According to AARP, almost two-thirds of women between the ages of 40 and 79 have experienced a significant financial transition (source). These transitions typically include things like divorce, widowhood, or retirement.
Life transitions can be very unsettling, whether expected or unexpected and create emotional challenges and financial challenges for women. Men face these transitions, too, but women are more likely to experience them alone because of their longer life expectancies.
At The Zandbergen Group, we believe that addressing the emotional and personal side of a life transition is just as important as managing the financial side of things. In this article, we will focus on the investment aspect for women in transition. Here are six tips for women in transition to consider.
Pause and Regroup
The desire to understand the financial implications of a life transition can be very compelling for those going through a difficult transition. However, investing and emotions can be a dangerous combination. It can be helpful to take some time to let emotions settle before tackling your investments. Ideally, it’s a good idea to attend to your investments within one year of a transition, so allow yourself some time to grieve and come to terms with the latest phase of your life.
When you’re ready, the first step is to figure out where you stand financially and legally. Gather key documents that you may need, including recent brokerage and bank statements, life, and health insurance policies, any relevant will or estate plan, social security documents, etc. Having vital legal and financial records at hand will help you address questions that come up and assess your current financial and legal situation.
Assemble Your Team
When emotions are running high after a life transition, having a trusted and objective expert to guide you can be invaluable. Depending on the complexities of your situation, you may consider putting together a team that includes an attorney, tax professional, and financial advisor.
Evaluate your cash flow
For many women in transition, knowing if they have enough money to cover their current bills and how much extra cash flow they have after that is the first thing they would like to focus on. That’s understandable because it’s hard to plan for tomorrow until you know today is taken care of.
Assess your current income sources and try to get an idea of what your ongoing monthly expenses are. You may need to collaborate with your attorney and/or your financial advisor if you have complex income sources and expenses.
Determine Your Financial Goals
After figuring out where you are today, it’s time to decide where you want to go. What is your vision for your life? What are your life and financial goals? Have they changed due to your life transition? Documenting your vision and goals will help in the next step, creating your investment strategy.
Create a new investment strategy
Your secret weapon for navigating through your specific transition can be a personalized financial plan. Here a few critical items your financial advisor should focus on:
- Creating a personalized wealth management plan that is based on your life goals and the lifestyle you most desire
- Asset protection that can also grow your portfolio
- Tax minimization strategies
- Developing an investment strategy that aligns with your life vision and values
With expert guidance and a comprehensive transition plan in place, you can conquer your goals and see the path forward through what others might consider an overwhelming time. At the Zandbergen Group, we understand that women in transition have unique financial needs, regardless of whether the transition includes the excitement of rapidly growing business or the more difficult challenges of a divorce or the death of a spouse.
Every recommendation we make when working with you is based solely on helping you thrive in the face of uncertainty and keep moving forward to achieve your personal goals. We’ll be there to guide you through every step of the process, through every stage of life, so that you can have financial peace of mind.
Please feel free to reach out and contact us if you have any questions we can help answer!