Widows want someone they can lean on, like they leaned on their husbands, someone they can trust and someone who will ask them how they’re doing.
- Do they have enough monthly cash to cover their expenses?
- Have they found someone to do the yard work?
- Is someone talking to them about their credit cards?
- Have they talked to their children about their end of life wishes?
Advisors may also be required to scale a wall of skepticism as high as the moon. Widows read so many stories in the newspaper about scams that they find it hard to trust someone with their finances.
Widows should interview several candidates to find a good fit, personality-wise. After finding an advisor you like, ran their credentials by the Securities Commission.
Older widows of the 1940s and 1950s are often homemakers. Ask them about investments and they’ll eyes will glaze over. Widows in their sixties and seventies may not be as savvy as younger widows, but they’re smart enough to fire their advisor if he’s not meeting their needs.
A widow’s primary concern is to have investments that produce enough income to cover her monthly bills. It’s common for widows to fear that the money won’t last as many of them went from their father’s home to being married.
Advisors need to understand that widows have an unusual fear of running out of money, because now they’re dependent solely on themselves. The advisor really needs to understand what’s going on in their lives and to take a sympathetic approach to their fears.
Widows are vulnerable and many don’t trust their own judgment. They want someone who will do it for them because they don’t want to have to worry about money or to learn about the world of investments.
The average woman is widowed at the age of 56. Half of all women become widowed by 65. And nearly 75% of widows now living in poverty were not poor when their husbands were alive.