Sarah’s story: The importance of seeking professional financial advice

Sarah’s story, a 2023 Widow’s Tale. Highlighting the importance of seeking professional financial advice when facing financial challenges*.

Income of a surviving spouse or partner may be halved or considerably reduced in the event of the main pension holder’s death, particularly in the case of defined benefit pensions and the state retirement benefit.

This loss of income can be worrying and have a significant impact on the survivor’s financial stability. Planning ahead and seeking professional financial advice to explore available options can help mitigate the financial impact of a spouse’s death, whether it be through life insurance, trust arrangements, equity release or downsizing.

Sarah’s story, a 2023 widow’s tale.

Before John’s passing, Sarah and John had enjoyed a comfortable retirement, thanks to their joint pension income. However, after John’s death, Sarah was left with only a third of his pension income. In effect his company pension halved and the state pension stopped with a total income reduction of £16,000 per year. She had always considered their joint pension income to be sufficient for a good lifestyle, but now she had to find a way to make ends meet on her own.

It was difficult to see how she would meet the cost of essentials; council tax, utilities, insurance, maintenance, and groceries, let alone have anything left for personal items or the car. No more hobbies, or dining out and the charitable donations would have to stop. As for holidays or spoiling the grandchildren…………..?

This left a feeling of resentment towards John, Sarah felt that he had left insufficient financial arrangements in place. She was angry and frustrated about being left with financial burdens and having to give up her lifestyle.

Sarah turned to her financial adviser for help. Together, they reviewed her financial situation and explored different options to mitigate the loss of income. They examined the possibility of downsizing her home, but Sarah was reluctant to leave the place where she had built so many memories with John.

Her financial adviser suggested considering equity release as an option. Sarah was initially hesitant to consider borrowing against her home, but after careful consideration and guidance from the adviser, she realized that it could be a viable option to provide her with the additional income she needed.

Sarah’s financial adviser explained that equity release would allow her to access the equity in her home without having to sell it. She would be able to receive a lump sum or regular payments, which could help cover her expenses and maintain her lifestyle. While equity release does have its risks, Sarah’s financial adviser was able to provide her with all the information she needed to make an informed decision.

Ultimately, Sarah decided to go ahead with equity release. With the additional income, she was able to maintain her lifestyle, cover her expenses, and enjoy her retirement years without worrying about money.

Sarah’s story highlights the importance of seeking professional financial advice when facing financial challenges. By working with a financial adviser and considering all available options, it is possible to find solutions that can provide financial security and peace of mind, even in the face of difficult circumstances. advocates planning ahead and putting measures in place before the loss of a spouse or partner. The financial specialists on our site can provide guidance in all areas of financial planning.                

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*This fictional message is based on years of knowledge and experience of similar circumstances.