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Old 03-30-2016, 05:23 PM
 
11,270 posts, read 8,446,041 times
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Wow, I just want to hug your neck! I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope you will give yourself time to breathe. I like the expression "If you don't know what to do, don't do anything".

I wonder if you can get any advice from Dave Ramsey. He's pretty awesome. Look him up!
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,891 posts, read 25,343,932 times
Reputation: 26389
Another widow here. I also urge you to do exactly nothing right now. You need time to adjust to your new reality.

One thing you need to investigate, it your disabled child getting all her benefits? And is everything she is to inherit in a special needs trust? I ask this because what would happen if you died and are you setting her up to lose all her benefits if she does inherit? You need to consult some smart people and do exactly nothing for a while.
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:57 PM
 
81 posts, read 67,747 times
Reputation: 111
Thank you all for your support.

I am in such a panic that it didn't occur to me to wait a year or so. It feels like an emergency!

I will stay focused on grieving and learning, but not making ironclad decisions.

❤️
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:33 PM
 
Location: WA
2,926 posts, read 4,010,688 times
Reputation: 3587
I'm sorry for your loss.

Nothing against city data forums, I post here a lot. But the absolute best forum for getting the kind of financial advice that you need is the bogleheads forums. There are very expert financial advisors over there who will give you rock solid advice for free. I suggest you go over their and see what kind of advice those folks have. https://www.bogleheads.org/forum
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:40 PM
 
168 posts, read 130,055 times
Reputation: 844
I am so sorry. I lost my husband 5 years ago. He was 62 and I was 59. One friend asked me how I was doing. I told her that I felt no one could hear the screaming in my head and it wouldn't stop. Over time it has become muted.

The next few years will be quite difficult but you will survive. It doesn't seem possible but you will.survive. Please do not make any big financial decisions for at least a year.

In my situation I interviewed 3 financial advisors then consulted with a trusted friend to help me come up with a plan. I also stayed in my paid off home. I live in a large brick townhouse with an HOA so I have minimal outside maintenance. The costs of living in my paid off home are much less than renting.

I am so glad I did not make any big decisions until i was able to think clearly. I will keep you in my prayers. If you have any questions that I might help you with or if you just need to vent please message me.
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Old 03-30-2016, 10:07 PM
 
6,982 posts, read 3,879,681 times
Reputation: 14888
Take. Your. Time. You have until December 31, 2017 to make changes with existing investments such as an IRA or 401k to soften the tax blow. A Roth IRA conversion may be in order for part or all of those funds but that can be addressed with a professional in due time.
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Old 03-31-2016, 01:59 AM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 16,356,662 times
Reputation: 4024
As others have said, take some time before making any big decisions. However, there may be some time sensitive decisions you need to make so be prepared for those. One thing I can think of is to contact his work to find out what benefits are available to your family. Health insurance could be one and may need action within a month or two. Bank accounts may need action depending on how they were set up. Go over your bank statements, checking for any auto pay amounts. If any relate to only your husband, you'll need to stop them. Be aware that you may loose any credit cards in his name.

You'll need to get multiple copies of his death certificate as many institutions will want an original for their files. You'll have months to complete account transfers so don't feel rushed. Do start thinking about what you and your daughter will need in the next 5 years and what actions might be needed to better accomplish it. As others have suggested, you may want to set up a trust for your daughter.

Sorry for your loss. You are in good shape to survive it financially.
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Old 03-31-2016, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,945,286 times
Reputation: 6717
Quote:
Originally Posted by jontwin4 View Post
Thank you all for your support.

I am in such a panic that it didn't occur to me to wait a year or so. It feels like an emergency!

I will stay focused on grieving and learning, but not making ironclad decisions.

❤️
Well there are certainly things where you can/should take your time. But other things should be done reasonably soon. Like getting assets re-titled (investment and checking and other accounts - house - car - etc.). Changing names on credit cards. You also have to make sure you know where everything is - and - in the case of on-line stuff - have the proper log-ins/passwords.

When it comes to your house - depending where you live - you make be entitled to some kind of tax break as a widow (with a disabled child). Should be looked into.

One thing you should do reasonably soon is review your own personal documents. Like your will - living will health care surrogate forms - etc. Many spouses have named the other on forms like this - and they have to be updated.

There are lots of useful articles about the things people have to do. You should look at a few (like this one) - and start making a list of things that apply in your situation:

A To-Do List for the Surviving Spouse-Kiplinger

One reason you are probably experiencing a sense of panic is you don't know exactly what you have to do - how to do it - or when you have to do it. Once you start getting a handle on these things - I think you'll feel better (although you'll probably still have a lot of work to do). Unless you have some special expertise - I strongly suggest consulting with an estate planning attorney. Most will have lists of things you should do after a spouse dies - and will be able to tell you how to do them.

BTW - did your husband have a will?

Robyn
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Naples, FL
339 posts, read 320,721 times
Reputation: 485
I am so very sorry for your loss. My husband passed suddenly 2+ years ago. I have a good idea of how you are feeling. BTW - I am currently 55 too; 3 children in the house still.

Take your time and move slowly with large decisions. Get an attorney to help settle the estate. Find one that will coach you and let you do most of the legwork (if you can) to keep costs down. There are legal things you must take care of. Do not - repeat - do not pay any bills that were in your hubby's name only. Medical bills, credit cards, cell phone, etc. You are not liable for these - the estate is - and ultimately you may not need to pay them.

Do get a financial advisor to help you see where you are at - and what the future looks like. Remember that downsizing your home isn't all money savings. You have to pay a real estate agent commission, a mover, you'll likely need to repair things on the old and new home, etc. It may be smarter to stay put - even long term if you can manage.


Get into the SSI office and understand what you have in benefits. Understand at age 60 you can collect off your hubby's SSI and then collect on yours in full later down the road. Be prepared to be insulted with the one-time $255 survivor's benefit. What a freaking joke.

I hope you have a good family and friend base to help you through this difficult time. If you think it would help, reach out to a local church for a grief support group. There are many of us widows. There is value in companionship by another who understands. My heart goes out to you.

~Shelly
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,067 posts, read 17,389,275 times
Reputation: 41567
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
Well there are certainly things where you can/should take your time. But other things should be done reasonably soon. Like getting assets re-titled (investment and checking and other accounts - house - car - etc.). Changing names on credit cards. You also have to make sure you know where everything is - and - in the case of on-line stuff - have the proper log-ins/passwords.

When it comes to your house - depending where you live - you make be entitled to some kind of tax break as a widow (with a disabled child). Should be looked into.

One thing you should do reasonably soon is review your own personal documents. Like your will - living will health care surrogate forms - etc. Many spouses have named the other on forms like this - and they have to be updated.

There are lots of useful articles about the things people have to do. You should look at a few (like this one) - and start making a list of things that apply in your situation:

A To-Do List for the Surviving Spouse-Kiplinger

One reason you are probably experiencing a sense of panic is you don't know exactly what you have to do - how to do it - or when you have to do it. Once you start getting a handle on these things - I think you'll feel better (although you'll probably still have a lot of work to do). Unless you have some special expertise - I strongly suggest consulting with an estate planning attorney. Most will have lists of things you should do after a spouse dies - and will be able to tell you how to do them.

BTW - did your husband have a will?

Robyn

These are excellent points. Yes, there are some things that need to be done quickly, but I have seen or heard about horrible, irrevocable decisions made by widows/widowers in the middle of grief. Things that looked and sounded great in the first days or weeks after the death but should have waited a few months or even a year or so.


Good luck.
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