This checklist from the TD Wealth for Women program published on January 25, 2022 addresses some concerns that could arise if you were to outlive your partner or get a divorce. While the article focuses on women, the contents of this article could be of help to anyone who may be going through this type of life event. If you should find yourself in this situation and would like to discuss your financial goals, please book an appointment with a TD advisor.

Women in Transition: Navigating life’s transitions and rebuilding confidence

80% of women become the sole financial decision-makers at some point in their lives, many due to outliving their partners or getting divorced 1 . Being in the financial driver’s seat at a time when you are grieving or experiencing complex emotions can seem overwhelming at first. In time, many women in transition report increased confidence and feeling more in control of their finances 2 .

This checklist may assist you in knowing where to start after a life transition and how to keep the momentum going as you adjust to managing your finances without a partner. You don’t need to go it alone. Consider working with a TD Wealth Advisor to help plan for your new reality and feel supported along the way.

Early Transition Stage (0-6 Months)

Make a list of all financial accounts. These may include (but are not limited to):

  • Bank Accounts (saving, chequing)
  • Investment Accounts
  • Employer Sponsored Pension
  • Credit Cards
  • Mortgage & Equity Loans
  • Auto Loans
  • Personal Loans & Lines of Credit
  • Business Loans (if applicable)
  • Other

Take inventory of your estimated monthly income and monthly expenses for the next 6 months to review with your wealth advisor.

Create a folder with your key financial and legal documents. These may include (but are not limited to):

  • Divorce Certificate, if applicable
  • Death Certificate, if applicable
  • Estate Plan, including your Will
  • Power of Attorney
  • Property Titles
  • List of Beneficiaries
  • Financial Plan
  • Insurance Policies
  • Notice of Assessment
  • CPP Statement
  • Group Benefits Booklet
  • Other

Meet with your wealth advisor to begin the process of updating your financial plan to reflect your new realities:

  • Take inventory of your assets and liabilities to determine your net worth
  • Create a cash flow analysis to ensure you have adequate resources to meet your financial obligations
  • Update your retirement plan to reflect any division of assets and changes to your retirement goals
  • Assess your insurance needs against existing coverage to ensure you are adequately covered based on your new circumstances
  • Review any income splitting strategies that you may no longer be eligible for
  • Review your investment portfolio to ensure it is suitable and aligned to your needs, risk tolerance, and time horizon
  • Update estate planning documentation to reflect any changes to your appointed executor, power of attorney, and bequests
  • Review and update any beneficiary designations on insurance and registered accounts

Reset all account passwords to protect your online identity and account security.

“New Normal” Stage (6 to 12 months)

Take inventory of the below to enable your wealth advisor to help you complete a next 12-month cash flow plan by month.

Include all sources of income. These may include (but are not limited to):

  • Salary and bonuses
  • Spousal support
  • Child support
  • Inheritance
  • Other

Include all anticipated expenses. These may include (but are not limited to):

  • Housing
  • Childcare
  • Tuition
  • Clothing
  • Food
  • Entertainment
  • Personal Care
  • Loan Payments (mortgages, auto loans, etc)
  • Taxes
  • Other

If needed, your wealth advisor may be able to help you look for areas where you can cut back on spending or increase income.

Consideration: Keep in mind, there are professionals who can help you along your journey. Consult with a trusted wealth advisor to assist you in creating (or updating) your financial plan and learning about all aspects of holistic wealth management. Contact your tax or legal advisor for any tax or legal related questions.

Transformational Stage (12 months and beyond)

Make plans for where you want to live:

  • Stay where you are, or move? Consider: You may want to keep your current connections and community, or you may want to move closer to family or friends.
  • Rent or buy? Do you want a long-term commitment or perhaps relocate to somewhere new?
  • Simplify your housing as you age?

Reassess your retirement plans:

  • Decide what your new retirement plans may include
  • Discuss how your investments can support your retirement dreams
  • Debate the pros and cons of working longer or retiring sooner

Taking care of your financial health is a confidence booster! Using this checklist to get organized and working with a trusted wealth advisor may leave you feeling:

  • Clarity around where to start when it comes to managing your money
  • More in control of your daily financial obligations
  • Better prepared to make short and long-term monetary decisions
  • A greater sense of peace about your financial future
  • Confidence in your ability to care for yourself, and if you have children, the next generation

Life transitions can boost confidence.

For additional information on how you can work towards helping to secure your financial future, please book an appointment with a investment professional.

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