Women and money: Taking over the finances
By LouAnn Schulfer, AWMA, AIF
Over the past couple of decades, I’ve helped numerous single individuals and married couples with their financial decision making, planning and investments. Every year, I have married clients who become single again whether through divorce or death of a spouse. There is even the difficult-to-define in-between time when the cognitive aptitude of one spouse slips away to dementia or Alzheimers disease. More often than not, women are left to pick up the pieces, especially in the case of widowhood.
I often hear how overwhelming the new responsibility feels. After years of working in partnership as a couple, the thought of taking over “everything” can make you feel defeated before you even start. A very dear, younger widow once said to me “you know how when you get married, they say two become one? I can tell you it’s true, because I feel like half of me is gone.” While our hearts may feel broken, our strategy to regain footing doesn’t have to. My best advice is to take things one step at a time. Nothing has to be done in a rush, especially with financial accounts. You may have some decisions to make before the year’s end, but in most circumstances, you can take the time that you need to learn, understand, contemplate, consult and make decisions. Identify your top priorities and work through those first. You do not have to do everything at once. Enlist the help of professionals who empathize with your pain but can see and work through matters objectively. If you feel pressured, trust your instincts and do not make decisions until they feel right. After all, women have great intuition, even with money and situations of taking over the finances.
LouAnn Schulfer is co-owner of Schulfer & Associates, LLC Wealth Management and can be reached at (715) 343-9600 or [email protected]