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Frequently Asked

In the midst of navigating the complexities that follow the loss of a spouse, our FAQ page serves as your starting point towards understanding and taking action.  Should you find your questions remain unanswered, we encourage you to complete a form here and a representative will reply.  At Wings for Widows, we’re committed to guiding you through this challenging time with care and expertise, helping you find clarity and peace on the path to recovery.

Our financial coaching services are offered at no cost to you. At Wings for Widows, we are driven by the belief that every person facing the journey of widowhood deserves access to quality financial guidance and support. We understand that professional financial advice can be costly, and we are committed to ensuring that no one is left without the help they need during such a crucial time. Our goal is to make professional financial advice accessible to all, helping you navigate your path forward with confidence and security.

Absolutely, all our volunteer financial coaches are not only licensed but also bring a wealth of experience to their roles. Each coach is a registered, practicing or retired financial advisor who has chosen to dedicate part of their time to supporting widowed individuals through their financial recovery journey. Our coaches are deeply committed to our mission and understand the critical need for their expertise during such a vulnerable time.

What sets our coaches apart is their Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) certification, recognized as the “gold standard” in financial planning. This ensures that you are receiving guidance from professionals with the highest level of expertise and ethical standards. Additionally, our coaches undergo specialized training at Wings for Widows, equipping them with unique tools, processes, and materials designed to meet the specific needs of the newly widowed. This combination of experience, dedication, and specialized training ensures our coaches are uniquely positioned to provide the superior support and advice you deserve.

A Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) professional is a distinction granted by the CFP® Board of Standards, signifying a high level of proficiency and ethics in financial planning. Unlike the term “financial planner,” which can be used by virtually anyone, the title of CFP® professional is reserved for those who have met the Board’s stringent qualifications. This includes completing rigorous educational requirements, acquiring significant experience in financial planning services, and passing a comprehensive examination.

CFP® professionals are also committed to upholding high ethical standards, ensuring that they act in the best interest of their clients at all times. This certification is not merely a title; it is a pledge to maintain the integrity and quality of financial planning.

At Wings for Widows, we recognize the value and expertise that CFP® certified coaches bring to those navigating financial uncertainty post-loss. That is why we exclusively engage coaches who have earned this prestigious certification, ensuring that the financial coaching and advice you receive comes from highly qualified and ethical professionals.

Yes, we ask that you sign a letter of agreement, which serves to clarify the expectations and scope of your financial coaching experience with us. This is not a binding contract but rather a mutual understanding of the journey we’re embarking on together. It’s important to us that you feel comfortable and informed about the process. Our services are completely free, and while there’s no obligation to see the coaching engagement through to completion, we do encourage you to take full advantage of the support and guidance offered. Our aim is to provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to navigate your financial future with confidence.

The Financial Wellness Check is a carefully designed tool aimed at assisting new widows and widowers in evaluating their immediate financial situation following the loss of a spouse. Comprising 30 questions, this survey generates a Wellness Score, offering a snapshot of your financial health at a given moment. This score, which is emailed to you, provides valuable insights into where you stand financially, guiding you in deciding whether financial coaching could be beneficial for your circumstances.

Wings for Widows ensures the confidentiality of your survey results, which are shared only with your assigned coach. This initial overview allows your coach to understand your financial standing from the outset, facilitating a more tailored and effective coaching process. Rest assured, we prioritize your privacy and do not require any sensitive personal information like your birthdate or social security number. For more details, we encourage you to review our Privacy Policy.

Absolutely not. At Wings for Widows, our commitment is purely to support and educate widows and widowers navigating the complex journey of loss, without any financial obligation on your part. Our services, including financial coaching and educational webinars, are completely free of charge. We assure you, there is no hidden catch or gimmick behind our offerings. Our organization is fueled by a genuine passion for assisting individuals in your situation, aiming to provide meaningful guidance and support during this challenging time. Your well-being is our sole focus, and we stand by our mission to help without any cost to you.

