By Lisa Manzolillo
Divorce can be emotionally, mentally, and financially draining. Not only are you adjusting to your new way of life, but you may be managing your family’s finances for the first time. While it can be overwhelming, divorce is also an opportunity to create the life you want. It’s the time to set financial goals for yourself and chart a path to get you there.
If you’re divorced, here are 6 things you can do right now to secure your financial future.
1. Know Where You Are Now
You won’t know what you need to change until you know where you are right now. Create a budget by adding up all your debts and expenses, and subtract them from your income. Use that number to evaluate your current financial situation. If you don’t like the way it looks, put a plan in place to change it. This plan could include:
Cutting down on discretionary spending
Increasing income through a side hustle
Using excess money to pay off high-interest debt
The purpose of figuring out your current financial situation is so you can determine where you want to be 5, 10, and 20 years from now.
2. Create An Investment Plan
If you received a divorce settlement, deposit the money into an investment account. Create an investment strategy based on your new long-term financial goals. If you’re unsure about what your investment strategy should look like, contact a financial advisor. This person can help you develop a new plan based on your unique situation.
3. Protect Your Assets
Make sure you have adequate health, car, and homeowners insurance. These policies may have originally been in your spouse’s name, so you may need to shop around for new policies. If you have children, determine how much life insurance you need to ensure they’re taken care of in the event something happens to you.
4. Update Beneficiaries
Your spouse is most likely listed as the beneficiary on your life insurance policy and your financial accounts. You may have also listed them as your power of attorney and point of contact for medical directives. If you named your spouse on any of these documents, and you no longer wish that they serve in that capacity, update them as soon as possible.
5. Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
You used to do things as a team, and now you’re making all the decisions by yourself. If you have children, then you’re all navigating these new waters together. Your bad days may look different than their bad days. Don’t beat yourself up in the process.
6. Get Support From A Professional
In most marriages, one spouse takes on the role of managing the finances. They may have been the only one paying the bills, creating the budget, and filing the tax returns. If you weren’t the spouse in charge of these things, seek out trusted professionals who can help you get on the right track. A financial advisor, for example, can help you create an investment plan, to help preserve and grow your assets, and perhaps even teach you basic financial management skills. There’s strength in numbers, and you don’t have to do this alone.
Our Hope For You
Setting up a solid financial plan is a great way to build financial confidence after a divorce. At Massey Quick Simon, we’re here to guide you through this new chapter in life. Whether you need help planning for your child’s future, managing new investments, or developing financial goals, we’re here to help. To get started, call us at 973-525-1000 or email Info@mqsadvisors.com.
Lisa Manzolillo is a client advisor at Massey Quick Simon. Lisa has over 13 years of experience in wealth management, investing, and all areas of financial planning, including retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, and risk management. She spends her days working with clients to identify and implement customized investment management and financial planning strategies designed to help them achieve their unique financial goals and objectives. Lisa graduated summa cum laude from the University of Rhode Island with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and earned an MBA with a finance concentration from Fordham University. She completed her Financial Planning Certificate Program at Pace University, earning her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) designation, and also holds the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) credential. To learn more about Lisa, connect with her on LinkedIn.