If you are going through a divorce, you are probably experiencing one of the most difficult periods of your life. It's normal to feel a range of emotions, from fear, anger, and panic, to disappointment, numbness, and grief. It's important to recognize that what you are feeling now won't last forever--yet the financial decisions you make today will have a definite effect on your future life as a strong and independent woman.
With this in mind, here are four essential steps to secure your financial stability after your divorce:
1. Update all of your accounts to reflect your new life
If you've changed your name and address, make sure that all of your accounts reflect this. Call your bank, your childrens' schools, utilities, insurance, and credit card companies, as well as your local DMV to keep your accounts updated. You will probably want to update beneficiaries on your insurance and retirement policies, too.
2. Build your credit
Make sure you have a credit history in your name. If you need to establish credit in your name, this can be a time-consuming process...but don't get discouraged. You can easily check your credit score by signing up for a free credit score once a year through sites such as www.AnnualCreditReport.com. If you are looking to build your credit, put expenses on your credit cards--but make sure to pay them off every month.
3. Build a current financial plan...and use it to plan for the future
In order to look forward, you need to have a clear vision of your financial health. If you had a Lifestyle Analysis prepared during your divorce, this is a good place to start. Otherwise, make a list of your income, expenses, savings, and any lump sum payments you received from your divorce settlement. Start with a basic analysis of your current finances, and then use it to plan for the future, including savings for retirement and college tuition. If you feel you don't know where to start, this might be a good time to...
4. Find an experienced financial planner
These steps can sound overwhelming, especially during and after the stress of a divorce. A specialization in integrated solutions for women who are looking for financial security after a divorce or the loss of a spouse, including budgeting, investing, college savings, and retirement planning is extremely important. It's always helpful to have an experienced financial planner guide you to financial stability--and provide the foundation for your exciting new life!
To learn more about Jeffrey Lewis, view his Paladin Registry profile.
Previously posted on Paladin Registry.com.
About the Author: Jeffrey Lewis is the Founder & President of Planning Financial Futures, Inc. and serves as the Director of Financial Planning & Wealth Management for Planning Financial Futures & 4M Capital and Retirement Services, a 401(k) & retirement plans consultant. Jeff's career in the financial services industry spans over 25 years of service excellence, helping individuals reach their financial goals by employing a systematic, yet personalized financial planning process. His practice areas include Personal Risk Assessment & Mitigation, Portfolio Assessment, Design and Management, and Retirement Income and Estate Conservation Planning. Jeff has a BA in Economics from Binghamton University, and carries Series 6, 63, 7, 66 and 24 Securities Licenses. He holds multiple state licenses as a Life Insurance Advisor. He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) and a Registered Health Underwriter (RHU). In his spare time he enjoys helping his family, friends & clients achieve better fitness as a Certified Health & Fitness Instructor. Follow Jeff on Twitter @JCLewisCFP