Financial Planning Scenario – Death of Spouse

Monica is 45 and raising two young children on her own, after her husband Tom suddenly died of a heart attack. Monica is overwhelmed by the combination of grief and uncertainty about her financial future.

Her questions are:

  • Are the kids and I going to be OK financially?
  • What financial actions do I need to take immediately, and what can I postpone until later?
  • Will I need to go back to work?
  • How will I pay for college for my kids?
  • Will I have enough money for retirement?
  • How will we get health insurance, now that we will lose our coverage with Tom’s employer?

Monica has a large amount of assets she’s trying to manage and needs help with all the decisions she’s facing. We would recommend our Financial Freedom service for Monica. Some of the steps we would likely recommend are:

  • Develop a personalized financial plan to make it possible for Monica to keep her home, pay for college, and generate lifetime income from her investments for her and her children.
  • Help her prioritize her financial actions, allowing her to focus her primary energy on grieving and caring for her children.
  • Evaluate life insurance benefits to help pay off her mortgage and add to her investment accounts.
  • Accompany Monica to the Social Security office, where she would apply for survivor benefits for herself and her children.
  • Help Monica evaluate various options for obtaining health insurance.

By helping Monica with her concerns, she is able to focus on adjusting to life without her husband while feeling confident about her financial future.


The scenario presented is hypothetical in nature, and not intended to be a testimonial or endorsement of Partners in Financial Planning LLC. This scenario is intended to illustrate the services we offer, but does not represent the results or experience of actual clients. The strategies discussed are not appropriate for everyone and should not be considered investment or tax advice. Clients should review their unique situation and financial needs with a qualified advisor and inquire about the various benefits and risks involved with specific services and strategies.

About Us

Partners in Financial Planning provides tax-focused, comprehensive, fee-only financial planning and investment management services. With locations in Salem, Virginia and Charleston, South Carolina, our team is well-equipped to serve clients both locally and nationally with over 100 years of combined experience and knowledge in financial services.

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