Widows & Widowers

Case Study:  Wendy Watson

Wendy Watson came into HSC Wealth Advisors for her initial meeting with a lot of anxiety on her face.  Her husband of 35 years, William, had recently passed away from a heart attack at the age of 59. Wendy did not know what William had done with their investments or even if he had any life insurance.  She had many questions and fears: Was she going to have to get a job?  Did she need to sell their house and move in with one of her daughters?

William took care of the bills and the complete management of the couple’s investment portfolio. That first day we unloaded the trunk of her car pulling multiple boxes of financial statements, insurance policies, estate documents and anything else she thought was relevant to her financial well-being. Her new unwanted task was piecing this complex financial puzzle together on her own.

We listened to Wendy talk about William and the goals and dreams that had been accomplished and those left undone.  We heard her cry for help during this time of confusion and despair.  We told her we could help her to answer all of the questions that had been weighing her down.  We would work through files and analyze all the brokerage statements, insurance policies, bills, estate documents and give her recommendations and a clear path for her.  She was glad to be able to leave the boxes in our office and know that our team was diligently working to walk her along in developing a plan.

Over the first several weeks we assisted her in setting up the appropriate accounts, transferring assets to those accounts and implementing her investment strategies.  We quickly found out that William had invested in individual stocks and bonds.  The assets were over 1 million dollars.  We also discovered that William had a pension with survivor benefits.

Once we guided her through setting up her social security benefits she had more than enough income to live on the social security and pension alone.  Not only was she not going to have to work; she would be able to afford to go on trips with a ladies group from her church.

During the process we established a plan and worked collaboratively with an insurance professional, tax preparer and attorney to make sure she had a strong team working together on her behalf.  She had a plan in place that she knew was sound and would not place this burden on her daughters when she passes away.

As her financial confusion was lifted, Wendy was able to grieve and process through her husband’s passing.  As the plan was in place and Wendy was healing, we picked up on an educational initiative William was passionate about during his professional career.  When we recommended she start a scholarship fund in her husband’s memory at his alma mater, she was exuberant.

Bottom Line: We could have limited our services to just organizing and implementing an investment plan.  By listening and getting involved in all the details we were able to organize her financial life and put her on a path that she can be confident in.  Most importantly, we met her where she was emotionally and helped her get to a place of peace and security she did not think was possible.

To learn more about how we can help you, contact HSC Wealth Advisors today.


*This case is based on true events but names and minor circumstances have been changed to maintain confidentiality.