Contributed by: Laurie Renchik, CFP®, MBA
Going through a divorce or changing jobs can put your life in a spin. That wasn’t in your plan, so what’s next? Getting financial facts together, especially during a significant change in life, can easily get shifted to the back burner. I see these kinds of life events as potential financial roadblocks. When you begin navigating through a financial roadblock, all of the answers may not be clear upfront.
Undoubtedly there are options and trade-offs involved. People worry that they lack knowledge on financial topics. If you find yourself in a position where financial planning in that moment seems overwhelming, intimidating, or you are just plain fearful of making a mistake, I recommend starting with these three steps to simplify, organize, focus and ultimately overcome your financial roadblock:
- Create a realistic post-financial change budget. This could be post-retirement, post-divorce or post-career change. Maybe you haven’t paid enough attention to what you are spending or saving. You need to take into consideration a change in income. This fundamental step will help you understand what you can or need to do.
- Invest in yourself by putting together a snapshot of your financial health. This is accomplished with a personal net worth statement. The formula to use is: Assets – liabilities = net worth. There are a number of reasons why preparing a net worth statement is a good move. It gives you a one page reality check to use as a planning tool, you can check progress toward financial objectives and it can help you identify potential red flags like an emergency fund that has dipped too low or debt that is rising faster than anticipated.
- Address financial decisions proactively. Instead of guessing or letting things roll along, begin by thinking about financial goals and obligations on a timeline. This can be as simple as prioritizing in 3 buckets. What do I have to do now (immediate action)? What can be tackled soon (big picture prep steps)? And what can be done later (accomplished after the priorities are under control)?
You may not know all of the answers today, but this exercise will at least help simplify, organize, and address the financial issues that are weighing on your mind. If you need help navigating through a financial change due to divorce or a career move don’t hesitate to call or email me.
This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Laurie Renchik and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.
Laurie Renchik, CFP®, MBA is a Partner and Senior Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. In addition to working with women who are in the midst of a transition (career change, receiving an inheritance, losing a life partner, divorce or remarriage), Laurie works with clients who are planning for retirement. Laurie was named to the 2013 Five Star Wealth Managers list in Detroit Hour magazine, is a member of the Leadership Oakland Alumni Association and in addition to her frequent contributions to Money Centered, she manages and is a frequent contributor to Center Connections at The Center.
Five Star Award is based on advisor being credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR), a FINRA registered representative, a CPA or a licensed attorney, including education and professional designations, actively employed in the industry for five years, favorable regulatory and complaint history review, fulfillment of firm review based on internal firm standards, accepting new clients, one- and five-year client retention rates, non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered, number of client households served.