TruWealth® for Widows: From Grief To Growth To Grace™
Widowhood affects every aspect of life: emotional, social, spiritual, physiological, and financial. To successfully move through this period and thrive, you must address the financial issues while you develop and practice personal resilience skills. It was with the understanding that both the technical and personal sides of widowhood are equally important and equally complex, that our financial planning process, TruWealth® for Widows, was founded.
Although many of Merit’s financial advisors support widows through the administrative process following the loss of their spouse, and all our widowed clients have access to tools developed specifically for widows, a few of our advisors have taken the initiative to complete a six-week training program that covers our trademarked financial planning process, TruWealth® for Widows. These Ambassadors receive special training on how to help you integrate the personal and technical sides of your loss with the goal of helping you make good financial decisions as you move forward with confidence and a sense of purpose.
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
- Maya Angelou
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.
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.
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.
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. 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...