If you’re in the process of going through a divorce, you have a lot on your mind. Your new life will be different. What “was” no longer exists and what “will be” has not yet taken shape - a space that can be confusing. We are here to walk with you through your transition. Adapting to and embracing these changes will go a long way to your peace of mind going forward. Here is a list of financial “To Do’s” that you need to be thinking and talking about:
Remove your spouse’s name and/or change your name/address on all financial accounts, including:1
Bank, brokerage and investment accounts
Driver’s license, auto title, registration and insurance
Life, health, homeowner’s and disability insurance policies
Social security card
Title to real property
Research your health insurance options and apply for COBRA, if necessary.
Open a new bank account. Consider establishing direct deposit or income withholding for child support, spousal support and/or alimony payments.Write and execute a new will, trusts, medical directives and/or living wills and powers of attorney. Don’t forget to change the beneficiaries on your life insurance, 401k, pension and IRA accounts.
Develop a comprehensive financial plan. Use this as a basis for developing a budget going forward. If your divorce settlement agreement included any lump sum payments (for alimony, pension rollovers, sale of a vacation home, etc.), you’ll also need to develop a sound strategy for management of these assets. Establishing –and then sticking to –a financial plan is essential for financial stability . . . and peace-of-mind.
Don’t Make Impulsive Financial Decisions2. Experts say that divorce is more like death than you can ever imagine. It’s O.K. to be emotional. It’s O.K. to be hurt. It’s O.K. to grieve. This is precisely why experts urge you to treat your divorce with a sense of gravity—and avoid major financial decisions for six to 12 months.
Stay healthy3. A divorce will wear on you emotionally and physically. If you are tired, undernourished, and just worn out, it will be difficult to remain intellectually and emotionally strong. Keep the basics in mind -- get at least eight hours of sleep, minimize excessive drinking, try to get at least 20 minutes of exercise each day, and eat healthfully.
This list is not comprehensive, and we encourage you to lean on experts for the divorce process. Hopkins Investment Management specializes in financial transitions, including divorce. We can also work in conjunction with you and your lawyer, to make sure all aspects of your transition are covered. If you would like to meet with Martin Hopkins, a Certified Financial Transitionist™, please call 1 800 431 5662.