Financial Poise
Share this...
advice for recent widows

Advice for Recent Widows: Six Steps You Can Take for Peace of Mind

If you were recently widowed, you are likely feeling a range of emotions and are overwhelmed by the prospect of managing things on your own. Advice for recent widows will range from person to person, but the tax, estate and financial implications of this very big life change can crush the sense of competence in even the most educated and organized person. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by just thinking about the practical aspects of a loved one’s passing.

You may also be interested in “Life After Divorce or Loss.”

Here are 6 important steps you should take to begin working through this journey:

1. Declare a proactive time-out on big decisions while you sort through your emotions.

The best initial advice for advice for recent widows who are struggling is this: your thoughts and feelings on what you want your life to look like are going to change over time. Give yourself the gift of space and time to make sound financial and life decisions for the long term.

2. Determine a timeline for all of the decisions that you’ll eventually need to make.

There are always things that must be done “Now,” things that will need to be done “Soon,” and things that can wait until “Later.” Often, large financial decisions, such as housing can be put on the Soon or Later lists, relieving the pressure and allowing you to focus on what’s most important.

3. Focus on your “Now” List.

The most immediate task on your Now list should be  to make sure that you have enough resources to cover your expenses for the first several months. Any advice for recent widows should include guidance for dealing with other time-sensitive tax, insurance and financial items that will need to be inventoried and addressed.

The tax, estate and financial implications of this very big life change can crush the sense of competence in even the most educated and organized person

Ask for help if you need to stay on track. By focusing only on your Now ist first, decisions can be made more quickly and you can bolster your confidence and sense of financial well-being.

You may also be interested in “Inheriting the Family’s Finances: Helping Boomer Women Survive Financial Transitions.”

4. Practice Self Care.

It’s easy to push your needs aside when so much is thrown at you, especially if you are caring for young children or others. Grief affects your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Plan for giving your feelings space  and schedule time each day to take care of yourself.

5. Work Through “What-If” Scenarios.

This is a process where you explore your ideas and goals, testing financial possibilities and long-term consequences. There is no perfect advice for recent widows, but a financial planner can guide you in developing your financial goals and educate you about your options. Scenario-testing helps you do the following:

  • Figure out your spending range
  • Whether changes in your lifestyle are required
  • Whether to pay off outstanding debts
  • How you will finance your retirement

Give yourself time for your emotions to resolve. With time, you’ll regain the energy and clarity needed to carefully plan for your future.

6. Seek Help from Professionals.

The best advice for recent widows is to seek help to work through the process of grief. During this time of crisis, professional help can ease your stress. On a personal level, grief counseling is critical. You might also consider working with a Certified Financial Transitionist who specializes in helping widows in transition.

The stress of grief often leads to compromised cognitive abilities, and managing your finances is a critical job that needs to be done thoroughly.

The stress of grief often leads to compromised cognitive abilities, and managing your finances is a critical job that needs to be done thoroughly. Many times widows find themselves alone in their grief with no other widows around who would understand what they are going through. The right help can make all the difference in getting you through this painful time.

Leave a Comment:

Share
Hide