Wings for Widows is dedicated to supporting both widows and widowers through the challenging aftermath of losing a spouse. The journey of grief, coupled with the necessity to handle practical matters, is universally daunting, regardless of gender. It’s an entirely new and overwhelming situation where, without professional guidance, both men and women are equally at risk of making hasty or ill-informed decisions.

We recognize that men might sometimes be hesitant to seek help, often due to societal expectations or personal reluctance to express vulnerability. However, it is important to understand that reaching out for support is a sign of strength, not weakness. Our program is designed to offer the necessary tools and advice to navigate this difficult period, and we encourage men to take advantage of the benefits our coaching and resources can provide. At Wings for Widows, we are here to assist all individuals in need, ensuring they do not face these challenges alone.

The duration of financial coaching with Wings for Widows varies, adapting to the unique needs and circumstances of each individual. After you are matched with your coach, the coaching engagement can span from a few weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of your financial situation and your personal commitment to the process. Sessions typically last around 90 minutes.

We understand that life’s challenges, such as caring for young children, dealing with health issues, or moving homes, can impact your availability and pace. Our approach is flexible, designed to accommodate your specific needs and schedule. It’s important to note that the role of your financial coach is to guide and support you through the financial decisions and tasks that arise after losing a spouse, not to do the work for you. Therefore, the timeline for completing the coaching largely depends on your engagement and the intricacies of your financial situation.

Navigating the financial complexities after the loss of a spouse is a journey that requires not only guidance but also personal motivation and commitment. At Wings for Widows, we recognize that despite the critical need for financial coaching during such vulnerable times, maintaining motivation can be challenging for our clients. This is especially true when faced with the profound grief and adjustments that follow a spouse’s passing. Moreover, life’s unexpected distractions—be it family obligations, health issues, or other personal matters—can further disrupt an individual’s coaching engagement.

It’s crucial for clients to recognize the significance of their own role in the coaching process. The value and effectiveness of financial coaching are maximized when clients actively participate and stay committed to the journey. While our coaches provide expert guidance and support, the real progress is made when clients apply this guidance to their financial decisions and tasks.

Our financial coaching is meticulously tailored to meet your unique needs, covering a broad spectrum of topics across nine essential categories. While every individual’s situation is distinct, our experience has shown that there are common questions and challenges most people face in the wake of losing a spouse. Our approach ensures that we address these shared concerns while also focusing on the specific aspects of your financial situation. To delve deeper into how our personalized coaching can assist you and to explore the areas we cover, we invite you to visit here for more information. This comprehensive approach allows us to provide support that is both relevant and transformative, guiding you towards financial and family stability.

Indeed, navigating the financial aftermath of losing a spouse on your own is possible, and many choose this path. The wealth of information available in books and online, from detailed guides to exhaustive to-do lists, offers a starting point. However, the practicality of sifting through extensive material or finding reliable, actionable advice amidst personal grief can be daunting and inefficient. While friends, clergy, or support groups provide comfort and advice, their guidance may not always be rooted in professional expertise or tailored to your specific financial needs.

This is precisely where the value of a dedicated financial coach becomes evident. Most widowed individuals find that professional assistance is crucial in managing the complexities of their new financial reality. Not everyone has a financial advisor, and even for those who do, the personalized, compassionate support offered by Wings for Widows stands out. Our financial coaches are experienced professionals committed to navigating you through your unique circumstances, ensuring that you have the knowledge and resources to make informed decisions without incurring unnecessary risks.

At Wings for Widows, we provide this expert guidance free of charge, offering a trustworthy partnership in a time of uncertainty. When faced with the question of who to trust with your financial future, let Wings for Widows be your ally, ensuring you’re supported, informed, and empowered to move forward.

When you first get in touch with us, we’ll ask for some basic info to keep the conversation going. Don’t worry, we steer clear of the really personal stuff like your social security number, birthdate, or any IDs. And we definitely won’t ask for things like your bank account numbers, passwords, or any online banking details.

If you decide to take our Financial Wellness Check, rest assured, your answers are kept securely in our system for a year. If we end up not working together, we use your answers (minus any personal identifiers like your name and email) for research to help improve our services. But, if you join our Financial Coaching Program, your coach gets a summary of your Wellness Check. This helps them understand where you’re starting from and tailor the coaching to your needs.

