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How to financially survive being widowed or divorced

Financial advisor Jeanie Knigin, who’s spent more than 40 years on Wall Street, has built a business around advising women over 50 who are either divorced or widowed.

“I have a real affinity with this group. I myself was both widowed and divorced by the time I was 50. I know when my husband died I was really adrift, so I think I can be of help to this group.”

Knigin, a first vice president in the wealth management group at Morgan Stanley (MS), guides clients through these life events.

First off, she encourages clients “to give themselves the gift of time.”

“I try to encourage women to be kind to themselves and not make any major decisions for the first year,” Knigin said.

She also makes sure that they have a team behind them, including their lawyer, accountant, and financial advisor.

“A lot of women — and men too — feel they have to make it on their own. And, that’s not true. They need to be part of a team.”

She also encourages all family members to attend meetings with financial advisors.

“Don’t just wait for some life event to happen.”

Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter. Send tips to laroche@oath.com.

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