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What to Do – Now that You’re in Charge of Finances

Many women, who are recently widowed or divorced, find that they must now handle household and personal financial matters for the first time. In fact, statistics show that most women in the US will take primary responsibility for their finances at some point in their lives. Many women do not take an active part in their finances until they have been widowed or divorced.

Today, a woman’s role in society has changed greatly, but many women still follow the traditional model and allow their husband to handle all the finances. Problems then arise, when they find themselves on their own and unfamiliar with financial matters. Statistically speaking, women outlive men by five to seven years. Widows account for 11% of the total US population. And divorce has also added to the number of women dealing with finances on their own.

The best way to avoid being overwhelmed with the new burden of financial matters is to start learning more now – before you are on your own. Asking your husband about the finances and gathering information will help you plan for the future. Gaining knowledge about your finances can reduce stress now and help to provide for your financial future.

If you’ve already been thrown into the financial arena without any preparation, here are some tips to help you cope:

If you are recently widowed, do not make financial decisions too quickly. It can’t hurt to simply put your cash in a money market fund until you have an opportunity to review and consider all your investment options. Don’t sell your home or make any major financial changes until you’ve had a chance to adjust to your new life.

Find a financial advisor you trust.
Have your trusted advisor help you formulate a financial plan that will help you meet your goals. Be wary. Don’t select an advisory who is only trying to sell you investment or insurance products. You need someone to help you formulate a plan based on your needs, not what they have to sell. Once your plan has been implemented, review it yearly and make the appropriate changes.

Get more information about financial matters.
Attend seminars, read books, listen to radio and TV shows about financial planning. No one expects you to become a financial expert, but the more you know the better decisions you will make. Learn about the different types of investments and the risks involved with each.


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