Throughout your coaching, you’re in control of how much personal info you share with your coach. The more they know, the better they can help, but we respect your privacy and boundaries.

Everything you share with your coach stays between you and them. Wings for Widows keeps the initial contact info you provide confidential and it’s never shared outside our organization. For a deeper dive into how we protect your privacy, take a look at our Privacy Policy.

Since 2020, we’ve transitioned to virtual coaching, a move prompted by the pandemic but one that has proven to be incredibly convenient for both our coaches and the people we help. After being matched with your financial coach, you’ll connect through a virtual platform that they use, which could be Zoom, Google Meetings, Microsoft Teams, or similar services.

Together, you’ll navigate through your financial journey with the help of our “Widow’s Guide to Financial Wellness,” a guidebook specifically designed to steer your coaching sessions. This valuable resource will be provided to you free of charge before your first session, laying the groundwork for your discussions.

Virtual sessions offer the flexibility to participate from any device—whether it’s a personal computer, laptop, iPad, or mobile phone. For an optimal experience, a larger screen is beneficial, but we’ve successfully conducted sessions over the phone when necessary.

One of the greatest benefits of our virtual coaching is the ability to include family and friends in your sessions, regardless of their location. This can be particularly comforting if you don’t have supportive loved ones nearby. We encourage you to take advantage of this feature and gather a supportive circle around you as you navigate through this challenging period.

Matching you with the right financial coach is a process we handle with care. Initially, availability plays a key role; we aim to connect you with a coach as soon as one is ready to take on a new client. Whenever feasible, we try to pair you with a coach who is based in your state to foster a sense of familiarity and understanding of local financial regulations and nuances. If that’s not an option, we prioritize matching you with a coach within the same time zone, easing the process of scheduling your sessions.

No matter the geographic match, rest assured that all our coaches are equipped with the same high level of credentials and have undergone thorough training. Our goal is to ensure that your experience is both enriching and supportive, regardless of who your coach is. We are confident that you will find your coaching sessions to be rewarding and instrumental in your journey to financial wellness.

Absolutely, transitioning to a professional, paid relationship with your coach after the conclusion of your pro bono financial coaching is an option. It’s important to note, however, that our coaches adhere to a strict policy of not soliciting clients at any point—before, during, or after your free coaching sessions. This means that if you find value in your coach’s guidance and wish to continue working with them on a paid basis, you’ll need to initiate this conversation yourself.

We do request that any discussions about entering into a paid arrangement be saved until after your pro bono engagement has officially ended, meaning after your final session. This ensures that the focus remains on your immediate financial wellness throughout the coaching process, without any distractions or conflicts of interest.

We do not charge for our financial planning services.

Yes. All of our coaches are registered, licensed and practicing financial advisors who take time from their own practices to help widows and widowers in distress. Moreover, they also have their Certified Financial Planner (CFP) credentials. Our coaches have been through additional training with Wings for Widows as well, because we have our own proprietary process, tools, and materials.  

From the Certified Planner Board of Standards: “Most people think all financial planners are ‘certified,’ but this isn’t true. Just about anyone can use the title ‘financial planner.’ CFP Board benefits the public by independently certifying financial planners. Although CFP Board does not guarantee their work, CFP® professionals have met rigorous qualifications for financial planning. Only those who have fulfilled CFP Board’s rigorous requirements can call themselves a CFP® professional.” 

“As part of their certification, CFP® professionals commit to high ethical standards. Moreover, a CFP® professional must acquire several years of experience related to delivering financial planning services to clients and pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Exam before they can call themselves a CFP® professional.” 

No. We will have you endorse a letter of intent to set expectations for your financial coaching engagement, but there is no binding agreement or contract. We do not charge for our services, and there is no obligation to complete your coaching engagement (though we highly encourage it) 

We created the Financial Wellness Check to help new widows and widowers get a sense of where they are in addressing the practical matters that must be taken care of after the loss of a spouse. It is a 35-question survey that results in a score. Your results are emailed to you. Based on your score you will have a better sense of your current financial situation and can better assess if financial coaching is right for you. 

