So, be prepared. Securing credit may require more than simply filling out an application or making a single phone call.
Develop a comprehensive financial plan for the future.
If you had a Lifestyle Analysis prepared during your divorce, you should now have a very clear understanding of what funds came into the marriage (income) and what funds went out (expenses). Use this as a basis for developing a budget going forward. You'll need to address both short-term (day-to-day expenses, monthly utilities, mortgage, car payments, etc.) and long-term (college tuition, retirement, travel) financial needs.
If your divorce settlement includes any lump sum payments (for alimony, pension rollovers, sale of a vacation home), you'll also need to develop a sound strategy for managing those assets. Establishing—and then sticking to—a financial plan is essential, both for financial stability and peace of mind.
Seek help from an experienced financial advisor.
All the fundamental components of a sound financial plan—creating a budget, investing, retirement planning, outlining your goals and aspirations, saving for college, choosing life insurance—should be completed under the guidance of a financial advisor.
Be sure to find a financial professional with expertise and experience helping divorced women, specifically. The financial needs of divorced women are very different from those of a married couple, and you should have an advisor who completely understands those differences and knows how to properly manage your money and invest on your behalf.
In addition to an experienced financial planner, I believe most post-divorce women can benefit from the assistance of:
An estate-planning attorney to work with your financial advisor to help with your estate planning needs and the legal issues concerning your will, medical directives, trusts, charitable giving, etc.
A therapist or counselor to help you cope with the emotional challenges of starting your life as a single woman.
A vocational counselor to help you re-enter the job market or even start your own business.
Enjoy your new life!
With your divorce in the rear-view mirror, and these important steps completed, you'll be well-positioned for a secure financial future. It's likely you will find, as most women do, that it's empowering to make financial decisions on your own, and to be the one who's in control of your financial portfolio. Rest assured, the road ahead belongs to you!
Jeff Landers holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University and studied law at Pace University School of Law before joining Wells Fargo Advisors, where he began his divorce practice helping women undergoing financially complex divorces.
Backed by more than three decades of financial experience and an education in law, he went on to earn the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts’ designation as a Certified Divorce Financial AnalystTM (CDFA) and underwent significant additional advanced training in divorce finance before founding Bedrock Divorce Advisors in early 2010.
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