Moving Forward After Loss
I have a soft spot in my heart for those who have lost their spouses. Whether it happened suddenly or after an extended illness, I can’t begin to imagine the grief, let alone the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty one would feel, especially if the remaining spouse was never involved with the household finances. (This is one of the reasons I insist that both partners attend financial planning appointments when they come to meet with me.)
The vulnerability is real, and unfortunately, some widows and widowers fall prey to unscrupulous “financial salespeople” who attempt to take advantage of them during this time of weakness. Bad advice can even come from well-meaning friends and family members. I agree whole-heartedly with my recent Real Money radio guest, Kathleen M. Rehl, Ph.D., CFP®, who, through her own experience with widowhood, was inspired to write the book Moving Forward on Your Own. Kathleen said that when friends and family make suggestions, simply say, “That’s an interesting idea; I’ll think about it. It’s too early for me to make a decision right now.” And when it comes to any major decisions, Kathleen and I are again on the same page; if possible, wait a year after the death of a spouse before making life-altering decisions.
Kathleen shared many insights during our interview. After I read her book, I decided to purchase several copies to give to my newly widowed clients, as well as to those who become widows/widowers in the months ahead. I then thought, “Why stop at my clientele; why not reach out to the readers of my column?” So, if you are a recent widow or widower, please call my office at 386-671-7526, and we will reserve a copy of Kathleen’s book for you at no cost or obligation. You can drop by the office at any time to pick up the book. Consider it our way of saying, “We are very sorry for your loss – please allow us to provide a helping hand to you during this difficult time.”