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Stressful Events

adjusting withholdingAt times in our lives, we may be faced with sudden events, occurrences, or outcomes that we never expected to happen. Such events may cause us to react, even overreact out of emotion rather than taking time to think things through. Granted, this is easier said than done.

The death of a loved one can take a huge emotional toll on us. Aside from coping with our loss, there’s the additional stress of taking care of things after the death. Wills, trusts, property transfers, and retirement accounts all need to be handled.

Divorce is also a stressful event. Deciding on property division, living arrangements, parenting time, and legal aspects all take their toll. Feelings of fear, anger, sadness, and resignation can linger for a long time.

Losing a job also adds stress to our lives. Our minds may reel with the sudden loss of income, what we’re going to do next, along with the fear of being unemployed. Retirement plans may suddenly be shattered. Feelings of guilt may arise when a provider feels they’ve let their family down.

Throughout all these events, it is ok to slow things down, and even do nothing – for a period of time. It may also help to talk with someone to get their input and advice.

For example, when someone loses their job, he or she may feel they need to get money – and fast. This could lead to dipping into retirement accounts, gambling, or other unwise actions.

Instead, an individual can apply for unemployment, update their resume, and take some time to let the dust settle, before doing anything rash. Their emergency fund will help with expenses through this time as well.

In a divorce, reacting emotionally under stress can cause an individual to make decisions they’ll later regret. This could be from disposing or spending of assets unnecessarily, giving up assets they are otherwise entitled to, or relinquishing time with kids.

It’s ok to slow down and try to think clearly and reflect. Here’s where hiring an attorney may be a wise decision. As fiduciaries, they can take an unemotional approach to the divorce, with the knowledge of the law to help with the situation.

Regardless of the event, individuals may also benefit from talking with someone – a counselor, spouse, friend, loved one, or trusted professional. Taking with someone can help relieve some of the stress of the situation and the individual may have some objective, unbiased advice to help process and think clearer.

Taking the time to slow down, think, and not react emotionally can improve the outcome of an unpleasant situation and potentially save thousands of dollars from unwise decisions.


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