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The one constant in life is change. Whether your child is graduating from college or getting married, whether you’ve inherited assets, recently divorced, lost your job, lost your spouse, remarried, or been diagnosed with an illness, life comes at you fast. These major life changes often make us feel out of control, and that can lead to stress.

In reaction to stress, it is not uncommon for women to cope by focusing on other people’s needs, while ignoring their own. “Self-sacrifice in relationships is how many women enter stress,” says Carl Pickhardt, PhD, a psychologist and spokesman for the American Psychological Association.¹ Women are more likely to deal with stress by “tending and befriending”—that is, nurturing those around them and reaching out to others.²

The challenge with these coping mechanisms is the lack of focus on what you need. From a financial perspective, the consequences can be significant. For example, months of unpaid bills and overdue notices can quickly destroy a lifetime of good credit. Impulsive decisions—expensive vacations, gifting, or hastily buying or selling major assets like your business, home, or stock portfolio—can leave you with major regrets, tax liabilities, and a diminished net worth for years. Well-meaning friends and family may also confuse the situation by sharing conflicting advice.

Thankfully, there are a few financial strategies that can help when you are in transition. Here are a few to consider:

Buy Time

Defer all but the most essential decisions for a year. You may want to seek professional advice on which decisions you simply can’t postpone, but in general you want to give yourself the time to work through your transition. If keeping on top of your monthly financial paperwork becomes unmanageable, for instance, you may want to engage the services of a personal concierge or bookkeeper.

Buy Flexibility

Now is not the time to commit all your cash to long-term investments or pay off your mortgage. Keeping liquid assets, such as cash and short-term investments, gives you the flexibility to make decisions later, when there’s more equilibrium in your life. A year in the future, your needs may be quite different. Again, objective professional financial advice may help.

Take Care of Yourself

You are more likely to make sound, thoughtful financial decisions when you are rested, healthy, and at peace with your stage of life. Eating well, making time for a daily walk or other exercise, and carving out time for quiet meditation, warm baths, or other soothing activities are proven techniques for coping with life’s stressful moments.

Mitigate Your Vulnerability

Many women unknowingly broadcast emotional vulnerability during a transition. Unfortunately, unscrupulous people sometimes take advantage. Be careful about the people and services you engage to help you.

Talk to Your Financial Advisor

Your financial advisor can be a great sounding board for any decisions that may affect your financial picture. Your advisor will be able to provide guidance on the long- and short-term effects of various decisions and ensure that your financial plan is reflective of your current and future goals. Don’t hesitate to involve your advisor and seek out his or her help during your transition. Give our Denver office a call at 303-741-9772 if you would like to discuss any major life changes you may be experiencing and to put together a plan that works for you.

Important Disclosure Information

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Dechtman Wealth Management, LLC [“DWM”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions.  Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from DWM. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. DWM is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the DWM’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at www.dechtmanwealth.com.

Please Note: DWM does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to DWM’s web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

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Please Also Remember to advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.

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