We’re continuing our conversation on women and money management with Ainka Munroe, MBA, a financial consultant with AXA Advisors. Munroe offered her insights on how women can take control of their financial destiny no matter what stage of life they’re in. Here’s the rest of our chat.
BlackEnterprise.com: What advice do you have for newly divorced women who are trying to get back on their feet financially?
Munroe: This situation really comes down a woman reevaluating her financial circumstances and her expectations. At this point, it may be wise to consult a financial adviser who could help the newly divorced woman work out a lifestyle that she can afford, possibly on a smaller income than she had when married. Because future expenses may be burdensome after a divorce, it’s important to create a new budget that includes a realistic set-aside for emergencies.
BlackEnterprise.com: Which financial professionals should a newly divorced woman have on her team?
Munroe: At the top of the list is an attorney with as much matrimonial law experience as possible. A financial adviser and insurance agent are also important. Not only will the couple be discussing how to separate their assets, but also how to distribute certain accounts. Statistically, women live longer than men, so having something to supplement cash flow in the event of a death is vitally important. Some divorce agreements contain life insurance stipulations that protect both the woman and her children. Depending on the situation, an attorney may also be needed to develop a trust for the distribution of assets in case lifestyles were to change with a death or a remarriage. Sometimes couples have one financial adviser, and in this situation, there can be a conflict of interest. However, if both people have a strong relationship with the adviser and a foundation of trust has already been built, the adviser may be able to work with them separately.
- Considering that one’s marital status will change to single or head of household, most people overlook the tax implications of this new status. Advice from an accountant maybe necessary, depending on the complexity of the couple’s financial situation.
- Consultation with a real estate professional may also be helpful when considering joint property and how this asset may need to be transferred or divided.
- It’s extremely important for women to have a social safety net during what may be a very emotional, stressful process. Having a supportive group of people around can help a woman make sound, logical decisions as she moves into a new life.
For more on this topic, see the article Love and Money: Dealing with Financial Crisis While in Love.
Ainka Munroe offers securities through AXA Advisors, LLC (NY, NY 212-314-4600), member FINRA, SIPC, offers investment advisory products/services through AXA Advisors, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor, and offers annuities and insurance through AXA Network, LLC. Individuals may transact business and/or respond to inquiries only in state(s) in which they are properly qualified. GE-99295(11/14)(exp.11/16)