Learn About Key Areas Addressed and Why We Serve Widows
Areas addressed for the widow in our Pathway Services
- Answers to your key concerns. Our widows always have some initial questions and concerns. We start with that.
- Budgeting. What are my current expenses -- both mandatory and discretionary -- and how do I pay for them? We lay this out with a detailed view of your situation.
- Long-term financial health. What's my long-term financial picture look like? Can I continue to maintain my same lifestyle? We provide long-term financial projections using several detailed assumptions and can provide what-if analysis, where needed.
- Adequate Cash Reserve. How much should I keep in cash? We address this by analyzing expenses and discussing other short-term needs. Maintaining the right amount -- enough to provide peace of mind but not too much to impact long-term financial viability -- is critical.
- Asset Allocation. Am I holding too much -- or not enough -- in stocks? How do I rely on my investment portfolio to provide the income I need? How will I get enough growth to meet my long-term needs? We educate our widows on the financial markets to provide clarity, and we analyze the right mix of stocks and bonds. Our unique matching bucket approach can provide a peace of mind for our widow clients.
- Supporting Others. At some point, I may want to increase my support to my family and charity? Should I do this? If so, how?
- Life Planning. While the road through the grieving process can be difficult, there is hope around the corner. There may be a rebirth of discovering some of life's treasures. We help with this dialogue, encourage and celebrate life-empowering activities, and review the financial impact to provide our widows with a peace of mind.
- Income Taxes. Now that the tax burden may be a bit heavier, it is important to take advantage of available key strategies. Knowing the details and working with a tax specialist at Oasis is a good first start.
- Estate Planning. Do I need to update my will and beneficiary designations? Do I have the right documents in place to protect me in the case of incapacity? How do I involve my children in this process?
Mel's Story - Why We Serve Widows
While I was in college, my father, an accountant, passed away after a sudden illness. My mother had to quickly learn how to manage her life financially. She and my father had a wonderful marriage and a productive life based on a division of their labor. When she suddenly had to assume his duties, she was grounded by family and faith, and reached out for advice and help where she could find it.
This experience, more than any other, drew me into serving others in the fields of financial planning and serving widows. I have seen how newly-discovered knowledge and the gentle words of a coach can bring joy, confidence and peace. For each of us, our past contains setbacks and mistakes. The most important thing is that we set our sights on our goals, surround ourselves with the right people, and move forward. Joy comes in the morning!
Schedule a Call With Mel Today
Underlying Beliefs in Serving Widows
- Understanding the grief process. Our advisors understand the grief process is a part of early widowhood. With this knowledge comes empathy and an understanding that emotions are good and should be encouraged. We're not therapists, but we are good listeners.
- Decisions take time and a proper understanding. While we are available to provide timely critical advice when needed, we also realize that major decisions should be made with proper information and a clear view.
- Our role as teachers. Our experience tells us that widows want to be informed and learn about more financial issues and how it relates to them. They don't want to be just told what to do. We take the role as teacher to heart and provide that critical education that will provide a peace of mind.
- A fiduciary approach is critical to serve widows. There are countless stories of salespersons masquerading as financial advisors that prey upon widows anxiety during emotional times. A fiduciary -- required by law to act in the client's best interest -- is especially critical in serving widows.
- Our lives have purpose. Regardless of the season we find ourselves in, we were each created with gifts. Whether it is building relationships, serving others, and using our creative talents to build something, we encourage our clients to thrive.
- The details still matter. Too often, advisors -- in an attempt to keep it simple for widows -- don't put in the proper analysis in advising widows. On the contrary, we know the details are especially critical in working with widows. To preserve and grow wealth and provide true financial security requires us to use our experience in looking at a range of complex topics.
- Coordinate with family members. Family members such as adult children can be especially important in working with their widowed mother. While the widow is our client and that is who we owe confidentiality and a fiduciary obligation to, the widow may want us to communicate with adult children. We are happy to work with a family under the right conditions. in fact, there are often overlapping financial issues that should be reviewed in a coordinated manner.
First Year Meetings
We come with an attentive ear and a pad of paper. What's on your mind? Tell us about your spouse, your family, your friends, and what's important to you. What's your experience with money? What areas do you want education on?
Net Worth Statement and Budget
After having gathered some data, we review your assets and liabilities and the details of each.
We review the sources of your income and your budget. How are expenses paid now, and how will they be paid in the future. We will also review your cash account(s) for adequacy (or over-funding).
Life planning, goal discussion
While we don't rush our clients in making major life changes, we do begin the dialogue of what an ideal situation might look like, whether it is in 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years.
With understanding your deeper goals, we can then advise on how your finances tie to those goals.
We present our analysis of your long-term financial health based on a variety of assumptions. We look at your ability to maintain your standard of living and tell you what adjustments, if any, need to be made. This analysis may include some of the goals discussed in Life Planning exercises (Meeting 3).
INVESTMENTS AND ASSET ALLOCATION
In conjunction with the financial projections, we review the right amount of stocks and bonds and the sub-asset classes.
We provide education on the investment markets and make this a fun learning experience for those clients that desire gaining additional knowledge in this area.
INCOME TAX/Estate PLANNING
We review your potential income tax liability and review ways to minimize income taxes for both today and tomorrow. If desired, we can also prepare your income tax returns at the appropriate time.
Some of our clients want us to also address critical estate planning questions at this juncture.
Financial Education for Widows
Are annuities right for widows?
Determining the right asset allocation for widows should not be a cookie-cutter exercise. The proper asset allocation is dependent on the widow’s unique financial situation and overall goals. Rather than being sold annuities to provide “safe income”, widows should consider adhering to the asset dedicated approach for the right combination of safety and growth.
6 Key Financial Steps to Take Upon Becoming a Widow
In the early stages of widowhood, there is likely a whirlwind of financial concerns that widows have. Rather than addressing all of these financial issues up front in a hurried manner, there are six key steps a widow should take to begin to address the important financial issues.
What types of trusts do I need for estate planning?
Planning your estate can be daunting. Not only is planning for one’s death emotional, the wide variety of available instruments can be confusing. Trusts are one such instrument that you often hear about in estate planning, but do you really need one? If so, what type of trust makes sense?