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Financial planning is vital to a surviving spouse's future

Whether they live here in Colorado or somewhere else in the country, it is never too late for older couples to prepare for the future. Financial planning is a vital part of preparing for a surviving spouse's future. This will help the one left behind maintain an adequate standard of living.

In a perfect world, everyone would engage in this type of planning as soon as possible. However, it fails to happen more often than anyone would like to admit. A study conducted by Age Wave and Merrill Lynch revealed that over half of the widows who participated admitted that their now-deceased spouses failed to make any financial plans in advance of their deaths.

The study also found that over half of the participants lost at least 50 percent of their income when their spouses passed away. Finally, the data revealed that 76 percent of retired couples had failed to make financial preparations for the death of one of them up to that point. Perhaps participating in the study prompted at least some of the couples surveyed to make some sort of plan. Obviously, few people enjoy discussing their death or the death of their spouses, but that does not mean the conversation should be avoided.

Colorado couples approaching or at retirement age may want to do some financial planning if they have not already done so. Depending on a family's financial situation, any number of plans could be devised. In order to know which plan will work best under the circumstances, it may be a good idea to consult with an estate planning attorney before moving forward.

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