Helping a Friend During a Transition

It’s hard to see someone you care about go through a difficult life transition such as a divorce or the death of their spouse.  We want to help ease their pain but we’re usually unsure of how to support them. A shoulder to cry on or being a listening ear can be a big help.  But when financial security is at stake, more may be needed. Here are our suggestions of some things you can do to help a loved one during a tough transition.

Identify urgent items that need immediate attention 

Some things can’t be put off such as paying bills that are due.  By identifying immediate action items and items that can be postponed, your loved one can be put at ease and understand what their next steps should be. 

Remind them not to make any major decisions in the first year

Many who have been through these experiences find it hard to concentrate and describe it as being in a fog.  Encourage them to delay making a major financial decision such as buying or selling a house until their mind is in a clearer spot and a better decision can be made.

Surround themselves with good professionals. 

A good support team may consist of a financial advisor, tax preparer and estate planning or divorce attorney.  Help your loved one find a team that is responsive and are good listeners.  Finding a good team can minimize the stress and anxiety of going through a tough transition. 

There are many varieties of financial advisors.  The differences are vast, from the expertise and focus of the advisor, approach to client service and compensation structure.  We recommend finding an advisor who looks at the big picture and puts the client’s interests first. 

Be their eyes and ears 

Going with your loved one to meetings will allow you to take notes and ask questions since there may be a lot of information to absorb. It’s easier to go through this transition when you have someone by your side. 

Encourage your loved one to educate themselves

Once someone can understand their situation and what their choices are, they will begin to have the peace of mind they need. Having a professional team that educates and by attending educational classes and events, your loved one’s knowledge will increase, and they will have the confidence they need to make better decisions.    

We are experts in helping people through major life transitions.  At Blankinship & Foster, we work through these complicated situations by understanding the options, weighing financial and non-financial considerations, and creating a plan to move forward with clarity, confidence and direction.  If you know someone going through a tough transition, have them reach out to us. We’re here to help.

About Teresa Kakadelas

Teresa Kakadelas, CFP®, CDFA™ is a lead advisor and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Teresa heads up the firm’s Financial Planning Team, continually identifying and helping solve financial planning issues for clients. Teresa started the firm’s “Wise Women” luncheons, designed to help clients with financial education. Teresa and her family live in Carlsbad. She enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with her family.

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