LIFE LETTER MATURE
Avoid the 'Boomer-Widow' Finacncial Syndrome
It is seldom planned or wished for, but it is a reality and something that requires discussion - the illness and/or death of a spouse or partner. As the so-called Baby Boomer generation ages, there is a marked increase in widowers suddenly left with financial situations that they do not fully understand. There are others that are forced to financially self-educate while providing quality of care for a partner that previously, and perhaps solely, took care of that role.
Over the years, many women have become more financially savvy. In fact, they have increased their involvement in household financial planning matters by onethird over the past 10 years. But even with these gains, nearly half of married women leave the financial planning to their spouse and nearly 80% admit to not having the financial knowledge to plan effectively for the future. For women to avoid the boomerwidow financial syndrome, it is important to gain financial knowledge before something disabling or tragic happens.
A few action steps that can be taken to avoid this scenario are to:
Make sure that you and your spouse are sufficiently covered with life insurance, and accident and sickness insurance. Be aware that there may be multiple policies including personal and company plans.
Gather all the financial and estate information and keep it in a secure place for easy access.
Verify that key bank accounts are jointly held and not subject to a lengthy, and perhaps costly, probate process.
Work with a trusted financial advisor. The ‘fog’ of grief can be too great to make major financial decisions without some guidance.
History tells us that roughly 70% of women will outlive their spouses. The challenges they will encounter financially will be two-fold:
1) How to manage with only one income, and
2) How to manage their assets for the longterm.
It can be a difficult subject to approach, and harder still to make time to discuss and organize personal financial records. A common approach, and a real time-saver, could be to pack everything into a box and take it to your financial advisor. They can make time for their clients and when the unfortunate happens, you’ll be secure in knowing that your financial matters are in their trained hands.
Become More Financially aware – because it’s the right thing to do.
Copyright © 2007 Life Letter. All rights reserved
Mutual confidence is the power that binds together all harmonious human relationships.