Great perspective for widows excerpted from the NY Times article “You’re a Widow, Now What?”. “Widows may not recognize that they are in a state of shock, and they will not make wise decisions,” said Ms. Armstrong, author of “On Your Own: A Widow’s Passage to Emotional and Financial Well-Being.” “They should not jump into anything until they have a grip on their financial situation.”
For a preliminary assessment of cash flow, a widow can tote up sources of income and fixed expenses. But for a deeper dive, Ms. Alpert recommends adding a financial adviser to a team of professionals. While she and her husband already had an estate lawyer and an accountant, a friend helped her find a financial services firm.
The financial adviser may reposition investments to provide additional income, Ms. Armstrong said. Though each case is different, she said, “I believe in buying good-quality stocks where there is a good potential for rising dividends.” If Ms. Armstrong decides an annuity is a nice fit, she will analyze the oft-hidden costs of an array of complex products.
Kathleen M. Rehl, an author and a speaker who helps financial planners address the needs of widows, cautioned that widows often changed advisers because many do not understand a widow’s grief. “A widow should find an adviser who listens to her and does not try to rush her,” said Ms. Rehl, of St. Petersburg, Fla.
Ms. Speyer and her husband, Ronald, had been seeing a financial adviser at a large brokerage firm who, she said, “did not take my questions seriously.” Shortly before Mr. Speyer died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 57, they switched to an adviser at a small firm.
The adviser, whom Ms. Speyer still sees, diversified her portfolio and invested the proceeds from a life insurance policy. The adviser also created a budget and a long-term investment plan.
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