It looks like you’re separating. One of the first steps you’ll be required to do is pull together your financial information … assets, debts, income, expenses.
Where to start? What is required? Where will it be used?
Join us for an information session that will have you learn:
What specific information you need t
Why this information is required and where it fits
Practical tools for making the information gathering easier
If you or someone you know is contemplating divorce, join us for a discussion about how to best deal with financial information in separation and divorce.
DATE: Wed. November 14th, 2012
TIME: 6:00 to 7:30 PM
LOCATION: 79 Shuter St. Suite 200 Toronto
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged divorce advice, divorce finances, divorce help, divorce professional, financial advice, financial professionals, Grey Divorce | Leave a Comment »
Elise (not her real name) was happy when she ended up as the sole owner of the family home as a result of her divorce property settlement. But getting the family home in a settlement isn’t always the best thing.
Located in a nice neighborhood, the home was valued at more than half a million dollars. The property had increased 4 fold since she and her ex-husband purchased it some 18 years ago.
Elise needed a mortgage to secure the home, but the monthly payment was well within her budget (or so she thought). She wanted to keep the house to minimize the impact of the divorce on her two kids, avoiding changing schools and uprooting friendships. “There’s no way I’d ever be able to find another home as nice as this one,” she told me.
Less than one year after the divorce, things started falling apart. First, the furnace needed to be replaced — a $900 expense, which she charged to her VISA card. Then, a leaky roof needed to be replaced — $1,600, which also went on her credit card. That spring, the fence along one side of her property fell down after a big storm and upon examination, it was discovered that the main posts were rotting so guess what, a unplanned new fence went up while she was on vacation with the kids. (the fence and the vacation went on her line of credit ). She wondered what might come next.
Then, toward the end of summer, her washer failed. Because the warranty had expired a year earlier, it made more sense to buy a new, more energy efficient washer for $1200 than paying the $500 repair bill.
Her debt was piling up. Before she knew it, her credit card and line of credit debt had grown from zero to more than $21,000, all since the divorce. Small repairs and routine maintenance expenses never seem to stop (like hiring someone to do lawn and snow removal that her husband had done before)
I routinely call Elise to see how she’s doing and she voiced her concerns about the house which was approaching a point where more costly repairs might also become necessary. I told her she had to consider the possibility she might be best off selling this house and move to a newer home requiring less maintenance. I recommended she get a home inspection by a licensed home inspector while she considered her options. She knew she couldn’t sell it and get what she wanted for it without first doing some of repairs. I called two realtors to get independent market appraisals. I requested assessments both with and without the repairs. Both agents agreed the repairs were necessary and would generate a higher selling price that would more than cover her costs. Elise concentrated on the things that most potential buyers focus on (the roof, new paint job and new tiles in the bathroom). The realtor also took her around and showed here what newer homes were available in the neighbourhood. With information provided by the realtor re selling and buying options, I was able to provide Elise with a budget of future housing costs. I showed her how she could pay off all her debt, putting herself in a far more comfortable financial position going forward.
The repairs were completed quickly. The house sold a few weeks after listing it. She and her kids moved to a lovely new home in the same neighbourhood. Elise later told me that moving to a new home was actually a great relief as it represented the fresh start she needed to move beyond the divorce. Having the right numbers and information paid off for her. A Divorce Financial Professional can help you get the right numbers and information before you sign your settlement agreement which may lead to an even greater pay off for you.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Posted in After Divorce, Budgets, Finances, Financial Support, Housing | Tagged budgets, debt, divorce finances, divorce professional, financial advice, financial professionals, housing, money and divorce, money and separation | Leave a Comment »
One of my clients described how her son was afraid to tell her that he’d outgrown his running shoes. Another said her daughter declined invitations to go to the movies with her friends because she didn’t want to have to ask for movie money. Kids understand the financial changes that occur after divorce.
How can you make ends meet and maintain your family’s lifestyle if your income after divorce is insufficient?
Child support payments are not intended to cover all costs associated with raising a child, and often fall far short. They take into account the cost of food, housing, and clothing. But they do not cover a range of other expenses from after school activities like music lessons or sport lessons to vacations, or cell phones to school supplies. These expenses rise significantly as children get older. Does everyone under the age of 18 really have an I-Phone?
The first thing to do, whether you’re contemplating divorce or are in the process of divorcing, is quantify how much your lifestyle truly costs. As a divorce financial professional, I help clients put together projected budgets. It’s important to account for as many details as possible: the cost of summer camp, rep hockey, tutoring, a computer the child will need for school in later years.
