Life Transitions

Helping Clients Navigate Life Transitions Part III: Marriage and Children

by Kristan Wojnar

We've addressed the transitions surround new/lost employment and purchasing a new home.  In this post, we'll cover two other related transitions and how to help your clients through the challenges associated with each. 

Tying and Untying the Knot: Marriage/Child Getting Married/Divorce

The financial considerations with any one of these three events are tremendous.  However, each one also involved many emotional aspects and it is all too easy for clients to overlook the financial aspects. From advice on event planning and managing the related financial expenditures to updating insurance policies and financial accounts, your help during these times may not only help your client manage the financial aspects, but also potentially eliminate some of the stress associate with these transitions. 

From a connection standpoint, be sure to reconnect with clients after a wedding and offer help with ways to manage any wedding debt, establish a budget and guidance on saving for their retirement. In divorce situations, your offer of help may include referrals of divorce attorneys, hand written notes of support and assistance with the financial documents needed by the divorce attorney.

Birth of Baby/Adoption

To put the financial magnitude of this transition into perspective, consider the following estimate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:  A middle income family will spend over $250,000+ raising a child to the age of 17. And that figure seems like a bargain once you start to add in college expenses (another significant transition we'll address).

Help out your new parents-to-be by reviewing health and life insurance options, encourage them to establish a will and raise awareness on the average cost of daycare. For clients pursuing adoption, help them create a financial plan early on in the process.  Once the baby arrives, a gift personalized with the baby's name or have a prepared meal delivered to the newly exhausted parents.