Widowed woman sits at her table with financial information looking concerned.

4 Tips for Widows Whose Partners Handled the Finances

When a lifelong partner passes away, you lose a lifeline to love, companionship and support. It becomes even more complex if your partner primarily managed your household’s finances. While you are wading through paperwork and logistics, the confusion and overwhelm are hard to ignore.

We have compiled a few steps to take to support you through the process of managing your finances. Work through these steps to begin to feel confident and empowered in your personal financial situation.

Gather Financial Information

This very first step can feel overwhelming. Where do you even start? Remember, this will be an evolutionary process and you don’t need to have everything done right away. We can take this one step at a time. That first step is to gather information. Begin by gathering payment details for the following categories:

  • Utilities
  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Taxes and Insurances

Completing this first step will ensure your basic needs and commitments are covered. Rest assured the highest priorities have been covered. Then, when you are ready, you can move on to the next phase.

The next phase entails gathering information about your debts and assets like retirement savings, pensions or life insurance policies. Mastering this info helps you craft what your future budget will look like. If you aren’t sure where to get a full picture of your debts and assets, try these tips:

  • Collect credit cards from your household
  • Look at a credit report from a free reporting site
  • Look at bank statement history for premium payments or automatic withdrawals

Adjust for New Income

In some situations, a widow must work with a new income after their loved one passes away. That could entail adjusting your budget, housing, cars, etc. The first step to adjusting to a new income is to craft a budget that works for you with these quick steps:

  • List Expenses and Calculate Income
  • Create Spending Categories
  • Assign Spend Amounts

In other cases, an adjustment is not necessary due to life insurance payouts or retirement benefits. These new amounts may need to be factored into your new budget.

Empower with Personal Finance

Mastering personal finance can be empowering. When you feel prepared, investigate ways to understand your finances better each day. It could have a major impact on your quality of life, provide a much-needed distraction and create a feeling of satisfaction and financial peace. Whether it’s understanding your credit, improving financial literacy or fully grasping investment strategies, you truly can excel in managing your money.

Give Yourself Some Grace

As you navigate this new landscape, remember to give yourself a little bit of grace. Going through grief can make it difficult to function as you normally would. Your head may be out of focus and distracted. Try to prioritize the most important tasks that absolutely will need your attention and leave the rest for another time. Making decisions could be more challenging during this time as well, so give yourself the lifelines you need to be successful. Reach out to a financially-savvy friend or connect with a financial advisor to help you along the way. 

We’re here for you!


Bankers Life is here to help customers with their financial and insurance needs so please visit us at BankersLife.com to learn more.