If you are going through a divorce, you are probably experiencing one of the most difficult periods of your life. It’s normal to feel a range of emotions, from fear, anger, and panic, to disappointment, numbness, and grief.
It’s important to recognize that what you are feeling now won’t last forever—yet the financial decisions you make today will have a definite effect on your future life as a strong and independent woman.
With this in mind, here are four essential steps to secure your financial stability after your divorce:
- Update all of your accounts to reflect your new life
If you’ve changed your name and address, make sure that all of your accounts reflect this. Call your bank, your children’s schools, utilities, insurance, and credit card companies, as well as your local DMV to keep your accounts updated. You will probably want to update beneficiaries on your insurance and retirement policies, too.
- Build your credit
Make sure you have a credit history in your name. If you need to establish credit in your name, this can be a time-consuming process…but don’t get discouraged. You can easily check your credit score by signing up for a free credit score once a year through sites such as www.AnnualCreditReport.com. If you are looking to build your credit, put expenses on your credit cards—but make sure to pay them off every month.
- Build a current financial plan…and use it to plan for the future
In order to look forward, you need to have a clear vision of your financial health. If you had a Lifestyle Analysis prepared during your divorce, this is a good place to start. Otherwise, make a list of your income, expenses, savings, and any lump sum payments you received from your divorce settlement. Start with a basic analysis of your current finances, and then use it to plan for the future, including savings for retirement and college tuition. If you feel you don’t know where to start, this might be a good time to…
- Find an experienced financial planner
These steps can sound overwhelming, especially during and after the stress of a divorce. At Planning Financial Futures, we specialize in integrated solutions for women who are looking for financial security after a divorce or the loss of a spouse, including budgeting, investing, college savings, and retirement planning. It’s always helpful to have an experienced financial planner guide you to financial stability—and provide the foundation for your exciting new life!
Jeff can be reached at jlewis@northridgesecurities.