The statistics continue to reflect, as a female, you will more than likely survive your spouse. Many of you are already thinking on different terms – “Wait a minute, there’s the surviving him every Sunday, at the NFL football parties, where he quickly becomes the football expert and shouts at the TV, and I subtly remind him he was second string on his high school varsity team………….in baseball”.
And in the realm of becoming single, there’s the overwhelming statistic of divorce. According to Enrichment Journal on the divorce rate in America: the divorce rate for first marriage is 41%, for second marriage is 60%, and for third marriage is 73%.
It is painful enough to lose a spouse, and going through a divorce is stressful in itself, but allowing yourself to be unaware and disengaged of the financial operations of your life could be costly. It may be seem silly but the Boy Scouts of America have a strong motto we all need to adhere to – Be Prepared.
Here are some things you can do to prepare yourself for the day you might find yourself widowed or single:
Nearly half of all married men have another checking account that their wives don’t know about. You should do the same – open a checking or savings in your name immediately. It’s not sneaky – it may mean surviving. If you are suddenly single – you are going to need an account with easy access so that you can pay bills.
Get a credit card or debit card in your name. It is one of the easiest routes in establishing a credit rating. You’ll need a credit rating if you want retailers and banks to lend you money and credit.
Place a few bills in your name. This will establish a good credit rating and will show future creditors that you have a history of paying your bills in a timely manner.
It is imperative that you become acquainted with the family finances. Think of you and your spouse as Co-CFOs. Ask your spouse to grant you access to family financial info. For bank accounts, list the account numbers, account holders, bank and branch details, login IDs and passwords. In addition, know where to locate wills, assets, attorney contact info, safe box locations, etc.
Educate yourself on finances. There more you can learn about managing your money, the more empowered you will quickly become. Here is a website that outlines various topics to guide you to financial empowerment:
At WMP, we want you to feel prepared for the unknown. Once you have your financial documents in place, we can help review them with you and set a course for financially security once you are on your own.
Cathy DeWitt Dunn, President of DeWitt & Dunn, LLC, is the driving force behind Women Money & Power. With decades of experience in the financial services industry, Cathy specializes in helping individuals and families strengthen their retirement outlook with lifetime income solutions not available from traditional brokerage houses. She has helped countless investors start their personal journeys towards a stronger retirement with strategies designed to protect principal, generate retirement income that can’t be outlived, and eliminate market loss.