After a big life event, financial decisions may not be at the top of your to-do list – and that’s fine. Taking time to find a new foundation and to reestablish yourself is an important first step in finding your new direction. When you’re ready to start re-taking control of your financial big picture, though, here is some financial advice for newly single women for making sure that you set down the right path.
Focus on What You Can Control
There’s a lot going on in your life right now, and the last thing you need is to waste time and energy on things that you can’t control. I often see women get overwhelmed by it all, and almost go into withdrawal from the overload. In extreme cases this can lead to depression, but even in less extreme cases it can lead to inaction – stagnation – that can jeopardize important financial and life decisions. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by everything going on; focus on the things you have the power to change.
Take Your Time with Important Decisions
Along with the point above, don’t feel rushed into making major life decisions before you feel ready. Many women have expressed to me that they felt pressured to make financial decisions sooner than they felt comfortable – either by their own sense of urgency, or by a financial advisor urging them to act quickly. Unless there’s a legitimate reason to act quickly, don’t let anyone rush you into decision-making – especially if it concerns important assets or finances. Take the time you need to feel ready.
Do Your Best to Separate the Emotional from the Financial
This is an emotional time, and you’re going through a big life change. Feelings can range from sadness and grief to frustration and anger. That’s normal. You still need to be able to make smart financial decisions, though, and during a time like this, that may require additional focus to prevent emotions from clouding your judgment. Unfortunately, there is always the potential for advisors to take advantage of clients they perceive to be compromised. The more you’re able to maintain objectivity in terms of financial discussions, the better.
Be Cautious About Unsolicited Advice
Family and friends are well-meaning, but it’s hard for them to offer helpful advice when they haven’t been in the same situation. Be appreciative, but cautious, when receiving advice; most or all of it may be generously offered, but not all of it will be sound or helpful.
Develop a Strategic Plan
This is your chance to build a new master plan for your lifestyle. What are your hopes and dreams, fears and concerns? Let’s focus on you, and explore where you are (and where you want to be) financially, to come up with a personalized plan. Focus on you – not just your money – and come up with a strategic plan for making decisions and moving forward.
Maintain a Healthy Level of Skepticism
Remember, there’s no such thing as a free lunch; the financial advisors you meet are being paid to make decisions and to attract new clients. Ask tons of questions. It’s your money, so you should be asking everything you can think of, and getting all the answers you need.
Your new direction may involve some uncertainty at first, which is why it’s important for you to focus on taking the time to seriously and thoroughly consider your options. Choose your advisors carefully to ensure that you surround yourself only with those who have your best interests (and big picture!) in mind. When you’re ready to take the next step, following this advice for newly single women will help make sure that you’re on sure footing.
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