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How I Help Widows Create a Positive Financial Future

By Scott McCord, AAMS®, BFA™

No one plans on the death of a spouse, but unfortunately, it is something that most of us will experience at some point in our lives. The loss of a spouse can be truly devastating, and during that time it can be hard to talk about the finer details of life.

That’s why after such a tragic loss, my main goal as a trusted financial advisor is to focus on understanding the emotions the widow or widower is experiencing and remind them that there is no rush to make decisions. Of course, we will need to adhere to deadlines for any pressing legal matters, and I will walk them through every step of the way as we get through all the different financial matters. Below, I outline a few of the steps that I go through with widows and widowers who come to me after the death of their spouse.

Step 1: Legal Deadlines

As I mentioned before, there may be several pressing deadlines to meet for any legal matters. Meeting any legal deadlines will be our first priority. Typically, as a trusted financial advisor, I will advise our clients on which counsel or experts they need to speak to and will sit in on those meetings to assist with any questions the lawyer may have.

Step 2: The Planning Meetings

The next step is to meet with the widow or widower and review their entire portfolio. The objective of this meeting is to help them develop a concrete plan for the future. To accomplish this goal, we need to gain an understanding of their values, their needs, their current financial situation, and what an ideal future would look like for them.

With the help of the client, we start to develop a wealth management plan to meet their changing needs while identifying their future goals. This could include a variety of actions, including setting up the necessary retirement or other financial accounts, developing an adequate income strategy, ensuring they understand the certainty of uncertainty, and implementing strategies to help them mitigate the cost of any future need, such as long-term care insurance or life insurance.

We will also review existing insurance policies and other accounts and make any changes that the accounts need. It is a team effort, so we also support our clients as they make calls to other custodians to ensure all necessary changes are made.

Step 3: Touching Base

After we have gotten the initial work out of the way and we’ve created a plan to move forward, I make sure to stay in contact frequently with these clients as they could feel quite vulnerable. During these periodic meetings, we provide both financial counsel and emotional support to make sure they’re confident with the new wealth management plan and comfortable in their financial situation.

As time goes on and needs change, we work together to make those necessary changes. It’s essential for widows or widowers to have a trusted advisor they are comfortable with to guide them on this journey.

We’re Here to Help

We are honored that many of our clients have trusted us during such a difficult time. We know that helping widows and widowers develop a wealth management strategy for a confident financial future helps bring positivity and clarity to their current situation. If you feel like we could be of assistance to you or someone you know, please schedule a free introductory meeting online or reach out to us at or 309-214-0152 with any questions.

About Scott

Scott McCord is founder and Investment Advisor Representative at Anthem Financial, providing values-based financial advice as a fiduciary. With over 20 years of experience in the financial industry, Scott focuses on building long-term relationships with his clients so he can understand their unique values and guide them through the ups and downs of their financial lives, keeping them focused on their short-term and long-term financial goals. Scott has a bachelor’s degree in business management and accounting and holds the Behavioral Financial Advisor™ (BFA™) and Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS®) certifications, Series 66 licenses, as well as life, health, and disability income insurance licenses. Scott is married to his intellectual and spiritual ally, Heather, and together they have two beautiful children, their daughter, Meyer, and their son, Grady. When Scott is not focusing on his clients and family, he volunteers his time on the Peoria Public Schools Foundation board, Impact Peoria board, and Rotary of Downtown Peoria board. To learn more about Scott, connect with him on LinkedIn.

Investment Advisor Representative of and advisory services are offered through Independent Wealth Network, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisor. Anthem Financial is not affiliated with Independent Wealth Network, Inc.

This newsletter contains general information that may not be suitable for everyone. The information contained herein should not be construed as personalized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. There is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed in this newsletter will come to pass. Investing in the stock market involves gains and losses and may not be suitable for all investors. Information presented herein is subject to change without notice and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell any security.

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