by If you’re recently widowed and are struggling to communicate with your husband’s financial advisor–you’re not alone.
If you’re having a hard time trusting your husband’s financial advisor–you’re not alone.
If the financial advisor your husband talked to frequently feels like a stranger–you’re not alone.
If you’ve recently fired your late-husband’s financial advisor–you’re also not alone.
Perhaps like many women you feel like your husband’s financial advisor:
- Never really listened to your opinions or concern
- Gave your husband all the attention
- Talked down to you
- Used language that is too technical for you to understand
- Didn’t validate your fears, worries or opinions
- Left you out of key decisions
Many women feel this way. In fact, 80% of widows fire their husband’s financial advisor for precisely these reasons.1
Losing a husband is one of the most tragic things that can happen to a woman. The transition is overwhelming to say the least, and becomes even more difficult with the added burden of new financial responsibilities.
You have probably commandeered your family’s day-to-day financial decisions for years: You shop and bargain for clothes and groceries, pay the bills, book travel deals and balance the checkbook with ease. But like many women, you may find yourself feeling deeply intimidated when it comes to making long-term financial decisions like investing, estate planning and retirement.
In this case, as you move forward on your own, it is essential that you find a trustworthy decision-partner to help you navigate the difficult financial choices that lie ahead. As you start your search for a new financial advisor, there are 3 things you should consider:
Look for someone who speaks a language you can understand
Most likely you’ve never had to talk about stocks and bonds, annuities, mutual funds or diversified portfolios. Perhaps you lack confidence in your financial intelligence because of the technical vocabulary and jargon financial advisors often use. Look for an advisor that can explain complex concepts simply. A good advisor will foster your financial intelligence by coaching you through the areas you don’t understand. Not only that, but a good advisor will be able to show you how the consequences of your decisions may relate to your entire life. Not just your financial life.
If the financial advisor you’re interviewing is trying to impress you with his vast knowledge instead of taking the time to make sure you understand what he’s saying, he may not be the right advisor.
Look for someone who talks personal-values before dollar-values
Some financial advisors only talk numbers. As you walk into their office, they immediately pull out their charts and spreadsheets and begin trying to sell you. That should be an immediate red flag.
A good advisor will take the time to get to know you. He will ask you about your fears, concerns, priorities, and dreams. He will ask questions like, “What is most important to you–your children, your hobbies, giving, traveling?” “If you did not have to worry about money, what would you do with your time?” “What is your biggest fear about the future?” These questions are all pointed towards uncovering your personal-value, and are also signs that the financial advisor has your best interest in mind.
And finally, trust your instinct
For many, your reason to hire or keep an advisor may be based on three criteria;
People dislike being sold, but love to be served. How your advisor communicates with you accounts for 85% of the relationship, yet most professionals spend only 15% of their time developing these vital skills.2
While it may not be readily available to determine competence, within seconds, many people can determine likability and trustworthiness. Look for the signs and trust your instincts.
1 “How to Give Financial Advice to Women” by Kathleen Burns Kingsbury
2-“From Selling to Serving” by Lou Cassara