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Post-Divorce Checklist

Planning new beginnings is all about understanding what to do next and how to do it. There are so many important things to consider when your divorce is final, and dealing with them can be overwhelming.  We have selected a several of them and categorized them, from top to bottom, in the order of importance for most people.  Here they are:

✔︎ Change Your Will 

Take the time to meet with an attorney who specializes in wills and trusts to create a new plan. While it may feel unpleasant to consider what will happen when you are gone, your family and friends will need a detailed plan for how to handle medical and financial situations if you can't manage them yourself, and will want to know how to pass on your legacy.

✔︎ Change Your Account Beneficiaries  

It is very likely that your ex-spouse is not only named in your will, but is also listed as a beneficiary on financial accounts, particularly in the case of retirement accounts, and insurance contracts.  We think you would rather this not be the case.

✔︎ Do a 3-month Rolling Budget  

While it is very hard to stick to a budget, understanding where your costs come from and how you manage them is key to starting a new independent future.  One or two months may not capture the trend of overall costs and expenses.  Find ways to track those costs and expenses, or seek the help of a professional financial advisor who uses tools that can help.

✔︎ Consider Consolidating Financial Accounts  

Sometimes, married couples accumulate many different accounts in many places, and each walks away with several of them.  If you have accounts of the same type (e.g. bank accounts, brokerage accounts, retirement accounts), seek out a professional financial advisor who can help you consolidate them.  You, and those who may care for you in the case of an emergency, need to know where your wealth is located at all times. Besides, how can you track how well you are doing financially with many different accounts? 

✔︎ Create Your Financial Plan  

Envision your future and plan to reach your goals.  While knowing everything at once is not realistic, you can start small and incrementally add to your plan. Many wise people have said that the absence of a plan is a plan to fail. Creating a plan to reach your goals is an important step in determining how to invest and save. You need to know how to achieve what you value, and that's where financial planning comes in.

✔︎ Review Your Insurance Contracts/Coverage  

This is key.  Your life, health, auto, and renters/home insurance should be reviewed to make sure you have the right coverage for you.  Do you need life insurance? How much coverage of any of these should you carry? How do you make a decision about which health insurance coverage to carry? Should you have an umbrella policy?  Insurance reviews should be a part of any financial checkup, and insurance is a big part of your wealth management strategy.

✔︎ Develop Your Long-Term Care Plan 

Whether or not you incorporate long-term care insurance in your post-divorce financial plan, you need to know what to consider. Understanding how long-term care can impact your financial future is as important as learning how to grow your wealth.  In fact, for many people, a need for long-term care can literally deplete their savings.  Having a plan, whatever it is, is necessary.

✔︎ Do Something Nice For Yourself Each Week  

So many of us take for granted our health and wellness, and we don't do enough for ourselves. We believe that it is important for each of us to take some time to focus on ourselves, and reward ourselves for our accomplishments, big or small.