Grief is generally the number one thing you’ll feel when you lose someone close to you, but for women who lose their husbands, there may also be a fear of whether they’ll be able to handle their finances without their partner.
Often, widows find it harder to get by without the extra income that their partner used to receive – and since research shows us that the poverty rate of unmarried women is around 3 times the size of that for those that are married, it’s not hard to see why so many widows begin to show concern.
In many cases, a couple will have to use some of their savings in order to care for the ailing spouse and generally, this will leave less in the kitty once the worst happens. In addition, the amount of money bought in monthly is likely to reduce even more, thanks to the fact that overall pension payments tend to drop when only one of you is receiving a benefit.
With most widows then having to find a way to keep on top of their finances with lesser resources than before, as well as having to deal with the death of their loved one and all of the grief and expenses that can come with it; it’s not hard to see why it’s so common for a woman to wonder if she’ll be able to survive financially on her own.
So, what can a widow do in these situations?
Preparing before the time comes
In most cases, it can be a good idea to plan for the event before it occurs. Many experts find that it can be wise to discuss what would happen should one of you die before you even start to plan for retirement. Generally, going through the scenario yearly can be helpful in the long run.
Figuring out what will be the right course of action for the other when one passes away is usually a great way to prepare for the inevitable and learn more about what the situation will be like when only one income is being received.
It can help you to learn more about how much cash you’re likely to have at the time, how long the money is likely to last (making an estimate of monthly bills and so on should help with this), as well as putting steps in place to ensure that the grieving party doesn’t begin to miss important payments and cause unnecessary monetary strain. This can be especially important when considering that you may not think as clearly whilst you’re grieving.
Make sure to consider everything
Often, having a yearly drill in place to cover all of the bases in the event of spousal death will give you a better idea of where you might struggle financially. Details that you may not consider until after the event otherwise, such as the lower amount of pension mentioned above, could have a major impact.
Remember that while your income may drop considerably after your husband/wife dies, your outgoings aren’t likely to decrease by as much. In many instances, life insurance can step up to the plate and be helpful.
In the simplest terms, a policy with a death benefit that can cover the estimated shortfall in the widow’s income could offer peace of mind. Knowing roughly the amount that you are out of pocket by and where you can rebuild that cash may even help you to choose the right life insurance policy (instead of over-buying and being out of pocket now).
Don’t make any big decisions
In some cases, when a widow receives a sum of cash (perhaps from an insurance policy), salespeople and sometimes even those close to them will try to stake a claim – and unfortunately, at a time of great loss, most people are prone to making mistakes.
After the death of your loved one (often the first few months at least), it may be a wise idea to hold off on making any large financial decisions. In most cases, you won’t need to rush when it comes to making investments, so don’t be coerced into doing just that – or even into simply giving money away.
Source – http://money.com/money/5456231/the-one-thing-married-women-should-do-to-protect-their-finances-before-they-retire/
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