Women and Money

A Helpful Checklist for Recent Widows

  • Educate yourself on personal finance and investing.
  • Find a financial professional if you don’t already have one.
  • Don’t make any major financial decisions right away, such as selling your home. Put money from life insurance into a bank CD or money market account until you’ve investigated other investment options.
  • Be sure you’ve applied for and collected all of the money you are entitled to, such as individual and employer-sponsored life insurance, Social Security survivor benefits, veteran’s benefits, and your husband’s 401(k).
  • Transfer individual IRA and other investment accounts into your name (check with a tax advisor first).
  • Create both an emergency and long-term budget.
  • Define and prioritize your short- and long-term financial goals.
  • See where your money is going and calculate how much of your income you can put aside to help reach your financial goals.
  • Make sure you and your dependents have health insurance. If you were on your spouse's medical plan, call his employer and ask about continuing coverage under COBRA.
  • If you have dependent children, be certain you have enough life and disability insurance.
  • If you're still working, continue contributing as much as you can to your retirement plan.
  • Revise your will, powers of attorney, health care proxy, and living will.
  • Change the beneficiaries on investment accounts, retirement plans, and life insurance.
Insurance issued by the Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ, and its affiliates. Each is a Prudential Financial company that is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. Our policies contain exclusions, limitations, reduction and terms for keeping them in force. A licensed financial professional can provide you with complete details. The availability of other products and services varies by carrier and state. Prudential Financial, its affiliates, and other financial professionals do not render tax or legal advice. Be sure to consult with your personal tax and legal advisors.