Caring hands

Why I Specialize in Helping Widows, Inheritors, and Caregivers

People often ask me why I chose to work with clients who have lost a loved one or are affected by an illness, or injury. To other planners it seems like a tough choice of clientele as there is a lot of emotion tied in to working in this space.

For me, it’s not solely about the numbers; it’s about making a meaningful impact during life’s most vulnerable moments. My decision to specialize in helping widows, inheritors, and caregivers stems from my personal experiences. The reasons are layered, yet they all flow together. In general, they may all be experiencing new financial responsibility.

Supporting individuals coping with loss has been a natural strength of mine for as long as I can remember; it’s a role I’ve always gravitated toward. My earliest memory was from when I was three years old. I can vividly picture visiting my great-grandparent’s home when my great-grandfather was in his final days. I recall my mother taking to my great-grandmother in the kitchen while I held my dad’s hand as we went into the bedroom where my great-grandfather rested. I can still see the oxygen tank next to his bed and the green stripes on his pajamas. I was too young to fully understand, but I knew I was helping by holding my dad’s hand. Throughout my life I have found that people are drawn to me for support during times of loss.

Fast forward almost 80 years, my father took a drive to Home Depot, and never returned home. He was in a car accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury. When they called me, they weren’t even sure who he was, they needed me to identify him, followed up with, “I can’t tell you anything until it’s all verified.”  After a pause, I got, “I can tell you he is still alive at this point.”  It took me around 11 hours to get to him. Luckily, we had recently updated his estate documents and talked about his wishes in the case of an event like this. I was able to get the doctors to sign off on the medical power of attorney and make decisions for him that I knew were what he wanted. After things settled a bit in the hospital, I was able to start making financial changes to prepare and benefit him and his heirs for his new outlook for his future. I met with attorneys in two states and created a new plan that would see that his wishes would be met as best as possible. If I wasn’t a financial planner, this process would have been very overwhelming even with the documents in order. Without them, it would have been a disastrous mess. My father is still alive today and I am his primary caretaker.

At some point in my life, between those experiences and before I entered the financial services industry, I inherited some money. At that point in time, I knew nothing about investing. During the turbulence of loss and grief, I found myself overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do next. I found myself in a game of ping pong with my financial advisor telling me to talk to my CPA and my CPA telling me I needed to talk to my financial advisor. It was frustrating and I really wanted and needed guidance from someone knowledgeable and trustworthy, which proved to be hard to find.

I have worked with many clients who have lost their spouse or have a spouse who is ill. I have heard their stories from working with other advisors and being persuaded into purchasing products, feeling like they were talked over, or not feeling like they were being heard. I feel there is a great importance of empathy and understanding in financial planning, especially during times of vulnerability. It reinforced my commitment to providing a supportive and collaborative environment where clients feel heard, respected, and empowered to make informed decisions that align with their unique circumstances and goals. 

Everyone’s situation is unique, but there are a lot of decisions that need to be made when a loved one passes, is injured, or diagnosed with an illness. There are also many things that can wait until a more tranquil time. There is reason to avoid making some big decisions during these times. Knowing what to prioritize now and what to postpone is crucial, and having a trusted advisor by your side can be invaluable. Assisting widows, inheritors, and caregivers isn’t always easy. Emotions run high, and every client’s journey is unique. Yet, I find immense fulfillment in being able to offer guidance, support, and a shoulder to lean on when needed most.

In the end, my decision to focus on widows, inheritors, and caregivers isn’t just about business; it’s about empathy, understanding, and a genuine desire to help others navigate life’s most challenging moments with confidence and clarity. 

Linda Grizely is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and the owner of Visions Financial Planning, a business designed to nurture strength and resilience and to empower people to visualize and achieve a future that’s secure and filled with promise. She’d love to hear your story and explore the possibilities for collaboration. Please feel welcome to arrange a time to talk for a free 30-minute introductory meeting.