Are You Financially Prepared for the Death of Your Loved One?
by Ronald F Stevenson, Investment Advisor Representative and Owner of American Financial Investments, LLC, & Barbara Clark Stevenson, Owner of American Financial Investments, LLC
Losing a spouse is a painful and overwhelming event, and it can be both emotionally and financially shattering. According to a recent study by the Journal of Financial Service Professionals, the average age of widowhood is only 59.4 years, and 80 percent of married men will die while married – their wives are often unprepared for such an event.
How can you plan for a loss of a spouse?
First, it’s important to gather and organize all of your financial records so they are easily accessible to those who will need them. Be sure you are on the same page about your retirement resources like Social Security benefits, IRAs, pensions and basic legacy planning documents such as wills and powers of attorney.
Another helpful part of the planning process is to sit down with your spouse and consider what would happen if one of you passes soon after retirement. This allows you to plan a creative budget centered on one income and one source of benefits.
But what if you are currently dealing with the crisis of losing your loved one? Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to help you regain control of your financial life.
It’s tricky to know where to begin, but after you lose a spouse you should revise your legacy planning, property and other legal documents to remove your spouse. You will also need to review any beneficiary forms that you have, make adjustments to your living expenses, cancel any credit cards your spouse had and apply for any applicable benefits, such as pension, life insurance or possible Social Security benefits.
At American Financial Investments, LLC, we understand the flood of emotions that can accompany the pain of losing a spouse and make the burden of managing financial obligations seem almost unbearable. We work hard to help alleviate some of those challenges and keep your situation as organized as possible.
Planning for or reacting to a spouse’s death can be a daunting task that you’d rather not deal with, but working with the right financial services professional can help when it comes to evaluating your unique financial picture and developing a plan tailored to you and your goals.
About the Authors: Ronald F. Stevenson and Barbara Clark Stevenson own American Financial Security, LLC and American Financial Investments, LLC. They specialize in retirement income planning, Social Security maximization, tax-free income design, personal and corporate tax preparation and planning. For more information, call 928-771-8368 or visit AFSprescott.com, 3112 Clearwater Dr., Suite B, Prescott.
Ronald F. Stevenson offers advisory services through American Financial Investments, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor in Arizona. Insurance products and services are offered through American Financial
Security, LLC. American Financial Investments, LLC, and American Financial Security, LLC, are affiliated companies. American Financial Investments, LLC, and American Financial Security, LLC, are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration, or any other government agency.