By then, 80% of widows will change financial advisors within a year of their husband’s death.

Why? In many cases, the advisor had a relationship with the deceased spouse and never fully involved the woman in the financial planning and investment processes.

It is important to take the time to find a financial advisor that you trust and who understands your specific financial needs and goals.

To be honest, anyone can call themselves a “financial advisor”. Just because someone says they are a “financial advisor” doesn’t mean they have any particular education, background, experience, or certification that actually qualifies them to be a financial advisor.

There are consultants, brokers, broker-dealers, certified financial planners, chartered financial analysts, certified investment management analysts, investment advisors, and wealth managers to name a few. Certainly, choosing an advisor can be confusing and overwhelming.

The bottom line is that the financial advisor you choose should be a fiduciary, fee-only advisor.

An investor study by Personal Capital found that nearly half of Americans mistakenly believe that all financial advisors are trustees who must act in the best interests of their clients at all times. But that’s just not true.

The fiduciary standard is when a financial advisor is required by law to act in your best interests. Fiduciary advisers must put their clients’ interests before their own.

Others, who call themselves consultants, are only held to a standard of eligibility, which means they only have to suggest products that are suitable for you – even if they are more expensive and earn them a higher commission.

Additionally, paid financial advisors make money from the fees you pay for their services. These fees can be calculated as a percentage of the assets under management for you, as an hourly rate or as a flat rate. Almost all fee advisors are trustees.

Find the right advisor

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Whichever type of advisor you choose, it is important to understand how they make money. That way, you can determine if their recommendations are actually better for you.

In fact, if the counselor you’re interviewing doesn’t clearly explain how they’re being compensated, the alarm bells should sound. If their fee structure is unclear, ask them to clarify the details.

They should also be on high alert if they suggest seeing you only once a year. An annual meeting is not sufficient, especially after the loss of a spouse. You deserve a consultant who is by your side through all the ups and downs of your new path.

Your relationship with your financial advisor should be positive. When you leave your counselor’s office, you want to feel heard and know that your goals, priorities and concerns have been taken into account.

Working with a financial professional requires you to be vulnerable to very personal aspects of your life – especially after losing a spouse.

Remember, you are paying for your advisor’s time and services the same as you would be paying for a doctor or lawyer. You should always feel encouraged to ask questions and be empowered in the knowledge that you are behind the wheel in your financial life.

– From Stacy Francis, President and CEO of Francis Financial

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