By Kimberly Quinn, CFP®
The complexity of divorce can be overwhelming for anyone. Whether you saw it coming from miles away or were taken by surprise, it can be emotionally, mentally, and financially draining. This is especially true for women, who often bear the brunt of caretaking responsibilities and may not have as much confidence when it comes to handling household finances. The good news is that while divorce may have its negatives, it’s also an opportunity to create a brand-new life for yourself.
If you are a woman contemplating or currently going through divorce, here 4 tips to help you feel more secure in your financial future.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
Chances are you never thought you would get divorced. You didn’t put on your wedding gown and say your vows with the idea that one day it would end. Maybe you dreamed of your wedding day since you were just a little girl and now that it’s over, you feel like you failed. Or maybe breaking up your family unit has you racked with anxiety and guilt. Whatever you’re feeling, know that it’s completely normal and you are not alone. As much as possible, try to remain optimistic, and don’t beat yourself up in the process.
Don’t Rush Your Decisions
Divorce is often a very emotional time in one’s life, which can make it difficult to make rational and informed decisions. It’s hard to balance what’s best for you and your family currently with what you will need for your long-term future. Try to avoid getting caught up in your emotions as you navigate the process.
Because there are so many difficult decisions to be made, don’t rush. As unenjoyable as a divorce is, you want to carefully consider each decision. The choices you make will have a long-term impact and it’s important that you don’t feel pressured or rushed along the way.
Keep Time-Sensitive Financial Decisions in Mind
Though you shouldn’t push yourself to act, you should keep time-sensitive financial decisions in mind.
Divorce, no matter how amicable, is always complicated by finances. There are many things to figure out, both during and after the proceedings: division of assets, allocation of liabilities, insurance, alimony, custody agreements, and child support, not to mention how and when to file your taxes as a newly single person. Then there’s the possibility of underestimating the future value of the spouse’s employer stock benefits. This situation is made worse for women since they often outlive men by many years. The financial decisions you make during this time become even more important for your long-term financial security and independence.
Divorce already comes with several financial setbacks (loss of tax benefits, splitting of assets, reduced income, etc.); don’t make your situation worse by waiting to act on important financial decisions, or by making a hasty decision just to get the process over with.
Partner With a Trusted Professional
One of the best things you can do as you navigate divorce is work with a financial planner to address your current needs and your long-term goals. A trusted financial professional will assist you to build a financial strategy, take inventory of your assets and liabilities, and help you decide the best way to divide assets throughout the divorce process. At Catalyst Investment Management, we will guide you through the financial planning process, including:
- Calculating your monthly income and expenses to determine if you’re spending more than you make.
- Looking at your debt and credit card statements to identify any spending habits that need to be changed.
- Reviewing your savings, investments, and retirement accounts to get a clear picture of how much money you have.
- Creating a budget that works for you in your new post-divorce life.
This process will help alleviate some of your stress so you can focus on the emotional and legal aspects of your divorce.
If you’re a woman contemplating or currently going through divorce, we are here to help. You don’t have to navigate the process alone. To learn more about how our personalized financial planning process can help you feel confident in your financial future, schedule a call by reaching out to us at (617) 610-0587 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kimberly Quinn is co-owner and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional at Catalyst Investment Management, an independent firm dedicated to providing personalized financial advice and planning. With over 30 years of experience, Kim is passionate about developing long-term relationships with her clients so she can provide them with customized solutions that make the most impact on their lives. Kim specializes in serving business owners and pre-retirees and post-retirees who desire a road map to their ideal retirement and women who are recently divorced or in the process of getting a divorce. Every client of Kim’s receives her utmost dedication and attention as they work toward their goals. She graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and spent much of her career prior to CIM at Charles Schwab, where she held various roles, including financial planner, vice president, and financial consultant. Outside of work, Kim loves spending time with her two teenage children, cooking, and staying active by running and skiing. Learn more about Kim by connecting with her on LinkedIn, and be sure to register for her free divorce workshop that takes place on the second Saturday of every month.