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What Happens to Your Income If Your Spouse Dies?

Losing a Spouse is Hard...

Losing a spouse brings a wave of emotions. Grief. Anger. Fear. Concern.

It can also disrupt the financial side of your life. Your income will change. There are many details to handle. It can be confusing and overwhelming.

A Significant Issue for Women

This is a major concern for women. Statistically speaking, men have a shorter life expectancy. And for many retirees and couples nearing retirement, husbands take a more active role in the finances. This can add more stress to an already difficult situation.

Watch:    The Financial Impact of Becoming a Widow


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Planning Pays Off

Planning in advance for this can eliminate stress at a very emotional time.  Taking care of some basic details can minimize the disruptions you want to avoid.  

Here are some basic tips to help you avoid the stress

You need to know the basics:

  • What income sources do you have?
  • Where do you bank?
  • Are there investment accounts?
  • Are there any life insurance policies?
  • Where do you keep your statements and records?
  • Who are the key relationships, your attorney, your financial advisor, insurance agent, etc.?
  • Check beneficiary designations.
  • Check or update your will and Durable Powers of Attorney documents?
  • Consider a trust.
  • Get organized.
  • Don't be in a hurry to make decisions.  Make sure you understand everything.
  • If someone is pressuring you to do something, take a step back.
  • Emotionally driven decisions can often lead to mistakes.
  • The world of personal finance can be overwhelming.  Sometimes it is beneficial to speak to an experienced advisor.  They can provide an objective point of view to help you make the right decisions for you and your family.  

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