For those of us who have gone through a divorce, the financial and emotional implications can be overwhelming. If you are a spouse who has been a stay-at-home parent for a number of years, that stress can be crippling. It’s vital that having a financial plan in place to ensure that your life will continue, albeit in a much different context. It doesn’t need to be all bad, in fact it can be rather liberating if you plan it correctly. This stay-at-home parent financial plan will help you with the foundations you will need.
These ideas if followed and managed will help to ensure that your future and the future of your family will remain bright:
- Stick to a Budget: For some people, they have never had a financial contraint placed upon them or had to work with a fixed income before. A budget will set the tone for future spending habits and give you a guideline for what you can and cannot afford.
- Invest in an Annuity: For some people a lump sum amount of money is a dream come true however, not if it is intended to last you 10 or 20 years. An annuity is like a self-discipline tool for those who have received a large settlement but need to make it last for a period of time. As an example, if you receive a $500,000 cash settlement from your spouse, you determine that your monthly budget is $5,000. You can set up an annuity to pay you $5,000 every month until the $500,000 is exhausted (over 9 years). You are continuing to make money on the annuity and it’s a guaranteed contract.1.
- Invest in Yourself: In many cases, there will be a need to go back to work at some point. By utilizing the Lifelong Learning Plan within your RRSP (similar to the RRSP First Time Homebuyers’ Plan) you can access your RRSPs to go back to school and train for your new career.
- Expect Your Lifestyle to Change: With your new marital status you can expect to have a change in your standard of living of at least 25%. This is important to realize as you are establishing a budget.
- Insure Your Financial Future: If your monthly livelihood is dependent upon someone else, ensure that their income is protected in the event of death, disability or critical illness. Life, disability and critical illness insurance can financially safeguard yourself if something should happen to your ex-spouse.
- Work with a Trusted Financial Adviser: Very few people know how to plan for their financial future adequately whether purchasing a home, paying for a child’s university education or a retirement plan. A financial planner can make these goals manageable and attainable and put a plan in place. They can also help with debt management, putting together a monthly budget and create a financial needs analysis.
Change can be scary for all of us. Change can be even scarier if wrapped with financial uncertainty. Remember that current state does not equal future state. The future, although full of uncertain, can represent tremendous opportunity for personal growth and development. Surround yourself with people who are positive and will provide you with the emotional strength and encouragement for success. Follow as many of the steps above and you will come to love the transformation that is your new life.
Chris Coulter is the Founder and President of The Finish Line Group. He works with business owners to leverage their businesses to increase their wealth, reduce corporate and personal taxes, create viable succession strategies, enable employee retention strategies and allow them to exit their businesses on their terms.
Chris’ passion for what he does evolved from the mistakes he made in his first business; by not diversifying his risk and not utilizing a lot of the opportunities within his business to create significant wealth. Chris found out the difficult way and now educates business owners on how to avoid many of his former oversights and ultimately control where their finish line ends.
- There a taxable portion of an annuity. If it’s a non-registered prescribed annuity, the annual taxable amount is approximately $5,700 for the above example
Stay-at-Home Parent Financial Plan