During times of transition, we all need to have people we can trust, people who will act in our best interest and are in our corner. This is particularly true when people are going through a divorce or lose a spouse. Having strong relationships with your financial advisor may help provide stability and guidance during a time of transition. Unfortunately, however, many women don’t feel like they have such a person in their corner.
The vast majority of women (70 percent) change financial advisors within three years of their spouse’s death, which may indicate they were probably not comfortable with the advisor when their spouse was alive. In all likelihood, they let their husband manage the relationship while they tended to other matters. That makes sense. After all, most households come up with
a division of labor that works best for them.
Having your spouse take out the trash while you do the dishes is one thing; having a single point of contact with your financial advisor is something entirely different.
Advisors must earn your trust, too. After all, you may have to call upon him or her during your darkest hours. You want to believe it when your advisor tells you that you are going to be OK. You want to have confidence that he or she has considered your entire financial circumstances, your values, your beliefs about money and your life goals before uttering those words.
In times of crisis or transition, you don’t want to have to bring a financial advisor up to speed, nor do you want to tiptoe around a socially awkward relationship.
If you have yet to become part of the advisory circle, don’t worry. It’s not too late. Put the next meeting on your calendar. While you don’t have to be part of every conversation going forward, you should at a minimum develop your own relationship with that advisor. And, if you haven’t started working with an advisor yet, join your spouse in the search for one.
Set expectations from the outset that the relationship is with you as a couple — not just one spouse. You’ll be glad you did.
— Bibi Taylor, MBA, is a wealth manager for AmeriFlex, 3700 State St., Suite 310, in Santa Barbara. Call 805.898.0893 for more information.