Most women are unaware that there are four distinct financial support team roles that can help them as they find their new rhythm during and post divorce. Each area has its own approach, ideology and level of engagement. Your unique and diverse needs should dictate which one is the best fit for you at this time of your life.
I remember when I learned about the specificity of these roles and not only did it provide clarity for me, but I was able to pass that knowledge along to my clients. I am a fan of “wins” especially when it can help others in their time of need. Let’s look at each of the roles and their benefits in greater detail.
Financial Planning: This type of support is designed for women who are financially stable but are looking for financial advice to improve their financial future. For new clients, this is typically a three-step process. The first step is where financial information is gathered and the client’s goals are clarified. The second step is where a planner presents a specific strategy and recommended financial products designed to help the client reach stated goals. The third step is all about completing the necessary paperwork to implement the financial plan. Once everything is set in motion, clients typically meet with their financial planner at least once per year. However, depending on each client’s situation, planners will meet more often.
Financial Education: While oftentimes, education is a byproduct of financial planning, in its purest form, financial education occurs over multiple sessions. It is independent from financial product sales, and it is meant to provide women with the know-how about all things financial including tools and resources. However, It is up to the client to determine how to put the knowledge of money management, debt, credit, savings and retirement into action. With that in mind, financial education is a great way to empower women to make solid, independent financial decisions.
Financial Counseling: This service is for individuals experiencing financial crisis, an urgent care if you will. Financial counselors provide specific and dedicated solutions for immediate use; financial counseling does not address long-term strategy or planning.
Financial Coaching: This scenario is ideal for women who are stable but who desire to improve their situation. Meeting objectives are initiated by the client around what is top of mind or most pressing and the financial coach actively listens and directs intentional questions to guide down a path of self-reflection. The length of the engagement is dependent on each individual client and their ongoing financial goals and need for support and accountability.
This matrix is a wonderful visual aid for comparing the four roles side-by-side. Click here to download.
If you are finding yourself in a place where having some objective guidance and feedback would be welcome, The Women's Financial Wellness Center is a trusted resource. We exist to help women in the throes of divorce and during the months and years following one. Our mission is to build a woman’s confidence in themselves as they navigate their financial path by connecting them to educational tools, vetted resources and by providing practical solutions.
On average following divorce, a woman's household income falls by 41%, almost double the loss men experience. Do not wait until your situation becomes overwhelming. Take action preventively to ensure you are able to stay (or become) financial savvy and independent as soon as possible. Making time on a regular basis to talk about financial matters with experts in the field can ease the burden and put you on a path to financial stability.
I invite you to schedule a complimentary 30-minute strategy session with me to share your personal story and hear about financial coaching and educational services and our partners who can offer financial counseling and planning. Click here to connect.
“Balancing your money is the key to having enough.” – Elizabeth Warren