Shock and Awe – I’m Divorced
By Greg Rosen
You’ve just returned home from your attorney’s office and you have agreed, in principle, to the final terms of your divorce. Although you feel a sense of relief, you realize you have a lot of work ahead. You are now responsible for an aspect of your life that, in the past, you never had to deal with:
- Help! I have not had to budget my income before.
- How do I organize all this?
- Will I still be able to save for the future?
- I have to refinance the mortgage into my name, what can I afford?
- I have to contribute to my child’s college education. How should I invest?
- I need life insurance now but what can I afford and how much coverage do I need?
- Where should I put the money I’m getting from my ex’s 401(k)?
- What are these “Primary beneficiaries, contingent beneficiaries…”
These are just a few of the many issues that need to be taken care of, right away.
The Right Financial Advisor
You’re sitting at your kitchen table and you think you’ve gathered all the statements but you’re not sure. You know it all needs to get done but where do you start? You can’t do a budget until you know your mortgage payment but you can’t figure out your mortgage until you’ve figured out your life insurance and college savings. You feel like you’re going around in circles.
This is where the right financial advisor, comes into play. Many look at the financial advisor as the “stock broker” but the right advisor will assist you in seeing your entire financial picture, and help you with an overall game plan so all of the pieces fit together.
The right advisor will be on the call with your attorney, a mortgage company, or accountant to help you ask the appropriate questions and get things taken care of. The right advisor will listen to your goals, educate you about the different financial instruments available, explain the current market environment, and help you make informed decisions. In addition, the right advisor will keep you in the loop as the markets “zig and zag” and as your financial situation or needs change over time.
The Importance of a Financial Plan
If your financial advisor isn’t asking you about your expenses, mortgage costs or how much insurance you have, then how can they can’t manage your assets properly.
- Do you need income?
- Should you be investing for growth?
- Are bonds or stocks right for you?
- Would a 529 plan for college savings be beneficial?
- What’s more important: your retirement or funding your kids’ college education?
These and many other questions need exploring with your advisor so you can implement a plan that is fitting.
Dealing With The Unexpected
Once you have implemented your plan, it does not mean that changes won’t need to be made:
- My child wants to go to summer camp, was that in the plan, can I afford that?
- I need a new car; my house needs a new roof. I didn’t plan for that. Can I afford it?
The right advisor is not there to tell you “do or don’t,” but they can help assess the impact and make adjustments to keep you on track.
What About My Retirement?
The right financial advisor does not just focus on today but looks at what you’re putting aside for your retirement:
- Does it make sense for me to contribute to my 401(k)?
- How much can I afford today to contribute towards my retirement?
- How do I invest my contribution?
The right advisor will walk you through the process to choose the appropriate investments for your retirement assets, and periodically monitor them. The better your advisor understands your position and your life goals, the better they can make sure your retirement plans will meet your needs.
It’s A Relationship
Your financial plan is about your future. It’s going to evolve and change with your financial needs. It’s a process. It’s not a transaction. The same should be true for your financial advisor.
The right financial advisor will become a trusted member of your professional support team.
For a free Personal Organizer, or for more information visit the Bernstein Rosen Group
Greg Rosen is with The Bernstein Rosen Group which has helped many newly-divorced women and men focus on the transition through and financial future after divorce. He knows the questions to ask, the areas to address and how to hold your hand through the process. An advisor who is detailed and thorough is the key to successfully transitioning one through divorce. Timely communication between an advisor and client avoids procrastination and ensures implementation.
If all or even a few of the topics above are a concern, you need a team that can provide the guidance to your financial independence. Nancy Bernstein, Senior Vice President Wealth Management, CRCP, and Greg Rosen, Financial Planning Specialist and Financial Advisor, have developed a service model that, in addition to asset management, starts at the beginning and takes you through the entire financial picture, then crafts a custom plan to fit your needs. We know change is hard, but it doesn’t have to be with the right team in your corner. Greg is located in Bedminster, NJ with the Global Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. He can be reached at 908-306-8029.
The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, or its affiliates Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, Member SIPC.
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