Where do they stand on current obligations such as credit card bills, mortgages, car loans?.
    What are the balances on each of these obligations? Can they continue to pay for them?
    What types of assets are held by the client?
    What type of, if any, life insurance proceeds are available from the death?

The idea is that investors need to know what their liabilities are, what assets are still remaining and what has come into play as a result of the death.

Can I Stay Financially Secure?

Once investors have a grasp on their income and expenses and they understand what the assets and liabilities look like, advisors can start to plug into addressing some of the goals of the surviving spouse.

These goals can vary from assuring that money will be available through the entire retirement, gifting to family members, to arranging for educations costs of grandchildren.  An advisor must run a financial plan that will then help his investor gauge whether they are under funded or adequately funded to maintain their financial security and independence and reach their goals.

What To Do Before An Untimely Event

Advising clients to be prepared before becoming 'suddenly single' is one of the most important pieces of advice an advisor can give. Ensuring them that not only will this help their finances, but emotional state of mind, will be one less surprise they will need to deal with as their lives are faced with significant and sad adjustments.  Preparing for an untimely death with life and long term care insurance, wills, naming of beneficiaries, etc. will make any necessary financial changes easier.  

Finding Support

For the surviving spouse, nothing is more reassuring than having an understanding and experienced advisor handing the mundane details in a difficult situation. Having a constant dialogue with clients, both before and after an unfortunate situation, improves the emotional process of severe life style changes, future uncertainty and puts investors on a clear path toward financial security and continued independence.

Russell Fox, CFP, CLU and ChFC, is managing director at Apex Wealth Management Group, a division of United Capital Financial Advisors, Inc., located in Oxnard, Calif.   For nearly three decades, Mr. Fox has been advising retirees to continuously monitor and reevaluate their decisions regarding financial, tax, health and estate issues.  For more information, please visit www.apex500.com.


First « 1 2 » Next