Tips To Ease Financial Stress During a Celebration of Life…

There are so many emotions involved when we lose a spouse. Life as it was has changed in so many ways and sometimes one of those changes is taking on new responsibilities financially or dealing with possibly unexpected financial matters. This can cause a lot of stress, adding to the already existing array of emotions. To keep the Celebration of your loved one’s life less stressed when it comes to the financial aspect,  I found the following tips that author, Lucille Rosetti shares quite helpful.

Financial Advice for Widows

Men are traditionally the breadwinners of a family and the ones who handle finances. This is especially true for older couples who began their relationship before the era of the modern, independent woman. Widows are often left with very little experience handling financial matters such as loans and taxes. While household budgets are not usually a foreign matter, insurance and estate planning may present a problem for a grieving woman.

Here are a few pieces of sound financial advice for recently widowed women.

Avoid major financial decisions.

The weeks and months after losing a spouse are trying, stressful, and full of emotional distractions. Major financial decisions should be avoided during this time, as grief can cloud judgement and prevent you from seeing the “big picture.” Rather than buy a new house or change up an investment portfolio, take the time to get to know where you are financially. Focus on paying bills and making sure all death benefits have been paid. If you received a large life insurance settlement, open up a money market account with the remaining balance once funeral expenses are paid. You can read more about the cost of a proper burial here.

Stay alert.

Sadly, there are thousands of financial “wolves” out there ready and willing to prey on a grieving widow. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim. If possible, appoint an adult child or trusted advisor to handle your financial decisions for the first six months to year. Scammers will often back away once it’s known that someone else must be consulted prior to check signing.

Don’t change everything at once.

It’s tempting to pack up and move across the country on the first morning facing an empty pillow on your husband’s side of the bed. However, your neighborhood and your community will keep you grounded and offer a network of support that can’t be replicated anywhere else.

Look to local resources

When you’re left with a single (or no) source of income, financial assistance may be a lifesaver. Many state and local agencies have programs in place to help residents find information on everything from help buying food to available safe and affordable housing. 211 is a nationwide resource that can connect you with the assistance you need when you need it most.

Understand your financial situation.

Well-meaning friends and family will flock to your side to give you advice on everything from how to handle insurance payments to which cable companies you should use to save money. Be polite and thank them for their suggestions but consider seeking financial guidance from an unbiased third party. An independent financial advisor can help evaluate your financial situation and provide practical suggestions on how to handle money and which expenses are your top priority. Even if you’re financially sound, you need a realistic understanding of your worth. Your financial advisor should essentially become your thinking partner and carry Certified Financial Planner status.

Other tips for grieving widows

  • Hire help. You are under enough stress without having to worry about things like getting groceries, walking your dog, cleaning, and home maintenance projects. Consider using sharing economy sites to help you while you are grieving. There’s a company for pretty much every need. Instacart can deliver your groceries. Rover will set you up with someone to care for your pets. TaskRabbit can help you find someone to handle small DIY projects around your house. Having these small tasks taken care of while you’re grieving can be a huge help.
  • Seek support. Your local church or community center is a valuable resource for grief supportHaving the opportunity to get your feelings out around people who truly understand what you’re going through is cathartic and will help you take control of your emotions.
  • Ignore inheritance hunters. Once you receive an insurance benefit check, people will be coming out of the woodwork to ask for money. Remember that your husband had this insurance policy in place for your benefit and you are under no obligation to pay out to friends, family, or ex-wives. If adult children or charities are to receive an inheritance or bestowment, have your insurance company or legal counsel to handle these matters. Don’t allow it to become personal.

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

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