AZ asks: Ida Independent Part 8

Ida Independent is a 48 year old stay-at-home Mom of two children who is now going through a divorce.  Ida and her husband had decided early on in their marriage that it was in the best interest of the family if she did not work outside of the home so that you could spend her time concentrating on the children and the family.  As a one income family, with no work experience outside of the home since her marriage, Ida was shocked to learn that their financial status had deteriorated to a level that now would require her to find a paying job as soon as possible. Ida had trusted her husband to protect the family financially, but their lack of communication about money played a major role in the derailment of their marriage.

AZ asks: Ida Part 8

AZ asks:  Ida, if you remember that during our initial meeting, the first question I asked you was if you knew what your monthly living expenses were?

Yes, I remember and I said that I had a general idea. But after we discussed it in more detail, I finally understood why it was so important that I be as specific and thorough as possible. This is the only way to have a clear picture as to how we are currently living and then how and where we expect to live in the future. This information is needed in order to develop a comprehensive financial plan that is specific to my individual goals and objectives.

AZ asks:  At the end of this meeting, I gave you an outline of the information and documents listed below that we needed in order to understand where you were right now and where you need to be in the future so that we can prepare the best financial plan for you.


  • Short
  • Long term


  • Copy of paystub(s) with deductions

Current Expenses

Balance Sheet

  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • Life Insurance Cash Value



  • Medical
  • Property & Causality Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Umbrella Insurance


Social Security Statements

Other Income

  • Alimony
  • Child Support
  • Trusts
  • Inheritance


Tax Returns

Mortgage Statements

Retirement Plans

Non-retirement Statements

Credit card statements with interest rates


AZ asks: How is this fact-finding and data gathering process progressing?

I am almost done gathering the balance of the information for you that I didn’t already have on hand. I am also been spending a great deal of effort concentrating on what exactly my Goals and Objectives are. I know that the decisions I make now will have a tremendous impact on these down the road.

If I don’t know where I am going, how will I know when I get there or how to even get there? I am working very hard to be as realistic as possible and some of my obvious Goals and Objectives are to…

  1. Complete a comprehensive financial plan.
  2. Develop strategies to manage our debt.
  3. Make sure I can provide a good home and education for the girls.
  4. Evaluate all of our insurance needs to determine the amount and type of insurance that is actually needed to protect our family.
  5. Save for retirement.
  6. Determine if our assets are sufficient to provide for these goals and objectives.


  1. G. And decide if I will be doing this alone from now on!


To be continued…

Ida Independent is not affiliated with nor endorsed by LPL Financial.

About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™). If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

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