New Year's Resolutions 1

For Divorced Women

Have you thought about your new year’s resolutions? Maybe you vow to increase the frequency of your gym visits or eat healthier? While many of us focus our resolutions on becoming physically fit, as a divorced woman, one of the most important resolutions you can make is to become financially fit. Make it your goal to be clear about your financial situation and have a plan to ensure that you don’t outlive your money.

I am often hired by newly-divorced women to manage assets from a settlement. These assets may include retirement and/or brokerage accounts, or proceeds from the sale of the marital home. But my job goes beyond just deciding which stocks, bonds, and other assets to include in a portfolio. My job is to make sure my client doesn’t run out of money. In my experience, even affluent women with significant assets and spousal support payments fear running out of money.

To ensure you never find yourself in the same dilemma, here are some resolutions to consider for financial fitness in 2017:

  1. Know your net worth. Take inventory of your assets and debts. If your debts exceed your assets, you could be on the path to running out of money. This is the first step and the most important in determining the strength of your finances.
  2. Educate yourself about money. Spend 30 minutes a week learning about finance and investing. Subscribe to a newsletter, buy a book, read the Wall Street Journal, listen to Marketplace on NPR, or download a podcast.
  3. Determine your ‘wants’ vs. ‘needs’. Cut one or two of the former from your budget and invest that money instead. You’ll be surprised how quickly your money can grow over time if invested properly. Having a nest egg gives you tremendous options later in life.
  4. Ask a buddy to be your financial fitness partner. Attend financial seminars together or create your own informal group to discuss money issues. Be each other’s support system and help keep both your finances in check when needed.
  5. Seek the help of a financial advisor. If you are experiencing anxiety about the future, find a fee-only financial advisor you like, respect, and trust.

Laurie Itkin is a financial advisor, certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), and author of the Amazon best-seller, Every Woman Should Know Her Options: Invest Your Way to Financial Empowerment. You can request a complimentary consultation at TheOptionsLady.com