Wings for Widows also receives a copy of your results and encourages you to schedule 30 minutes to speak with one of our kind and knowledgeable FinancialCare™ team members to review your score and help you determine the level of service that is right for you. You are under no obligation to accept our offer of assistance. Our only goal is that you are getting the help and support you need during this difficult time. Should you decide to work with us, your results may be used as a starting point with your financial coach. None of your information is ever shared outside of Wings for Widows. Please see our Privacy Policy. 

No. We have nothing to sell. We do not charge for our financial coaching services. There is no catch and no gimmick. We are passionate about helping widows and widowers after the loss of a beloved spouse. 

We help both widows and widowers. Losing a spouse and contending with all the practical matters is no different – no easier – for men than it is for women. It’s all new, overwhelming, and men can make the same bad decisions without professional help as can women. 

Typically, once you’ve been paired with one of our financial coaches, the “engagement” lasts from a few weeks to a few months. Most sessions are 90 minutes. Every person’s situation is different, and some are more motivated than others. We do work at your pace, allowing for extra time for those caring for young children, experiencing health issues, or in the process of relocating. Your financial coach does not do the work for you but rather guides you through the maze of things to do following the loss of a spouse. 

We will address hundreds of questions in nine categories, as they may apply to your situation. Everybody’s situation is unique, but we have found over the years that many must address the same questions and overcome the same issues. Visit here to learn more. 

Of course, you can go it alone. There are dozens of financial books on the subject, but trying to work through a 300-page book doesn’t seem like a practical option for most widows. There are many lists of things to do available on the internet. However, most widows do not choose to make this journey without professional help of some kind. Widows may rely on their financial advisor if they have one or on someone else they trust if they don’t. Not everyone has a financial advisor or a family member who can help, and that’s where Wings for Widows is a valuable resource. When you work with one of our financial coaches, at no charge, you will have an experienced person walking alongside you, guiding you through the practical matters relevant to you. They help you  with questions, direct you to resources, help you take action and ensure you don’t make costly mistakes.  

Initially, we do gather basic contact information. We never ask for your social security number, birthdate, or driver’s license number. We do not collect account numbers, passwords, or online credentials. If you take our Financial Wellness Check, the information is stored in a secure temporary fie in our contact manager (Bloomerang). Financial Wellness Check information is purged annually if we never work with you. If we do engage in financial coaching with you, we will share your Financial Wellness Check answers with your coach and only your coach. During your coaching engagement, you only need to share as much personal information with your coach as you feel comfortable sharing. The information you need to make decisions will be located by you and stored in your workbook only. 

Your personal information is never shared beyond Wings for Widows. Please see our Privacy Policy. 

We rely on Zoom technology to connect with our widowed clients. You will be sent an invitation with a passcode to log on with your coach on the day and time of your mutually agreed upon appointment. You can join the zoom coaching session from a personal computer, laptop, iPad or mobile phone. The bigger your device’s screen the better your experience will be. But we’ve coached widows over the phone, too. You will receive our guidebook, at no charge, and together with a coach you will work through the guidebook session after the virtual session.  

The wonderful thing about our virtual coaching sessions is that you can invite family and/or friends from anywhere in the world to join you. This is a huge advantage for widows who do not have family members or friends living nearby. We highly encourage surrounding yourself with loving family and friends during this most difficult time.  

Often, the match is made based on when a coach is available. When possible, we attempt to ensure you and your coach are in the same time zone to make scheduling your sessions easier. Also, when possible, we consider your age and the age of your coach. Regardless, all of our coaches possess the same credentials and training, and we know you’ll have a rewarding experience.  

Yes, once the financial coaching engagement ends you and your coach are free to pursue a professional relationshipUnderstand that your coach will never solicit you during the engagement, so if this is something you are interested in, you will have to approach your coachWe ask that this discussion happen after the engagement has concluded, i.e., after your last session.