Then we weigh these financial needs against a couple’s ability to pay. Does the family income cover this budget plus a reasonable amount for the non-custodial parent? If not, can a division of marital assets help supplement the difference? Can we scale back to a bare-bones budget? Can we distinguish between wants and needs?
In divorce, financial support comes from 4 sources: Employment Income, Child support, Division of marital assets, spousal support. Each of these sources has different tax and financial consequences. Yet because household spending on adults and children is intertwined, all three can contribute to a child’s financial welfare.
I work with clients to look at the financial and tax implications of proposed child support and spousal support payments along with the proposed division of marital assets. I use software to project the short and long-term impact of a proposed divorce settlement. These projections can be really powerful.
What if you’re already divorced and find that you can’t make ends meet, a financial planner specializing in divorce can work with you to put together a saving and spending plan and help give you a holistic picture of your finances.
Wouldn’t it be nice to say “yes” to your kids once again?
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Posted in After Divorce, Budgeting, Budgets, Divorce, Finances, Financial Support, Kids | Tagged budgets, Child support, debt, divorce finances, financial advice, money and separation | Leave a Comment »
With hot summer days, the malls are a cool place to beat the summer heat.
Summer time means summer sales are on in full swing. With the economy as it is, the discounts stores offer are deep and tempting. As much as you may try and stick to a budget, it’s hard to do when the 70% sales signs are calling. Say good bye to budgeting as we can always rationalize a “great bargain”.
Budgeting is never fun. Implementing an annual budget and breaking it down by month and even by week and then day by day is challenging and take lots of discipline. Temptation is great with the deals stores have going on. Stay strong.
Put away the credit cards when you head to the mall. Just say “no” to spending more. Treat yourself to a gelato or iced coffee to keep your financial cool.
* image from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Posted in Budgeting, Budgets | Tagged budgeting, budgets | Leave a Comment »
At 50 or 60, the kids may have left and couples realize they have 30 or more years left to fully engage with, and enjoy life. If they can’t find a way to do it together, they are considering taking the risk of leaving the marriage. If you or someone you know is part of this growing segment of the “grey divorce” demographic, join us for this session.
Here are some of the questions we’ll be discussing :
- What are the factors and pressures that are changing the futures of so many?
- Do you worry about how dividing your wealth will affect your retirement?
- Do you struggle with the question will leaving be worth it?
- How can you access what is right for you in a professional confidential manner?
- Where do you go to weigh your options and decide?
- And should you decide to leave, how do you do it in a cost conscious way?
Posted in Divorce, Grey Divorce, Information Sessions | Tagged Collaborative practice, divorce advice, divorce help, divorce professional, Grey Divorce, Late in life divorce, retirement and divorce, separation | Leave a Comment »
If you are divorcing or newly divorced, and trying to figure out how you’ll manage financially, it’s hard to think about your spending along with all the other issues in divorce. However, while you’re working through your settlement, you can start to think about how to save in many ways without feeling like you are “penny pinching”. Each savings will add up more than you could believe possible.
Did you know that every minute water flows down the drain wastes up to 2.5 gallons? So turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving. Only run the dishwasher and washing machine when you have full loads, water plants in the morning when the water is less likely to evaporate.
Drive the speed limit, go easy on the brakes, and carpool when you can. The more moderate your speed, and the less you rev the engine, the less gas you are going to use. This could save you $4 to $40 a month depending on how much you drive.
Almost a third of gift cards go unused. And more get used too late. If you read the fine print on the back of the card, you may be shocked to see that some cards expire as quickly as six months after their purchase. Others charge $1 to $2.50 for dormancy, maintenance, or inactivity fees if they’re not used within 6 to 24 months. Solution: Shop and save the face value of your card!
The average household gets 15 bills a month. At 61 cents a stamp that’s over $100 a year. See if your bank offers free online bill payments.
It may not seem like a lot, but most out-of-network banks charge $1.50 to $3.00 for a bank withdrawal. Would you like to take out money and only get 97 percent of what you asked for? That’s what you get if you take out $100. Plan ahead and go to your bank’s ATM. You could save as much as $30 a year.
The point of insurance is to protect you when something really bad happens, not for small claims. Raise that deductible on your car or homeowner insurance and save $200 to $300 a year.
If you followed all of these tips, you could save hundred a year!
Posted in After Divorce, Budgeting, Budgets, Divorce, Finances | Tagged budgets, debt, divorce finances, Finances pre divorce, financial advice, money and separation | Leave a Comment »