This is the first installment of what I hope will be a long running blog of my experiences as a Trusted Financial Advisor.
I received a phone call Thursday morning informing me of the death of a long-term client (let's call him, Adam). "I am calling to let you know that Adam passed away yesterday at the age of 84. We have a meeting at the Funeral Home at 10:00a this morning."
The news of Adam's death naturally led to a very important question: "Will Adam's wife of 59 years be okay?" Let's call Adam's wife, Eve. Eve is currently 79 and won't celebrate her 80th birthday until later in the year. Eve's average life expectancy is over 10 years; however, she is in excellent health and might very well live past normal life expectancy.
Since this is my 22nd year in business, I have had experience working with widows. In fact, working with widows in the past has been some of the most satisfying work of my career to date as a financial professional.
Dr. Kathleen Rehl*, a leading authority on widows and their financial issues, states that there are "3 Stages of Widowhood," and I agree wholeheartedly. Today, I will focus on only the first stage: Grief.
To download more information about the 3 Stages of Widowhood, click HERE.
STAGE 1: Grief
"Am I Going to be Okay?"
During this first stage of widowhood, you should rely on your advisor to listen, ask thoughtful questions and be patient, all while focusing on financial triage activities.
Working With Your Advisor
Below is a short list of the five most important items you should work through with your advisor at this time:
1. Look at immediate needs
2. Assess current cash flow
3. File for death benefits, start estate settlement
4. Begin to organize paperwork and documents
5. Decision free zone - no major irrevocable decisions
I am proud to be Eve's trusted Financial Advisor. We have a meeting scheduled today, and I look forward to guiding and supporting Eve during her journey through the three stages of widowhood.
Thursday's call was a stark reminder as to why I feel so strongly in this day and age that every family needs a trusted Financial Advisor. An advisor should act as a "Family Friend" and help clients make smart choices with their money.
Trusted Advisor. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member SIPC www.sipc.org.
*For more information about Dr. Kathleen Rehl, visit: www.kathleenrehl.com.