Surviving Widow is often Unprepared for New Financial Reality
FAIRMONT, Minnesota – Debbie Netizke, Truman Tribune Editor
With Memorial Day approaching it seemed appropriate to address a topic that is pertinent to many married couples and surviving widows in our aging population – “Have you prepared financially for when your spouse dies?”
According to the Census Bureau, widows are one of the fastest- growing segments of the U.S. population, with an estimated 13 million today and growing. An estimate 70 percent of all married baby boomer wives will experience widowhood, with the average age of widowhood being 59. Add to that equation, one out of every two marriages ends in divorce and it becomes very clear how important it is for all women to know how to move financially forward after the loss of a spouse or marriage.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to start planning and there are resources in our area to help.
Sweet Financial Services in Fairmont recently hosted an event to assist in educating women on the important of being involved in their family’s financial planning. “ We want women to become empowered and to understand the strategy for developing a sound financial plan,” Director of Operations, Brittany Anderson shared, “Too often, we find women who have left that entire realm to their husband and then are at a loss when he passes away. Due to the frequency of this situation, our firm helped found SmarterWomen in 2013.”
Our mission is “Empowering women through education and guidance to help achieve their unique goals and dreams,” stated advisor Amber Knips, “When I speak with other younger women, I am surprised how few have even thought about a financial plan for themselves. That is one of the reasons I chose to enter this field. I grew up in a family where we didn’t discuss this topic much, and now I see the importance of educating people about it – especially women.”
As for Brittany, she was spurred to join the firm when she saw hot Sweet Financial Services works to develop relationships with their clients. “It’s not just about the number her,” she said, “According to statistics, about 70% of widows leave their advisors after their spouse dies. A widow can be vulnerable and, unfortunately, some advisors take advantage of that when they take them on as new clients after their spouse dies. Some widows also have a sense of guilt that they are still alive.”
“We’ve had widows come into the office stating their husbands have handled everything and that they didn’t think “this” would happen to them,” they shared.
Brittany and Amber explained those were some of the reasons they reach out to women to encourage them to become involved their own financial plans. They also shared that their firm has a variety of resources for women seeking assistance – a network of experts.
“We know this area is unique for women and we’re here to help, whether your spouse is still alive, you’re a recent widow, or have been widowed for some time, stated Brittany, “We encourage women to become members of SmarterWomen. The membership is free and you can get more information through the link on our firm’s website.”
If you have questions about how to start a financial plan, updating an existing one, or just want general information feel free to contact Brittany or Amber at (507)235-5587.
Click on the photo to read Amber Knips’ Bio
Click on the photo to read Brittany Anderson’s Bio