Women & Money: Diagnosis Only After Discovery
Are you considering divorce, or are you in the midst of the divorce process?
Have you recently become a widow?
Are you facing some other significant life transition?
If so, you share something in common with many of the women I’m introduced to on a regular basis. I’m spending more and more of my time working with women like you that are in some stage of divorce or are working on moving on after the loss of a spouse.
And while there are certainly some common emotional threads among these women and their situations, each person brings a unique perspective, background and set of goals to our work together.
Nevertheless, many so-called professional advisors are really just concerned about one thing . . . getting their hands on your money.
Not only is this sad. It can also be dangerous for you and your future.
Think about this scenario for a moment with me. You – or maybe someone you know – is dealing with emotions that could include anger, grief, or depression along with other reactions to facing divorce or the loss of a spouse. Add to this emotional turmoil the need to eventually make some serious decisions about how to best utilize your income and assets to support you for the rest of your life.
These decisions are even more serious the older you are when you’re facing them.
And while many advisors will eagerly talk about goals and planning, many are just trying to identify the shortest route to access and invest the money from your divorce settlement or, if you’re a widow, potential life insurance policy proceeds.
Diagnosis Only After Discovery
Just like I hope you wouldn’t act on a doctor’s diagnosis until he or she had performed a thorough evaluation of your situation, you need to make sure that you’re not being given or acting on any financial advice prior to the advice-giver having a thorough understanding of your values, priorities, goals, need and concerns.
I hope that seems as much like common sense to you as it does to me.
Yet, I’m afraid that my “diagnosis only after discovery” approach is the exception and not the rule in the financial advice industry. Many brokers, agents and other advisors are really just after your money.
When I’m introduced to someone like you, I’m happy to invest some time getting to know you and discuss your fears, concerns, needs, goals, etc. And I’ll gladly offer any advice I can – at no cost – based on my initial understanding of your situation.
But in order for me to give you any truly personalized advice, we would need to work together to create a personalized Wealthcare plan. This doesn’t involve any investment discussions or opening of new accounts, nor should it.
For a fixed fee, I will work with you to arrive at a clear understanding of your values, goals and priorities. We’ll then break down your goals into what’s “ideal” and what’s “acceptable” to you. Then, along with your other financial information about savings, investments, income, expenses and anything else that’s relevant to your situation, we’ll begin a conversation about what’s possible as I work to educate you about the trade-offs among your goals based on the financial variables YOU can control. I’m also happy to collaborate with your other professional advisors which might include your divorce attorney, your CPA, or your estate planning attorney, among others.
None of our work together is based on speculation or hunches or forecasts. It’s actually a very practical exercise in exploring what’s important to you and working through different scenarios to arrive at the best balance of having enough comfort and confidence in a secure future while making the most of your life today and every day going forward.
Without this necessary up-front discovery, discussion and work, there’s absolutely no way I can give you personalized advice about your investments, savings, appropriate level of risk, achievable spending or anything else.
And without going through the same level of discovery and planning up-front, I’m not sure how another advisor – or anyone else, for that matter – could really give you any advice that’s worth a damn.
I’m not the right advisor for every woman out there that is going through a divorce or has lost her spouse. But before you accept any advice from anyone (family, friend, son/daughter, planner, advisor), please make sure they can be objective and empathetic about your circumstances and that they have a crystal clear understanding of what’s important to you.
These are important decisions and you need to get them right the 1st time. If I can help, please call me and let’s talk about it.
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