Frequently Asked Questions | Wings for Widows
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Frequently Asked Questions

When you don’t quite know where to start after losing a spouse, you can start with us. Start with  a financial coach to help you deal with all the crap – the practical matters – that comes with losing a spouse. Or you can begin right here with our most commonly asked questions. When you’re done cruising our website, please call or send us an email so we can begin to help you confront your gut-wrenching anxiety, calm your fears, and clear the path toward a new normal.

We do not charge for our financial planning service or for anything else. We are a 501(c)3 pubic non-profit and do not charge for our services; we are able to provide these services through generous donations and grants.  

Yes! That’s what separates our coaches from all others. Plus, they have received their Certified Financial Planner (CFP) credentials. Financial literacy and most other financial education services have “consultants” or “counselors,” not licensed financial advisors. The difference is in the advice. Our financial coaches can provide helpful advice, others cannot. And as your fiduciary, the advice they provide will always be in your best interest. 

Not only are our coaches licensed and credentialed, we only work with financial advisors who come to us through the Foundation for Financial Planning (FFP). The FFP supports pro bono financial planning so the advisors we work with have a heart for our mission and do not expect to get paid for their experience and expertise. Our coaches will never solicit you for your business. Finally, our coaches have completed additional training required by the FFP and Wings for Widows because we have our own proprietary process, tools, and materials.  

Most people think all financial planners are “certified,” but this isn’t true. Just about anyone can use the title “financial planner.” The CFP Board benefits the public by independently certifying financial planners. Although the 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, 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 Progress 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, which is emailed to you. Based on your score you will have a sense of how you are progressing and if you might need additional help.  

Wings for Widows does receive a copy of your results and will reach out to offer assistance. 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 do not charge for our financial planning services or for anything elseYou will receive our New Widow’s Guide to Financial Wellness workbook completely free. There is no catch and no gimmicks. We are passionate about helping widows and widowers after the loss of a spouse. 

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

Typically, once you’ve been paired with financial coach, the “engagement” lasts from a few weeks to a few months. There are usually four sessions, each about 90 minutes. Everyone’s situation is different and some are more motivated than others. We allow extra time for those caring for young children, experiencing health issues, or in the process of relocating. We know from experience that you will value every minute you devote to financial planning.  

We will address many issues and questions common to all in the aftermath of losing a spouse. We will also address your specific situation and the issues that you are concerned about. Everybody’s situation is unique, but rarely do our CFP coaches run into something they haven’t seen before. Your coach does not do the work for you, but rather guides you through the maze of things you must do. Visit here to learn more. 

You might think of Wings for Widows as an emergency room for new widows, and widowers, where we treat financial trauma.   

If you experience a medical trauma, you likely visit the ER. You don’t try to fix a broken arm at home; you go see a doctor. Someone with experience; someone you can trust to take care of you.  

Likewise, when you lose a spouse, doesn’t it make sense to get professional help? 

Of course, you could go it alone. But if you’ve never lost a spouse before, how could you possibly know what steps to take and what missteps to avoid?  Yes, there are books and the internet – presumably you could read or surf your way to financial wellness, respectively. But most fall far short of successfully navigating these new, uncharted waters on their own. If you have a financial advisor, professional network, or family member who can help you muddle through, you should definitely seek assistance. But not everyone has this support, and that’s where Wings for Widows can come alongside, at no cost, and provide this expert support.   

Any information you provide us is only used within Wings for Widows and only if you proceed with financial planning. We never share your information; please see our Privacy Policy. 

We never ask for your social security number. We do not collect account numbers, passwords, or online credentials. The information we do gather is stored in secure, temporary file, protected by two-factor authentication and limited access. If you proceed with financial coaching, the information you share with Wings for Widows is shared with your assigned coach before your first session. It’s important that your coach has some information about your situation before you begin working together. Otherwise, what you share with your coach during the financial planning engagement is NOT shared with Wings for Widows.  

Our coaches have been connecting with their own clients virtually for more than 18 months now using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype or other video conferencing technology.  You can join your coaching session from a personal computer (pc), laptop, iPad, or mobile phone. The bigger your device’s screen the better experience you’ll have. But we’ve coached widows over the phone, too. You will receive our guidebook, at no charge, and together with your coach you will work through the guidebook session after 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 clients who do not have family members living nearby. We highly encourage inviting a trusted family member or friend to join you during your sessions. “Two heads are better than one” is certainly true following the loss of a spouse.