by Amy Lawson, MBA, CDFA®
The Gray Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce
How to Face the Financial Unknown
Whether divorce is an ancient experience for you, or a fresh one, you know this feeling all too well:
The Fear of the Financial Unknown
It’s the fear that robs your peace as well as your sleep; no matter your income or net worth, you fear you won’t be OK.
It’s paralyzing, this fear. Regardless of your education or level of expertise, you can’t get past the vision of being a bag lady – you just KNOW you’ll go from carrying your bare essentials in your favorite Michael Kors tote to pushing everything you own down Main Street in a Kroger cart.
The mere image forces you aboard the crazy train, crying one moment, cursing the next, vacillating between forgetting to breathe and hyperventilating. You detest the ride on this wretched “loco-motive,” but fear the divorce has served you up a permanently-punched first class ticket. Totally convinced you’ll lose the Lexus in the divorce, it’s the only ride you KNOW you will ever afford.
You need some financial clarity to derail the crazy train and facing your fear will provide just that. Why? When you have financial clarity, you make better decisions; it’s just that simple. While some things are simple, but not necessarily easy, in this case, gaining financial clarity is both simple and easy. Start with the following three steps:
- Become financially aware: Figure out what you owe and what you own. Said another way: know how much money comes in and how much money goes out.
- Gather some essential financial documents: You’ll need current bank, credit card, brokerage account, retirement account and social security statements, as well as 3 years of tax returns. A credit report will be helpful, too.
- Hire a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA). She can take those essential documents you gathered in Step 2 and SHOW you just OK you’re going to be.
Now that you’re financially clear, take your dreams off the shelf and dust them off. Let the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst help you create a game plan to get you where you once only dreamt of going. You don’t need the complete plan at this point, you just need to get started. It’s like driving a car at night: You don’t need the headlights to illuminate the entire route, you only need the highlights to show you the next 200 feet.
Here’s to your next 200 feet!
Wishing you peace & plenty!
Your gray girlfriend,