I’ve had a few friends who have been on break-ups of the deepest, darkest kind lately, ones that would fit right in with a film written by the late Nora Ephron. That’s what I got from seeing “The End of the Tour” two weeks ago. Onscreen, Jesse Eisenberg plays David Foster Wallace, the quirky Princeton philosopher who had his entire life planned out, including getting married in Italy and having children. But then the press tour to promote his provocative book “Infinite Jest” took its toll, leaving him feeling less than whole and facing social anxiety problems, financial difficulties and watching his marriage crumble. I got the impression that anyone has had to go through an epiphany like this, and they can all relate to what happens next – if you can hold onto that hope.
Since I’ve had a personal history of investing, one of the topics of conversation I’ve been having with friends is how to deal with money when you’re going through a break-up. For most people, we run into financial decisions – or lack thereof – in the 90 days after a break-up. While there are different things you could do, I think the main thing is making sure you have access to a financial advisor or financial adviser to address every concern.
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From ‘How to lose a millionaire’ to ‘You know what happened to my boyfriend after I left him’: Dr. Seth Meyers We talked about how long it takes after the break-up to determine if you’ve made any sound financial moves or if you might need to make moves. Getting your finances in order to stop pumping money into a big purchase or to reduce your payments to creditors is one thing. Writing a will and adding your new partner to the beneficiary list are others.
The bottom line is that life rarely allows you the time to accomplish all the financial and legal things you need to before you become separated from your partner. Is there a plan to deal with money and custody issues once you’re divorced? If so, how is it being addressed? What’s the backup plan if you die without a will or an estate plan in place? It sounds awful to say, but it happens – you’ve probably made your own personal “End of the Tour.” It might help to have a financial plan in place for your family’s well-being.
—Brett Benjamin, M.S., CFP