Losing a spouse through death or divorce is a traumatic time.
If you’re enduring that scenario now, or even if you’re happily married or in a common-law relationship in your middle age, having a financial plan can save stress in your later years.
Don’t make quick financial decisions
When on the emotional roller coaster that can follow death or divorce, some may move quickly to dispose of shared assets, such as selling a home, says Viola Van de Ruyt, an Investment Advisor with Van de Ruyt Wealth Management Group in Sidney, part of National Bank Financial Wealth Management.
Family, friends and at worst, unscrupulous people who prey upon the vulnerable, can be anxious to offer help, she adds. Such advice can have a huge impact on your long-term financial situation, and not always positively.
“You need to first give yourself time to get through things,” then sit down with someone who can offer independent advice, Van de Ruyt says. “Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions – the more you ask, the more you learn.”
Here are some other things to think about:
- It’s OK to be a little worried – The difference in earning power between two people and one can be significant, especially when your expenses don’t generally get cut in half, Van de Ruyt says. “For women who lose a spouse when they’re only in their 50s or 60s, no matter what they’ve been earning or how much they have in assets, they’re wondering whether they’re going to be OK.”
- Determine what you need, what you have – The average age of women who become widowed for the first time is between their mid-50s and mid-60s. The average life expectancy of women in B.C. is about 87, for those who’ve already reached 65. It’s important to sit down with an experienced financial advisor to talk about about what you’ll need for the next 20 to 30 years, and determine where your income will come from, notes Van de Ruyt.
- Do you have a will? Whether or not you’re still in a relationship, it’s a good idea to make your wishes known to your family members or friends. That way if there’s an untimely death, or your marriage breaks up, the division of assets will be more clearly spelled out.
To make an appointment to chat about your solo financial future, call Viola Van de Ruyt at 250-657-2220, email her at email@example.com or click on “Contact Us” at the top right at violavanderuyt.ca.
The information contained herein has been prepared by Viola VandeRuyt, an investment advisor at NBF. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of NBF. National Bank Financial – Wealth Management (NBFWM) is a division of National Bank Financial Inc. (NBF), as well as a trademark owned by National Bank of Canada (NBC) that is used under license by NBF. NBF is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NBC, a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA).