Nobody grows up planning on getting a divorce but it happens to many of us. And when it's time to call it quits, it's not the time to say goodbye to your financial stability. What can women do to resolve a marriage without divorcing their money? Lynne Mosier, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and Vice President of Jurika, Mills & Kiefer, Bay Area based wealth management firm, offers these tips:
Know what you have, what you owe and what you need.
- Sometimes assets get harder to track once divorce is on the table. It is important to keep a separate record of all assets, bank accounts, property, retirement accounts, insurance, you name it. Making copies is not rocket science, but it can fuel your financial stability after the divorce.
- Put your budget together. To identify your family's income and expenses, it helps to review your accounts for the last year or two to get an average of monthly inflows and outflows.
- Figure out what you need. If you need to go back to school or get a professional license, you have to account for that. Healthcare is an important component. Make sure you shop around for a health insurance policy to find out what it would cost. Open up your individual accounts (bank, credit card) and close all joint accounts.
- Once you assess your financial situation and future needs, it is important to get professional advice. Along with your attorney or mediator, you will want to consult a divorce financial analyst to identify the best exit strategy. Be sure to educate yourself along the way. Knowledge is power and it alleviates anxiety. Some good online sources are womansdivorce.com and divorce360.com.
- Do not rush into financial or business partnerships or real estate investments. When you are in an emotionally charged situation time, you may not be able to make the best decisions.
- Not all assets are created equal. Although keeping a luxury car might seem like an attractive idea, taking over a stock portfolio of the same value today will certainly bring more value in the future.
- One of the most common questions is: "What should I do with the house?" If you have children, it might help provide a sense of stability and security. But, you have to review the financials carefully because if keeping the house is going to bleed your bank account, you will lose all stability. House rich and cash poor is not a healthy scenario and provides less flexibility as time goes on.
- Keep an eye on the future. Always remember to think about how this asset will benefit you in the future. No matter how messy or long the divorce process is, you are likely to live a long life and will need resources.
Lynne Mosier leads Jurika, Mills & Keifer's advisory practice and works directly with the firm's financial advisory clients. Lynne's 16 years of investment experience centers on client service and investment advice to individuals, institutions and industry professionals.
At Jurika, Mills and Keifer LLC, Lynne combines her technical expertise and interpersonal skills to help clients clarify their current financial situation, needs, and goals, and to implement effective solutions. Her focus includes client education, investment seminars and a specialty with women and wealth management.
Lynne has lived in London, Hong Kong and New York and held senior positions at Schroders PLC, Smith Barney, Prudential Securities and The Institute for International Research. Her responsibilities included developing cohesive investment policies, determining effective asset allocations, conducting thorough asset manager due diligence, and providing comprehensive performance monitoring. Additionally, she has designed and implemented seminars focusing on financial education for individuals and industry professionals, as well as, workshops on empowering women and their relationship with money.
Lynne holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Business Science from the University of Denver. She earned her designation as a Chartered Financial Analyst in 1999 and her MBA from the University of San Francisco in 2003. Along with raising two beautiful daughters, Lynne is a passionate student of yoga and Eastern philosophy, an avid skier, a budding surfer and an enthusiastic philanthropic investor in the Global Fund for Women and The Pachamama Alliance.