Jordan Roach, Retirement Planner at RPOA

While couples can spend years preparing for their golden years, nothing can emotionally prepare them for losing a spouse in retirement. As a surviving spouse, there are a number of unique financial decisions to be made and they should be planned for in advance so they can grieve without feeling overburdened.

Having a financial advisor at this moment may be particularly helpful because they can help to streamline the process and complete tasks on their client’s behalf. After a spouse passes away, an audit should be performed on all financial accounts to ensure that the surviving spouse knows exactly what assets they have. After that, current beneficiaries should be verified across all accounts and updated with any new beneficiaries. The surviving spouse should also have a call with their advisor and institution to figure out what is needed to get certain accounts to the correct beneficiary. By working with their financial advisor, the advisor can work to ensure everything can be moved efficiently.

It’s also important not to make large financial decisions during this time such as buying or selling a house. The key is to take the time to assess where they stand financially and digest this change in their life. Once the audit on all accounts is complete and the surviving spouse has had time to breathe, they’ll be able to gain clarity on where they stand financially and how they want to spend the remainder of their golden years.

Aside from working with a financial advisor, there are other experts that individuals should work with during this time. Consulting with a tax professional and a life insurance agent is a good place to start since the information may have to be changed. Most importantly, they should have a trusted family member or friend they can lean on and who has their best interest in mind. This person can help them think through the recent event and figure out what they want to do next.

After the death of a spouse, it’s common for people to be in a brain fog from all of the new emotions they’re experiencing. For this reason, it’s essential to work with people who are on your side and there to help you accomplish these tasks and keep everything on track. At Retirement Planners of America, our team of experienced financial professionals are here to help you during any life changes you may be experiencing and take some of the stress off your plate. If you’d like to meet with a member of our team to learn more, visit our website here.