While money is an emotional subject for all human beings, it can be especially challenging for women. This challenge can be compounded during a difficult transition like death or divorce. The receipt of a life insurance benefit or a spouse's retirement plan can arrive fraught with many triggers as it represents the last "live" connection to the loved one. Deciding what to do with this money, and when, can be very difficult. There are no second chances or "do-overs" with such decisions. It is critical that one takes their time and understand their options.
Here are some important things to keep in mind when receiving money after a death or divorce:
While seeking out the advice of a competent advisor is critical, it is also important to understand that major decisions around any windfall or in the midst of change are best made when you are comfortable and in a clear frame of mind. Ideally, bring a trusted friend or family member to any meeting to discuss your options. Keep a notebook and write everything down as grief can impair memory. And, as much as possible, take your time making big decisions, as many of these cannot be made again.