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One of the Biggest Divorce Mistakes and How to Avoid It

Finding a good financial planner is key to a successful divorce.

Our topic today falls squarely under the heading of “Do as I say, not as I do.” I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it took me SIX YEARS after my divorce to meet with a financial planner.

I am owning up to this so you don’t make the same mistake. Please, meet with a financial adviser or planner now. Not next month. Not next year. Now.

In the upheaval of divorce, seeking financial advice often slips far down the to-do list. We become distracted by the emotional toll of divorce and the logistical demands of our everyday lives. We tell ourselves:

  • I’ll get to that next week.
  • I’ll deal with it after __________.
  • It can wait. I have more pressing matters to attend to.
  • My lawyer has that covered.
  • It takes too much effort to figure out. I can’t do it now.

Procrastination? Of course, but it goes deeper than that. We procrastinate because we feel intimidated or tentative. We fear being judged for decisions we’ve made and didn’t make.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Everyone dealing with divorce must come to grips with their finances at some point, but many people put it off until it’s too late. According to Jess Williams, Certified Financial Planner at Morgan Stanley: “The number-one reason people don’t meet their financial goals or have a sense of financial security is because they waited too long to put a plan in place.”

I met with Jess, as I said, six years after my own divorce was over and done. Why did I wait so long? For all the reasons listed above. Do I wish I’d taken this step before my settlement was created, or even shortly afterward? YES!

Having a financial plan provides security, knowledge, and empowerment. A trusted financial planner can be an invaluable resource. All these things enable you to sleep better at night.

Still stalling? Here are some of the things a financial adviser can help you do:

  • Evaluate where you stand and simplify your finances going forward, saving you time and energy.
  • Understand the financial implications of your settlement. They can explain possible asset division strategies and show you how they’ll play out one, five, or ten years from now.
  • Identify and define your financial goals, and create a plan to get there!
  • Take action and make your money work for you.

So don’t be afraid! Finding a financial planner is a strong step forward. Act now to get educated about your finances, create a sense of financial security, and feel better about your situation. There is often no cost or obligation for an introductory meeting and most planners will meet at your home.

Not sure where to begin? I can help identify a good fit for you. Call or email me to get started.  Seriously - Don’t make the same mistake I did.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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