A Special Message for the Recently Widowed and Their Most Trusted Advisor
by Buddy Thomas
Back in the 1940’s, a common tradition was for widows to wear black armbands for a period of time after their spouses passing so that whoever they encountered would be aware of their fragile condition and treat them accordingly. In today’s get-over-it world, the community may not be as sensitive; but the trauma, pain, and potential state of the surviving spouse that we call The Widow’s Plight Gap is no less extreme.
Those survivors who have used The Widow’s Bridge® Program and successfully carried on with their lives have told us the three most important things they have done to move forward were:
- Accept their condition and take personal responsibility for their lives.
- Identify their professional champion to guide them through their plight.
- Do at least one task regarding their plan, however small, per day.
The professional advisors who have facilitated The Widow’s Bridge® Program tell us the keys to a successful transition for the survivors they have worked with were:
- Allowing enough time to heal, learn, and make progress (about two years).
- Trusting the advisor to hold their hand and coordinate their advisory team.
- Maintaining contact, usually weekly, that established a pace and built momentum.
The Widow’s Bridge® Program is the only proven, comprehensive program available, with a beginning and an end, for surviving spouses and their most trusted advisors to work together to overcome the paralysis and pain of The Widow’s Plight Gap, to become more financially secure, and to move on, with confidence, to the next stage of their lives.
The Ten Myths of Widowhood
- MYTH: Because my spouse and I have an estate plan, I am done. The truth is that plans made while both spouses are alive are naturally incomplete. The survivor completes the plan.
- MYTH: Do nothing for a year. State and federal laws require certain actions during the first year. Other prudent decisions are not only necessary but can be healthy.
- MYTH: The legal aspect is the most important. This is only one of the three vital aspects of every financial plan.
- MYTH: The tax-accounting aspect is the most important. This is also one of the three vital aspects of every financial plan.
- MYTH: The investment aspect is the most important. Again, this is one of the three vital aspects and none of the three can be the most important. They are all very important.
- MYTH: My kids are my best source of support. Court cases abound due to conflicts of interest between what is emotional support and personal financial agenda.
- MYTH: My friends are my best source of support. Honorable and not-so-honorable intentions are no substitute for sound objective professional advice.
- MYTH: There is not that much to work with. It is 100% of what you have.
- MYTH: There is nothing I can do about it. If not you, who?
- MYTH: There is no one I can trust. Finding a trustworthy advisor may be your most important task.
Buddy Thomas is Founder and Chief Planning Officer of Superior Planning. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org