5 Things Every Woman Should Know About…. The Financial Challenges of Being A Widow

Good evening Women Supporting Women,

Happy Monday evening!!!!!

LONG BLOG ALERT!!!!!

I hope you all had a great weekend. I spent my time doing some of the things I love the most, which is working and educating the community.  

Last week, we discussed what to do in a catastrophic situation.  This week, we will discuss 5 things a woman should know about…the financial challenges of being a widow.  While this is not the most exciting topic, we must realize that women have a longer life span than men.  When women become widows, a lot of times they don’t know where to begin because most men took care of the household finances.  I remember having an 80 year old client come to me and share that her husband had just passed away.  She needed me to help her sort out everything because he took care of the household finances.  From this point, I saw how important it was to keep abreast of all financial matters.

What next?

Now is the time to prepare for the unexpected.

1. Have the talk. Have you and your spouse spoken about the financial challenges one of you will face when the other passes away? No one wants to think about life without a beloved spouse. But one of the greatest ways to show your mutual love and respect may well be easing the financial burden associated with the death of a spouse. And that takes proper planning. • Consider the proper place and time to have such a discussion. • List the financial challenges associated with the death of a spouse that concern each of you. • Prioritize your concerns. Set deadlines for remedying each one.

2. Get actively involved in all things financial. Do you defer to your spouse about the household budget; taxes; bill paying; and the management of bank, retirement and investment accounts? If so, it’s time to get schooled about the flow of money in your household. • Review the above-referenced items with your spouse. Know the various sources of income and expenses. • Get to know the representatives that manage your bank, retirement, investment, and life insurance portfolios.
• Confirm the amount and frequency of contributions to these accounts. • Understand how the contributions are being invested, as well as the short- and long-term implications.

3. Create an estate plan. Will you be able to maintain your current lifestyle when your spouse passes away? Proper estate planning can help protect income, minimize taxes, and transfer wealth to the surviving spouse. Assemble a team of legal, financial and tax professionals. Discuss the financial challenges uncovered during “the talk”. Create an estate plan so that you and your spouse can rest assured knowing your soul mate will be financially secure ever after.

4. Plan for your long-term care needs. Have you and your spouse considered the likelihood of needing some level of medical or non-medical assistance? Whether you have a minor fall, routine surgery, or terminal illness, chances are you or your spouse will need assistance at some point. Because long-term care is costly, it can erode your savings. So plan accordingly.

5. Get organized. Do you know where your important financial and legal documents are? If not, purchase an organizer designed to help you identify and store what you need.

Data Collected From:

1 2016 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau.

2 “Families and Living Arrangements: 2016, Table A1”, U.S. Census, 2016.

3 “Widows and Widowhood”, Women’s Institute for Secure Retirement, 2015.

4 “Survey: Divorcees Worse Off Than Widows”, AARP, December 14, 2017.

5 “Americans See Men as the Financial Providers, Even as Women’s Contributions

If you have any questions, please post here or email me at: thefinancialcomforter@gmail.com

Next Up: 5 Things every Woman  Should Know About….Divorce

Wishing you all a beautiful and blessed week!
Marsha

Changing the lives in our community….one family at a time

 

 

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