Financial Planning

Looking for Financial Advice for Widows? Meet Financial Advisors Who Help Women After the Loss of a Spouse

By  Brian Thorp

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

After the loss of a spouse, trusted financial advice for widows is easy to find if you know where to look. Meet the experts who can help.

According to statistics reported by the Statista Research Department in June 2022, nearly 12 million widowed women are living in America today. Although it’s not surprising to most that women tend to outlive men, half of the widows over the age of 65 will outlive their partner by 15 years or more. 

If you find yourself in this situation, it will undoubtedly be some of the most difficult days, weeks, and months of your life. Losing a partner is incredibly difficult, and having to face decisions alone, many of them financial, can seem completely daunting. 

While grieving, you may want to get everything done as quickly as possible, or you may lack the energy to even open the mail. It’s important to not rush into any financial decisions and consider having a trusted financial professional in your corner who can help you navigate this new and uncertain time. 

You’ll likely find dozens of nearby financial advisors in your community well-suited to help with general financial planning services. But it may be more difficult to find a financial advisor with the knowledge and experience providing financial advice to women following the loss of a spouse.

Fortunately, many financial advisors offer virtual services so you can meet online no matter where you (or they) live. This means you can choose to hire a financial advisor who lives hundreds of miles away if you decide their specialist knowledge and a greater level of empathy and understanding of the needs of widows may prove a better fit.

What to Do When a Widow at 55 (A Personal Story)

Karen Groves is a freelance writer who lost her husband at age 55. This is her advice for women widowed in their 50s.

I was 55 when my husband of nearly 23 years died of a heart condition at age 59. He had chest pains Friday night and was dead by Monday morning. I was in shock.

My husband, Mart, had high blood pressure for a short time, but after losing 35 pounds, his blood pressure went to normal. We didn’t realize that was not the whole problem. At that time, neither one of us was aware of the damage sleep apnea could cause a person. In this case, ignorance was deadly.

Now, out of the blue, I am a widow. I’m on my own for the first time in my life. What do I do? For longer than was advantageous, I did some things wrong and did not do some things that should have done. I found myself with problems of which financial was only one of many. This was not a good place to be.

So, what should you do if you find yourself a widow after age 50? The following are just some suggestions you could utilize that may benefit you.

  1. Go through the grieving process. It’s too easy to set it aside and say, “I’ll deal with it later.” Please, don’t do that. Waiting can cause emotional and health problems in the future. I know. I’ve been there and done that.
  2. Take time to heal. Your emotions, your heart, and your body have taken a beating because of losing your husband. These don’t heal overnight.
  3. Do not hibernate. Becoming a recluse will accomplish nothing. At some point, you will have to become a member of society again, and this will be difficult if you have secluded yourself for a time.
  4. Cry! This is vitally necessary. Research is showing that crying for women and men helps to relieve stress. In dealing with the death of your husband, you don’t need any more stress in your life. Also, these tears have toxins that need to be eliminated so they don’t cause problems down the line.
  5. Don’t make any major decisions. For the first year or so, you may look back and realize that you were not as together as you thought. Some of your decisions may have been extremely damaging ones. The fallout can be avoided if these decisions can be set aside for a time when you know your life is more in balance.
  6. Take care of yourself. Forgetting to eat because of not cooking regular meals may happen too often. Not being able to sleep can be another problem. Either of these can contribute to major health concerns showing up in the near future.
  7. If you still have children that haven’t left the nest yet, and won’t for a while, taking care of yourself is crucial. Having children at home entails even more responsibilities because you will be mother, father, and everything to them. You need to be there for your children. You can’t do that if you are sick, in the hospital, or dying.
  8. If you are not working outside your home, take extra time for yourself. Take a walk on a lovely spring day. Have lunch with your girlfriends or family. Do things that make you feel good or give you comfort during this time. Get your hair done. I’m not sure why getting my hair shampooed and styled makes me feel good, but it does. It can make a difference for you, as well.
  9. Doing volunteer work can also give you a boost. This could include volunteering at a hospital or even a soup kitchen feeding the homeless. Giving to others can give you a lift and a sense of satisfaction that you need.
  10. If you have to go to work, consider taking continuing education courses at a local college or online to boost your qualifications. Even if you can only take one course at a time, adding to your résumé will add to your paycheck in the long run.
  11. Ask for help. Losing a spouse means that you get to do everything. The upkeep of the house and the car will have to be tended to by you. Shopping, cleaning, earning the money, paying the bills, and caring for the yard are all on your shoulders. Even if you were doing part of that before losing your husband, you will find that having responsibility for everything can be overwhelming. Asking for help is not a sin; it is a necessity.
  12. Taking care of your spirituality can make all the difference in having the strength to get through the grieving process. Don’t neglect that part of your life.

