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Women
& Wealth.

Assisting women through financial change.

Women
& Wealth.

Assisting women through financial change.

We specialise in assisting women who have experienced significant financial change and need a little more support and guidance. These changes could be due to a number of different situations.

Inheritance

Inheritance

Suddenly coming into money can create a lot of emotional stress, both in dealing with your loss, but also taking responsibility for the money or assets which have been left to you. Often, when we receive an inheritance, it feels like there is more of an obligation to ensure we are making the right choices and investing sensibly and responsibly. There is no hurry to make decisions though. There is very little point rushing into what ends up being the wrong thing and having to unwind it all at big cost down the line.

 

The approach we take is slow and steady. We find a good place to hold the money and provide flexibility, while you have the time and space to learn and properly understand all your options. You also need time to think about what you might like to achieve with the money, as well as how to best protect it.

Widows

In a relationship, there is often one party that makes most of the financial decisions and takes control of the money in the household. If you’re not that person, and suddenly find yourself in the situation of having to take over all of the household finances, it can be overwhelming and very scary.

We can work on a set fee basis to help you understand all about what you have, educating you and assisting with make sure you feel empowered to make decisions about your next steps, and ensure that you know what you have to live on for your future.

Separation and Divorce

Going through a separation is emotionally taxing, but is often made harder by having to split assets, sell houses and get businesses valued. Lawyers are brilliant, but can be very expensive, and the process can be very slow.

We have worked with clients to understand their current financial situation and options through separation. It’s important to get to grips with what assets you have, how they are currently owned and what your options are. Building your knowledge, so that you’re in a strong position to negotiate or confidently accept a settlement, is vital. 

Often, it’s a really good starting point to know what you really need as a minimum, in order to maintain a reasonable lifestyle. Through looking at what income you need for the rest of your life, we can help you find out what settlement you need in order to achieve that.

We can also offer a Financial Mediation Service. This brings together both parties in a staged process, with the goal of speeding up a settlement process. Both parties need to be willing and able to engage in open discussions. The output of this process is a draft agreement which can be taken to lawyers for legal advice. It isn’t always successful but can be very valuable in starting the process and saving a lot of time and money in the long run.

The service we offer (which is charged on a fixed fee basis) is as follows:

  1. Preliminary Discussions
    1. Agree the scope of the service with each party
    2. Agree the costs of the mediation with both party and how they will be paid
    3. Set the ground rules for engagement
  2. Individual Sessions
    1. Through individual discussions, we uncover the goals, expectations and non-negotiables for each party
    2. Assets and Liabilities are inventoried
    3. Expectations are set for each party
    4. Income projections from possible settlements may be done to illustrate what could be possible
    5. Spousal support is discussed
    6. Structures and tax implications are discussed
    7. Professional advisers are engaged if appropriate
  3. Joint Sessions
    1. Assets and liabilities are agreed and valuation methods are worked out
    2. Non-negotiables are discussed
    3. A split of assets is discussed
    4. Spousal support is agreed
    5. Future structures (trusts winding up or paying out) is agreed
    6. Next steps are agreed.

 

We do not cover the care and maintenance of children in these discussions, it is focused on the finances only, so it really only effective when no minor children are involved.

Meet Carol

Age: 56

Situation: Suddenly widowed

Carol and her husband, John had worked all their lives: her as a part time physiotherapist, and him as an accountant. John died suddenly following a heart attack at the age of 57, leaving Carol widowed.

As an accountant, John had overseen most of the household finances: arranging term deposits, paying the bills and arranging insurances. They also had a rental property with no mortgage, which had been their retirement plan.

They had three adult children (one still in university) and two grandchildren. They had lived modestly, owned their home, and looked forward to spending more time with family in retirement.

Carol was brand new to making financial decisions, and lacked the confidence and knowledge about what she should do. Carol was pretty sure she had enough to live on with the life insurance they had on John’s life, but also hoped she could leave a legacy for her kids and grandkids.

All of her plans for retirement, had been based on being part of a couple, but that had all changed. She needed some financial advice to help her understand her options for the future, as well as making some decisions today. She also lacked knowledge in confidence about how to approach the finances.

Carol had more questions than answers:
What do I need to be doing with the money?
Should I keep the rental property?
Do I need to keep working, and maybe go full-time?
What can my retirement look like now?
How can I support my kids?
How should I protect the money for the future as I don’t want to waste John’s legacy?

She knew seeking professional financial help was the right choice to ease her mind and create a plan that truly worked for her family.

The first step for Carol was to sit down with someone who would actually listen to her questions and concerns. She wanted to be heard and not sold to. She needed empathy and a safe space to learn and understand, without feeling pressured.

Coordinated by the financial adviser, and in collaboration with other professionals, Carol was able to:

  • Write a new Will and update her powers of attorney
  • Have the confidence to continue to work part time
  • Invest the life insurance proceeds along with some of the cash they had, to create a long-term retirement portfolio to secure her future
  • Have the reassurance that she could pass on some of the life insurance pay out to her 3 children, to help them financially as well
  • Make a plan for to sell the rental property at a time when there would be no tax consequences, as she didn’t want to be a landlord
  • Have a much better understanding of where she was financially and what her options were.

With a plan in place, Carol has reassurance and security about her future, as well as trusted professionals she knows will be there to help guide and support her over time.

Note: The above case study is hypothetical and does not involve an actual Balance Wealth client. No portion of the content should be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience the same or certain level of results or satisfaction if Balance Wealth is engaged to provide financial planning services.