Author: Fran Hackett
Your Best Decision in a Difficult Time
Making important financial decisions can be difficult for anyone, even under the best of circumstances. But making them after you’ve experienced the death of a loved one can seem like an impossible task and is often far from being a priority. Finances are most likely the furthest thing from your mind when you are grieving.
In addition, your already strong emotions may be compounded by receiving a payment from your loved one’s life insurance. On the one hand, you may feel relieved to have funds to pay for immediate expenses that may arise. On the other hand, you might feel overwhelmed and confused about what to do with the money. The life insurance payment does not replace your loved one and you may even wish you did not have the money at all. These feelings are shared by many survivors and are a normal reaction.
It may take several months or even longer after the death of your loved one before you can begin thinking about your current and future financial picture. Once you are ready to start thinking about your finances, then you may wonder what you should do next and who to turn to for advice.
One of the things you should know if you received benefits through Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI), Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI), or Family SGLI (FSGLI) is that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made free financial counseling available to you for an unlimited period of time.
You can contact this service for answers to any of your simple financial questions, or you may request a detailed financial plan customized to your needs, based on additional information you provide. This financial plan can help you:
- Make informed spending choices
- Determine which debts to pay off first
- Protect your credit
- Create an “emergency fund”
- Plan for your child’s education
- Plan for retirement
- Develop investment strategies
Most importantly, you may find that this service can help you make sense of the more immediate financial decisions that you may face, and at the same time provide you with the guidance you need to gain a sense of security about your financial future.
The financial service afforded to beneficiaries by the VA is provided by an independent company whose team of financial professionals includes many veterans who understand military and veteran benefits. They are not affiliated with any investment firm or bank, do not receive commissions, and will not try to sell you any products or services. You can be assured that you will receive objective guidance in a pressure-free atmosphere from individuals who have your best interests at heart.
The loss you suffered is a significant life event. There are many emotions you may need to process before you even begin to think about making financial decisions. Above all else, it is important that you take the time to cope with your loss in a way that’s right for you. Then, when you are ready, you can decide what is best for your unique circumstances.
If you received a life insurance payment from SGLI, VGLI, or FSGLI, then you are eligible for free financial counseling as often as you feel is necessary. The counselors are available to meet with you as soon as you feel the time is right. There is no rush because your access to this service will never expire.
If you are interested in learning more about the financial counseling services that are available if you are a SGLI, VGLI, or FSGLI beneficiary, then please call Financial Point at 888-243-7351 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Fran Hackett, Vice President of Administration and OSGLI, Prudential’s Group Insurance