If you and your partner made decisions together, you may not be completely in the dark about this. But if like many women in your second half of life, you’ve never learned about financial management, it might feel scary to face this area now that your single.
You’re confident in many areas of your life, but money isn’t one of them.
How will you conquer your fears and feel confident managing your finances on your own?
Don’t beat yourself up! Learning about money wasn’t part of the curriculum when we were growing up. And if you married someone who took it on, all the better. But now you’re the one responsible for you, your money and your welfare.
Rest assured you’re not totally on you own. There are many resources available for women on the financial learning curve. You just need to get over your fear.
The first step to getting over fear is to go through it. That means educating yourself and taking action. One step at a time!
Ideally you and your spouse had set up a file of important financial documents. Unfortunately this is frequently not the case. That makes your job more challenging.
Here’s a mini course to get you started.
- Organize financial documents such as bank statements, insurance policies, deeds, loans, stocks and bonds and wills. You’ll need to update your will after losing a spouse. Your attorney can help you with that.
- Make a list of assets and liabilities; know what you’re worth and what you owe.
- Work with a Certified Financial Planner who you’re comfortable with. Ask for recommendations from trusted friends or family who have worked with that person. A good financial planner will help you understand your financial profile and plan for the future.
- Educate yourself. Learn about money and finances. Read articles, take a course, subscribe to financial newsletters that have helpful information, get answers to questions that will help you understand and make good decisions.
- Join or start a women’s financial group. Learning about money and investments can be fun and interesting when you’re doing it with other women.
- Live an affordable lifestyle. You may have to cut back or give up things that you took for granted. Prioritize your wants and needs but don’t deprive yourself.
- Get out of debt. Your financial planner can help you create a budget that will help you manage your debt.
Managing your finances and being financially secure is empowering. You need reliable information to make good decisions. You also need a support system to be your sounding board. You may be on your own, but that doesn’t mean you have to figure it all out on your own.
I recommend an excellent book by Kerry Hannon, a well known author, speaker and expert in women and money – Money Confidence: REALLY Smart Financial Moves for Newly Single Women
Building financial confidence and managing your money comes from educating yourself and taking actions that support your goals.
Please share any tips that can be helpful to other women dealing with financial issues after being divorced or widowed.
You never know who will be helped by your experience.
Please send this along to friends, family and your network.