Daughter and Mother Cook


Linda (age 58), a recent widow, feels overwhelmed by the financial issues that need attention following her husband’s passing. While they had both worked full time, he handled most of the family finances, leaving her unsure of how to manage her new financial situation – much less where to start.

Primary Goal

Understand how her financial situation has changed and if she could afford her current lifestyle: Will her money last the rest of her life? Should she downsize her home or consider returning to work full or part time?

How We Helped

Consolidated her investment assets and accounts, and created an investment strategy designed to help protect and grow her assets. Ran several retirement plan scenarios to help answer her questions so that she could make informed decisions about her financial future.

A Widow’s Success Story

How We Helped Linda, a Recent Widow, Understand Her New Financial Situation

Linda (age 58) is a recent widow. Her late husband Jeff was the primary breadwinner, and enjoyed investing. Linda retired two years ago (a bit early), but had no pension – just some 401(k) investments. They have two children – one is already in the workforce. The other child is a sophomore at a local college, and Linda is worried about leaving him with student debt.

Linda lives in the San Francisco Bay Area home where she and Jeff raised their children. Now an empty nester, she feels that the home may be too large for her – but she is not emotionally ready to make a change, if she can avoid it.

Linda’s sources of income are her late husband’s pension, her Social Security survivor benefit and draws on her investment accounts. She may return to work if needed.

With her husband gone and the children leading their own lives, Linda knows she needs new interests to fill her life. But she wants to know her financial situation before deciding on a job, bucket-list travel, or sticking to more modest local activities.

Linda needs a clear picture of her new and future financial situation to help her address her fears of outliving her money or making catastrophic financial decisions.

The Goal

Understanding her present and future finances as a new widow

Linda wants a clear understanding of her new situation as a widow and a plan to ensure her finances will last as long as she does. 

Her goals are to:

  • Find out if her resources are enough or if she should consider making some changes, like downsizing her home or returning to the workforce.
  • Consolidate her assets to help create a centralized investment plan focused on protecting and growing her nest egg while also helping to produce a reliable monthly income.
  • Learn more about her various financial options and how each affects her long-term retirement – without having to take a hands-on role in managing her assets.
  • Work with an understanding financial advisor who can help to guide her through this challenging transition and accompany her as a trusted resource along the way.

The Solution

A clear and secure financial path forward for a new widow

We met with Linda to discuss her needs, fears and goals so that we could begin addressing the financial matters that she felt most overwhelming. Capital Advantage helped Linda to clarify her new financial situation and begin to understand what it would take to position her for a more secure future. To accomplish her goals, we:

  • Consolidated Linda’s investment accounts and helped her to transfer her late husband’s company retirement accounts to her name.
  • Created an investment strategy aligned with her risk tolerance that was structured to help meet her needs for growth, protection, and ongoing income.
  • Modeled multiple retirement plan scenarios, including one that showed Linda that she shouldn’t need to return to work if she downsized her home within the next five years, and another that showed Linda how long she would need to work if she wished to remain in her current home.
  • Talked through the various retirement plan scenarios to help Linda decide on her next steps.
  • Scheduled regular reviews of Linda’s investment strategy and spending plan to keep her on track and help her adjust for unexpected life changes.

With a clear picture of her finances and a plan in place, Linda can look forward to peace of mind as she rebuilds her life without Jeff.

Please Note: Limitations. The above is a hypothetical scenario not involving an actual Capital Advantage client. The story illustrates the hypothetical experience of a fictitious client based on a scenario that an actual client might experience. The scenario is designed to help illustrate how Capital Advantage might provide services to similarly situated clients. Keeping in mind that no two clients, situations, or experiences are exactly alike, the above should not be construed as an endorsement of Capital Advantage by any of its past or current clients, nor any assurance that Capital Advantage may be able to help any client achieve the same satisfactory results. To the contrary, there can be no assurance that a client or prospective client will experience a certain level of results or satisfaction if Capital Advantage is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services. A copy of our current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available on this website.

Do You Understand Your Finances as a Widow – Now and for the Future?

Sit down with one of our financial advisors for a no-cost, no-obligation financial analysis to determine if your assets are enough to cover your needs and wants for today and for your future. We’ll provide a financial game plan that lets you focus on rebuilding your everyday life, knowing you have caring experts on your team to help manage your finances.