If you’ve read my past articles, you know that I’ve focused on financial education. Not surprising, since I’m a financial planner, right here in Bloomington-Normal. I believe smart money decisions are important for a secure future for my clients. However, at the heart of all I do, it’s not about finances at all, but the people I help and the relationships with my clients.
See, sometimes my job extends past the financial planning and being a trusted advisor. Sometimes, I am a sounding board, a shoulder to cry on, someone to listen, and someone to hold a hand and complete all of the daunting paperwork that comes with the loss of a spouse. I help people with their most intimate financial matters. Naturally, when a loved one is lost, there are a lot of intimate financial matters to deal with. We've seen a lot of this in the last 2 years. I suppose my practice has aged to a point where I have older clients, but also clients who have passed unexpectedly. My financial planning “job”, if you will, takes a back seat to the side of me who wants to nurture. I want to help in these matters out of empathy, to help ease the burden.
Today I was having a conversation with a long time client. Her husband passed away several years ago. I was telling her about the loss of my dad and how this month marks the one year anniversary of his death. She began discussing her continued grief with me, and of course asked about my mom and how she was doing.
I share this with you because she provided me with a valuable resource that I want to share. In my business, we love to send birthday cards and emails to those we know. I also know that we all receive a lot of mail, mostly from companies that have paid for a mailing list. From time to time, over the years, we have had someone call and notify us that we sent a piece of mail to a deceased person. We don't typically send mail with a purchased list, but regardless of the source, I understand how that can open a wound.
This is what happened to my client. She was receiving mail for her husband and it was another constant reminder. She learned about the Direct Marketing Association and their website where you can register a deceased person. The goal of this website is to cut down on the amount of mail and offers you receive for a deceased person. I didn't know this existed, so I thought it would be beneficial to share. https://www.ims-dm.com/cgi/ddnc.php
I'm also attaching a link to another resource you might find valuable if you are dealing with the loss of a loved one. This is provided by Calvert and Metzler Funeral Home and is full of grief resources. http://www.calvertmemorial.com/grief-resources.html
On a side note, I personally understand the decisions that must be made after the death of a loved one. I can't imagine going through that alone, without a strong support system. If you are reading this blog, you probably understand too. These decisions add to the burden and grief you are already feeling at that time. Being a part of my client’s support system during this time is one of my most sacred duties! I’ve really begun to realize that implementing a financial plan is only the beginning of my relationship with my clients and the most important part of what I do is being there for them when they need me most.
In the coming weeks we will be introducing The McBeath Financial Focus, a new video series where special expert guests will be tackling subjects like Estate Planning, Charitable Giving, Pre Planning, etc. One of these guests is Chad Sparks of Calvert Funeral Homes. He and I will be discussing funeral pre-planning and how it can impact your family, finances and future in a positive way. We will of course have this series posted online, so make sure and subscribe to our blog and newsletter to make sure you don’t miss these episodes.