Death or divorce are among the most intensely emotional life experiences. Unfortunately, they are also two experiences that also are full of financial upheaval. This combination makes us particularly vulnerable to making decisions that are not in our best long-term interest. In times like these, the need to lean on others is very high. So how do you find an honest and knowledgeable person who will guide you through these desperate hours with care and compassion?

Here are some tips to help you avoid making “snap” decisions that you may regret later:

  1. Seek help from a third party. A person who is “outside” of your situation is better equipped to make objective assessments of the circumstances. Make sure this person is willing to “tell it like it is” though. The last thing you need is a salesperson who will tell you whatever you want to hear just to make a sale.
  2. Take your time. If your immediate financial needs are being met, take your time making the big decisions. For example, you probably don't want to invest your husband's life insurance proceeds quickly just so you can “check this task off the list.” If you're working with an advisor who is encouraging you to make decisions quickly, find a new advisor. There is virtually no product that won't be available in three months. And “timing the market” is impossible, and won't compensate you for making a quick choice in the short term that turns out to be wrong for you in the long term.
  3. Build an educational foundation. You don't need to know everything that your advisor knows, but you need to know enough to actively participate in the planning and investing process. Work with an advisor who takes the time to educate you, someone who “partners” with you to make plans that are in your best long-term interest.
  4. Trust your intuition. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it. Simple as that. It is true that elevated emotions can cloud your judgment, but in time, that cloud will lift. Wait for that time before you make big commitments. Listen to yourself, trust yourself, be yourself.

At Align FSG, we take a special interest in meeting the unique needs of divorced and widowed women. We care about you because we've been there—in our own lives and with our clients. We know firsthand how challenging these times can be, and we know how essential it is to find professionals who will guide you through with care, compassion, and patience. We work diligently to create a low-pressure, caring, and comfortable environment for you as you address these scary and stressful life changing situations.

If you are dealing with a divorce or death, we invite you to “lean on us.” If you would like to meet for coffee and conversation, please call or e-mail us. Alternatively, we invite you to attend one of our financial workshops. Above all else, though, we wish you courage and strength in your journey.