There may be other considerations depending on your circumstances. Talking things over with a close friend could help you see what else needs to be cared for. Talking about your loved one may also give you some comfort during this stressful period in your life. You will find that it is not impossible to get through the grieving process. It just takes some time.

💔 Financial Advice and Planning for Widows

Smart Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor for Widows

Before hiring a financial advisor, here are a few quick tips to help you find the best advisor for you.

1. Decide Which Services You Need

Before hiring an advisor, determine what services you need from them. Whether it’s full-service investment management or a plan focused on a specific area of your finances, put together a list of what you’d like help with before contacting an advisor.

Though most people use a financial planner simply to invest for retirement, this is only a small part of what many advisors offer. Here’s a quick rundown of potential services a financial advisor may offer you:

  • Budgeting and money management
  • Debt management
  • Insurance planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Other investment planning
  • Inheritance planning
  • Estate planning
  • Tax planning

As you can see, financial advisors can help you with your entire financial picture, not just investing. As you start to plan for life’s bigger milestones, you should consider finding a financial advisor that specializes in those areas.

Finding the right advisor can help you minimize risk, maximize gains and take advantage of tax breaks while investing for your future. They can also help you protect your assets with the right kinds of insurance and help you pass on your financial legacy with a proper estate plan.

2. Consider Your Budget and Payment Preferences

Once you have a list of services you would like, review the fee structures financial advisors offer. Finding a balance between the services you need and the cost of those services will help narrow down the field of advisors you may want to work with.

If you are looking for a full-service advisor to manage all of your investments, consider searching among fee-based financial advisors. If you want to manage your money yourself, consider the flat fee and monthly subscription advisors for ongoing support.

3. Interview Multiple Financial Advisors

Once you have chosen the services and fee structure you prefer, it’s time to contact a few advisors and interview them. Here are questions to ask financial advisors:

  • What services do you provide?
  • What are all the ways you get paid? (fee transparency)
  • What is your investment strategy?
  • How do you measure investment performance?
  • How do we communicate about my plan?

Interview multiple advisors to get a feel for who you want to work with. A combination of fees, services, and customer service will help you determine the best fit for your financial advice.

4. Review Financial Advisor Credentials

Once you find an advisor (or two) you feel comfortable with, it’s always a good practice to check their credentials and the firm’s details. You can do this at the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) website

You can check both the individual and the firm to view their background and experience details, as well as any disciplinary action taken against them or their firm.

As licensed financial professionals, there is oversight into how financial advisors conduct business, so running a quick (free) check on them is recommended.

For additional information about advisor credentials, read our article to learn the most popular designations held by financial advisors, as well as specialized credentials which may be important to consider if you have unique financial planning needs.

Find Financial Advisors for Widows on Wealthtender

📍 Click on a pin in the map view below for a preview of financial advisors who specialize in working with widows and can help navigate the challenges with a personalized plan. Or choose the grid view to search our directory of financial advisors with additional filtering options.

Ron Zunker Pax Financial Group Fee Based Fiduciary Advisor
Serving Clients Nationwide
San Antonio, Texas

📍Double-click or pinch pins to view more.

🙋‍♀️ Have Questions About Financial Planning for Widows?

Frequently Asked Questions & Additional Resources

How do I know if I’m ready to hire a financial advisor?

You should strongly consider hiring a financial advisor if you have a significant amount of money available for saving or investing. This could occur after years of making annual contributions to a retirement plan like a 401(k) through your employer or suddenly if you receive a large inheritance or sell your house for a large profit.

But even if you don’t have a lot of money saved, many financial advisors and planners provide reasonable pricing options and valuable services you should consider, especially if you’re facing a significant life event. For example, if you’re starting a new job, getting married, starting a family, getting divorced, lost your job, starting or selling a business, or approaching retirement age, working with a trusted financial advisor or planner may prove worthwhile.

Before I hire a new financial advisor, should I fire my current advisor?

You don’t need to fire your current advisor before beginning your search for a new financial advisor. In fact, your new advisor can help coordinate the transition of your assets from your previous financial advisor.

Where can I read reviews about financial advisors written by their clients to help me decide if I should hire them?

After 60 years of regulatory prohibition of financial advisor reviews in the US, a rule issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) became effective on May 4, 2021 that means both financial advisors and directory websites that help consumers search for a financial advisor can collect and display financial advisor reviews, an important factor worth considering when choosing who you’ll hire to manage your investments and life savings. 

Wealthtender is the first independent advisor review platform designed to be fully compliant with the new SEC rule, and we look forward to helping you evaluate financial advisors based on reviews written by their clients.

I’m a financial advisor interested in being featured in this guide. How do I get started?

Thanks for your interest. We look forward to learning more about your practice and helping you attract your ideal clients where you may be a good fit based on their individual needs and circumstances. Please click here to learn how you can join local financial advisors featured on Wealthtender.

About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

Brian Thorp

Founder and CEO, Wealthtender

Brian and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.