Are You on the Journey of Widowhood?

We have a team ready to help you.

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

- Maya Angelou

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Complex Decisions

Following the loss of your spouse, you may be faced with the dark shadow of grief, fear and uncertainty. Burdened by these emotions, you may lack the necessary mental and physical fortitude to make decisions regarding your changed life situation. Yet, you are called upon to make important decisions regarding finances, your children, and your livelihood. Decisions that can impact you for the rest of your life.

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Organize and Prioritize

What you need at this critical time is an advocate who understands what you are going through and who has the experience to help you recognize which decisions need to be made now versus those that can be postponed. Merit is just such a partner.

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Integrate

Merit recognizes that your wealth is about more than just money. We realize that you need to reach a level of comfort with your current situation before you can imagine a new future. Once you determine how much you need to live comfortably, there are often other things that are dear to your heart. We can help you strike the right balance so that you can enjoy financial stability and pursue your heart’s desires.

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Meet the Founder of our Widow Division, TruWealth® for Widows

Joy D. Kirsch is the founder of Merit’s TruWealth® for Widows program. She created this program as a result of her own widowhood in 1993 at the age of 30. She describes her journey as follows: “After six years with the man of my dreams and one year living in total hell as he spiraled down into depression and drugs, I was left trying to understand what went wrong and how someone with so much promise could decide that suicide was his best option. I was angry and afraid, and yet so sad and disappointed over the loss of my handsome husband whom I knew to be funny, strong, tender, and loving. I felt cheated out of my dreams, very alone, and financially vulnerable from the surprise debt that he had left me. Although I was a professional with a degree in economics AND a practicing Certified Financial Planner™, I was totally paralyzed by the experience of widowhood. Suddenly I went from someone who ran a small business and was comfortable with making decisions, to someone who was totally vulnerable and overwhelmed by the

sheer amount of decisions that needed to be made.  I felt incapable of accomplishing anything. Since I was raised in a “pull yourself up by the boot straps” kind of family, I ignored my grief and immediately went back to work.  I felt a great sense of accomplishment when I was able to check things off my “to do” list, never realizing that I was actually slowing my recovery by ignoring the emotional side of my grief.  I put off dealing with anything that required my heart and lived instead inside my poorly functioning brain. 

Read More About Joy

As I slowly got my own financial and personal house in order, I began to study how grief can affect our decision making.  Although the brain trust of knowledge around grief is still growing, experts believe that we lose as much as twenty percent of our brain power in times of duress.  It’s no wonder widows can make poor decisions…our brains literally aren’t working to their previous capacity! As I became more knowledgeable in human behavior, I began to work with other women who had lost their husbands, feeling like the combination of my personal loss, along with my financial and behavioral science training could be of assistance to them in their own journeys. Life Happens and sometimes it is difficult, but we get to influence the outcome. I want women to have the resilience, courage, and wisdom to make good financial decisions while moving forward through difficult times with confidence and a new sense of purpose.”

Although I was a professional with a degree in economics AND a practicing Certified Financial Planner™, I was totally paralyzed by the experience of widowhood. Suddenly I went from someone who ran a small business and was comfortable with making decisions, to someone who was totally vulnerable and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of decisions that needed to be made.  I felt incapable of accomplishing anything. Since I was raised in a “pull yourself up by the boot straps” kind of family, I ignored my grief and immediately went back to work.  I felt a great sense of accomplishment when I was able to check things off my “to do” list, never realizing that I was actually slowing my recovery by ignoring the emotional side of my grief.  I put off dealing with anything that required my heart and lived instead inside my poorly functioning brain. 

As I slowly got my own financial and personal house in order, I began to study how grief can affect our decision making.  Although the brain trust of knowledge around grief is still growing, experts believe that we lose as much as twenty percent of our brain power in times of duress.  It’s no wonder widows can make poor decisions…our brains literally aren’t working to their previous capacity! As I became more knowledgeable in human behavior, I began to work with other women who had lost their husbands, feeling like the combination of my personal loss, along with my financial and behavioral science training could be of assistance to them in their own journeys. Life Happens and sometimes it is difficult, but we get to influence the outcome. I want women to have the resilience, courage, and wisdom to make good financial decisions while moving forward through difficult times with confidence and a new sense of purpose.”

Joy believes that true wealth is not just a measure of one’s financial assets, but the sum of a person’s health, wealth and personal relationships. She has devoted her professional career to helping others define their values, dream new dreams and align their wealth accordingly. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner, a Certified Financial Transitionist® through the Sudden Money® Institute and the founder of The Widows Journey, a non-profit entity dedicated to educating and empowering widows to allow them to lean into life and make a difference in the world. She is a member of the Dallas Financial Planning Association and former chairman of the Fort Worth Business and Estate Section of the Tarrant County Bar Association. She is securities and insurance licensed and graduated cum laude from the University of Dallas with a bachelor’s degree in Economics.

Although Joy has won several industry awards, she is most proud of her twenty-five talented, beautiful and exceptional nieces and nephews. When she’s not hanging out with those family members, she enjoys golf and tennis, weight training, yoga, meditation and trying every new restaurant in Dallas with her beau, Ron.

Would You Like to Learn More?

Give us a call today to learn how our widow division could help you.

FROM GRIEF TO GROWTH TO GRACE™

Widowhood affects every aspect of life: emotional, social, spiritual, physiological and financial.  In order to move through this period and thrive, you must address the financial issues while you develop and practice personal resilience skills.  Both the technical and personal sides of widowhood are equally important and equally complex, and if you ignore either side, it affects the whole outcome.

The goal of TruWealth® for Widows is to address both the personal and technical sides of your loss while helping you make good decisions as you move forward with confidence and a sense of purpose.  To discuss your personal situation with our founder, Joy D. Kirsch, or work with a member of our team of Ambassadors, Contact us today.

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