By Kimberly Quinn, CFP®
Regardless of how it happens, it can be shocking for any woman to experience the mental, emotional, and financial transition that comes from divorce. Moving forward is never easy, but it doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your future. That’s why I feel passionate about working with women who are either recently divorced or going through the process.
Along with my colleagues at Catalyst Investment Management, I strive to help women navigate the next chapter of their lives with confidence. Here is just one example of a client I helped adjust after going through divorce.
My client, “Sheryl” or “Sherry” as she liked to be called, was 58 and recently divorced at the time I initially met with her. She remarried and came to me with questions about retirement planning, legacy planning, and navigating her new financial life post-divorce.
*Client name has been changed to protect confidentiality
Though she was happy with her new husband, Sherry was looking for a certain level of financial protection she was lacking during her first marriage. She experienced several financial obstacles through her divorce and wanted to maintain as much financial independence as possible in her new marriage.
Sherry was working at the time she came on as a client, but with retirement right around the corner, she wanted to ensure her finances would be adequate should this new marriage not work out. She also had concerns about protecting her wealth for her children. She wanted to make sure they would receive the bulk of her assets in the event of her passing.
I believe the best way to help clients reach their goals is to follow a financial plan unique to their specific situation. In order to achieve a truly personalized plan, I utilized a 7-step process to learn more about Sherry on a personal and financial level:
- Discovery: Sherry and I had a consultation call where we spent 15-20 minutes getting to know each other. I asked her about her financial goals and concerns and explained the planning process in depth.
- Decide: After the initial discovery meeting, Sherry took some time to decide if we were a good fit for her needs. Like entering a marriage, choosing a financial partner is a huge decision that takes time to consider.
- Analyze: Next, I analyzed all of Sherry’s goals in light of her current financial picture, risk tolerance, and return needs. This helped us understand where she was at the start of our relationship and where she ultimately wanted to be.
- Strategize: Once we knew the goals, we were able to design strategies specific to Sherry’s financial situation, making sure to always incorporate her unique risk level and personal values.
- Recommend: I presented my recommendations to Sherry and educated her on why they would help her achieve her goals. It’s not enough to tell a client what to do, I always make sure they fully understand the reason why we’re doing it.
- Implement: After receiving Sherry’s sign-off on the recommendations, I began the implementation process and helped Sherry complete the necessary tasks to get the plan started.
- Evaluate: Though the plan was implemented, it doesn’t stop there. I provide Sherry with ongoing evaluation of her asset allocation strategy and continue to make recommendations as her financial plan evolves.
Since Sherry had recently gone through a divorce, I also went through some of the information outlined in my divorce workshop. This helped her feel better prepared to protect herself financially in the event of another divorce in the future.
Through our comprehensive planning process, I created a financial plan for Sherry that allowed her to save enough to retire. It was unique in that it did not incorporate her new husband’s assets at all.
The income from her portfolio along with her current Social Security benefits have provided Sherry with financial and emotional security for 8 years now! She is able to live comfortably on income from her investments and Social Security, while still growing her portfolio.
While Sherry does share some expenses with her current husband, she is financially independent. Achieving this goal has given her financial confidence and comfort knowing that should anything happen in the future, she will still be taken care of financially.
In our 7-step planning process, we also discussed Sherry’s estate and legacy planning. I recommended that she speak with a qualified estate attorney, and together they were able to come up with a strategy that would keep the majority of her assets protected for her children from her first marriage.
Take the Next Step
Divorce can be a lonely experience, especially when emotions are high and you are constantly bomboarded with advice from well-meaning people. Together with my colleagues at Catalyst Investment Management, we can highlight the steps most important to you and ensure you are not making these difficult decisions alone.
If you are recently divorced, or just now going through the process, we are here to help. To learn more about our process, you can 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.