Losing a spouse is one of life’s most painful events, and can leave a newly widowed person – usually a wife – vulnerable to financial pitfalls. Here are four of the largest financial mistakes to avoid:
Hasty financial decisions. While there are some financial tasks that will need to be attended to in the first few weeks – paying bills, collecting life insurance, etc. – most things can wait a little longer, when you are in a better frame of mind. Unfortunately, many newly widowed people fall victim to annuity or other investment pitchmen. Before you make any financial decision, you should obtain the counsel of at least three other professional financial advisors.
Home base. Making long-term decisions about your home – like whether or not to pay off the mortgage – should not be made right away. This decision should be a practical one, not an emotional one, so save it for when the emotions are not so raw.
Lending money. Unfortunately, losing a spouse sometimes becomes an event that triggers a lot of money requests from relatives. If you find it hard to say no, enlist the help of an accountant or your estate planning attorney.
Ghost investing. Sometimes a newly widowed person wishes to honor their spouse by continuing to follow their investment wishes. This can be harmful in the long term, since circumstances change and the investment vehicles you previously invested in as a couple may not be the best ones for you alone in the long term.
With the proper guidance, you can protect your finances and spare your loved ones the frustration of having to make costly and difficult decisions. Contact us for your free initial consultation at one of our conveniently located offices in Fort Pierce, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee.