A guest blog from NOW Wealth Management Solutions of Raymond James Ltd.
Divorces can be difficult on everyone – you, former partners, new partners, children, family and friends. For you, a future you never anticipated when you got married awaits, and it can be daunting to try to envision what happens next. Because money matters can heavily influence mental health and vice versa, taking control of your finances with a clear plan of what to expect during and after your divorce can help ease one element of your stress and give you something to focus on during a challenging time.
In this guest blog post, we talk about how to make a plan for your financial future when your world seems like it is being turned upside down.
Who do I talk to about planning for the future?
An understanding and experienced wealth management firm can be a great asset, working alongside you to navigate your financial situation while you plan for the future. Find a team that is uniquely qualified to assist clients who require divorce planning and financial planning and that can help you in an empathetic way. The qualifications you look for should include experience, professional relationships and the appropriate licensing and certifications to make things seamless for you.
What do I need to do before making a plan?
Gathering good documentation of your financial information is a key part of working with a wealth management team. Organizing your information can mean having documentation of existing insurance policies, RRSP/TFSA accounts, pension information, wills, powers of attorney, personal directives and more.
It can be hard for clients to feel comfortable providing that level of detail about their financial situation, particularly if there are things that have happened or not happened in the past that might have you feeling embarrassed or uneasy. Those feelings are common when it comes to finances but remember – an experienced wealth management team will have seen it all, including many divorce situations. You have an opportunity to reach your goals and with a clear picture of where you are financially and where you want to be in the future, it makes it easier to recommend the best choices, options, resources and tools to help you organize, grow and protect your wealth, on your terms.
Should I wait until my divorce is finalized or start planning now?
Part of making a good plan for the future is making sure you are well prepared for the unexpected and the unknowns. Best-laid plans don’t always come to fruition, so no financial plan should come with an iron-clad course of action. It’s one of the reasons it can be beneficial to start organizing your finances and making a plan ahead of your divorce being finalized. The right wealth management team can help you understand the impact of various decisions along the way and how it may affect your plan. Your team should also be comfortable working directly with your divorce lawyer to understand the various scenarios in play, e.g. if we agree on X or Y for child support payments, how does that impact my ability to save over time?
What should a dedicated wealth management team offer me?
In addition to seeing the opportunities in everything you say and all of the details you provide, some of the things a strategic team should offer to help you succeed with your planning include:
- Experience – A team that brings a good deal of experience in helping clients through divorces successfully is a must, as it means they can draw on the scenarios they have seen to relate them to you. Having a team with a diverse group of advisors and support staff is also important, as those diverse perspectives can be invaluable in connecting with you and making the right recommendations for you to reach your goals.
- Relationships – A team that can work effectively with the other key advisors in your life, including family lawyers, accountants and others, will relieve some of the stress you are no doubt feeling. Being able to call on those advisors and have them call on your wealth team is essential in working together to develop the right plan.
- Service excellence – Your team should go above and beyond to offer excellent guidance, support and advice to you. That advice should take into consideration the very specific and sensitive elements of your divorce, meaning the team should be able to work in a way that is comfortable for you, showing empathy for the emotional toll that difficult circumstances can take.
- Licenses and certifications – Ask any prospective wealth management team if they are a fiduciary, meaning they must always act in your best interest as their client. In addition, look for a team that is licensed and certified in all areas of financial services (e.g. investments, insurance, financial planning), as that broad service offering will help you get and stay organized with your finances, no matter your needs.
If you are feeling challenged emotionally and uncertain about the financial impacts of your divorce, a team like NOW Wealth can help you make sense of your situation and do it on your terms, when the time is right for you.
About NOW Wealth Management Solutions of Raymond James Ltd.
We have a depth of experience both personally and professionally that makes us well qualified to assist clients who are going through significant life events like a divorce. We have helped clients through their separations and been through them ourselves and we use those experiences to get you organized for the different scenarios that can impact your finances. We also understand the different voices and expertise that are often required to help you successfully navigate the process. We work with accountants, divorce lawyers and lawyers who specialize in other areas like real estate and estate planning to ensure that every scenario is contemplated and that the advice we provide is well aligned with your plans and goals.
Our independence and role as a fiduciary mean we don’t promote cookie-cutter products that benefit us more than you. Instead, we go above and beyond to offer excellent advice and guidance on any strategy that fits your needs. We stand out in the industry as a team that can do it all for you, no matter how complex your needs, with licenses and certifications in all areas including investments, insurance, financial planning and cross-border services among others. Our diverse team includes leaders that chose financial services as their career from a very young age and a support group of women and men that represent a wide variety of generations, skills, knowledge and life experience.
For more about NOW Wealth, please visit www.NOWwealthsolutions.com or read our brochure here. We provide access to free information and resources, a questionnaire to help guide you in assessing your own situation and, ultimately, the ability to have a conversation with our team when and if you feel comfortable.
Information in this article is from sources believed to be reliable, however, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete. It is provided as a general source of information and should not be considered personal investment advice or solicitation to buy or sell securities. The views are those of the author, NOW Wealth Management Solutions, and not necessarily those of Raymond James Ltd. Investors considering any investment should consult with their Investment Advisor to ensure that it is suitable for the investor’s circumstances and risk tolerance before making any investment decision. Raymond James Ltd. is a Member Canadian Investor Protection Fund.
Securities-related products and services are offered through Raymond James Ltd. Insurance products and services are offered through Raymond James Financial Planning Ltd.