Financially Speaking: Suddenly Single
By LouAnn Schulfer, AWMA®, AIF®
Accredited Wealth Management AdvisorSM
Accredited Investment Fiduciary®
I hosted a Wine, Women and Wealth workshop at my office recently. 15 lovely ladies joined me for an interactive evening on how planning is different for women than it is for men. We discussed how life changes if you find yourself suddenly single. Marriage or a long-term relationship is a partnership where two people share many responsibilities. In my 25 years of marriage, it has always been my ambition to rely on rather than be dependent upon my husband. Still, if I were to find myself suddenly single tomorrow, life would change in ways beyond what I can comprehend today.
How can you prepare? In many ways, you can’t. A widowed client of mine recently told me how every time it snows, she is stressed. Shoveling, driving, the mess it makes. Like mine, her husband could be relied on for that. She went on to say how people will offer advice like “why don’t you just hire someone?” Yes, she can hire someone for some things, but it’s not the same. At the end of the day, she shoulders everything.
Another client of mine shared with me how, after losing her husband, what used to be the littlest things suddenly cause large amounts of anxiety. Having to empty a mouse trap. What to do when household appliances have mechanical issues. Not having your spouse join you for dinner to talk though the challenges of your day. I sympathize, as each of those would be huge for me.
In your financial life though, you can prepare in a big way. It may not be easy, but the steps to do so can be crystal clear. Will your income support your lifestyle? If not, your options may be to increase your salary, to have ample cash or investments to draw from, or the proper amount of life insurance on your spouse. Assess what your financial requirements would be if tomorrow you were to be suddenly single. If you come up short, are you willing to make the commitment to follow through on the steps to be prepared?
Envision two scenarios. You find yourself suddenly single and are financially stressed, barely able to make ends meet. Versus, you find yourself suddenly single and your plan kicks in; you know that money will not be a problem. Now the same question from before: are you willing to make the commitment to follow through on the steps to be prepared? The question is just as valid for men as it is for women.
One thing is for sure, if you are in a marriage or a long-term relationship, at some point, one of you WILL be suddenly single.
Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for an individual.