One Well Widow

Suddenly Single - Financial Advice with Heart and Help w/Megan Kopka, CFP

June 20, 2022 Kathi interviews Megan Kopka, CFP Season 2 Episode 22
One Well Widow
Suddenly Single - Financial Advice with Heart and Help w/Megan Kopka, CFP
Show Notes Transcript

Today's podcast I am interviewing Megan Kopka, CFP, owner and founder of Kopka Financial, LLC specializing in comprehensive financial planning and investment management.

Megan is passionate about helping women especially those
suddenly single- divorced women and particularly widows, find financial security
and eventually freedom to be able to live full lives through planning and investing.
Her experience as a former math teacher, wife, mom, widow, solo parent,
caregiver, medical advocate, business owner, and feminist give her unique
perspectives when it comes to integrating money with your unique life values.

We discuss key financial steps to take now as a widow or single woman that will benefit you throughout your life.  Please contact her.  You will have a professional with heart and help in your corner!


Welcome to One Well Widow a podcast for widows and for the people who advocate and support them. I'm  Kathi Balasek, speaker, teacher, coach, mom to five and yes, the big w. Widowhood is a wellness issue. It's emotional, social, spiritual, physical, and financial. In this podcast, we will explore ways to move forward, teach others how to treat us, hear from experts and widow guests and discover some wit wisdom and healing along the.

If you are a widow, know a widow or work with widows, this is the place for you. So let's go,

Hey everyone. Welcome back to one. Well, widow. . So I recently met a wonderful, remarkable person at a conference that we were both speakers at. And you know, when you just genuinely have that connection with somebody, well, that's what happened. When I met Megan Kopka she's our guest today and she is the owner and founder of Kopka financial, a comprehensive financial planning and investment management company.

She is passionate about helping women specifically those suddenly single due to divorce or widow. She strives to help women find financial security and eventually financially freedom to be able to live full lives from a math teacher, wife, and mom, to a widow solo parent caregiver. She transformed her experience into being a business owner, a medical advocate, and a leader for all.

She advocates for widows. Also, she's a chapter leader for modern widows club. Megan is the girl to watch. She aspires to change policy and improve IRS tax code pertaining to widows and social security benefits for survivors. She truly has a serving heart and fights for the rights of families, caregivers, patients.

And survivors. I admire her and look to her as a genuine leader and I am so grateful to have her on the podcast and learn from her brilliance and expertise. Well, hi Megan. I'm so glad to see you. Welcome to the show. Thank you, Kathy. It's an honor to be here with you and good to see you again too. You know, um, Megan and I were speakers at a conference a few months ago in San Diego, and I just really feel like meeting Megan was a key piece of my year.

And so sometimes people are just placed in your path. And so I'm thrilled to have her here and let's learn from her today. So let's start out, Megan. Um, tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live, your family, your career, all those things. Great. Thank you. Well, I live in Wilmington, North Carolina. I originally came to North Carolina by way of college.

I grew up outside of Cleveland, Ohio and came to Elon college where I met my husband, who was, he took his first job as a sous chef at Aman country club. And I was a banquet. So we met and fell in love, literally first date. I thought, I think I just, I went home and told my roommates going. I think I just had dinner with a man I'm going marry.

They're like, nah, shut up. You know,  and I did. So we had children young and he was a chef, like I said, my degree is in economics. And so I had a very strong math background. I ended up. Because of his crazy career path. Right? Think a chef is working on nights and weekends and holidays. Somebody had to have a career that aligned with the kids.

And so I taught school for a couple years before working my way into finance, which is my true passion. Uh, my children are now 22 and 26 years. Both are college graduates and, um, one is gainfully employed. The other one just graduated from college a couple weeks ago, had her first job interview and is off to flight attendant school here shortly.

Ah, so I've gone through some of those big milestones, of course, as a widow, uh, from high school graduations through college graduations to seeing them start their career and. As we were talking, I feel so proud of them and also of myself amen to that. So we did it, I did it  and they did it really. So it's not easy keeping children on the path that they're supposed to be on when you suffer tragedy inside of your own home, through nobody's faults.

And I know you understand that it's so true, Megan. I, I think. First of all, congratulations with raising two kids, you know, getting them out in the world. It is hard for anyone, but doing it solo and doing it through trauma and grief. You need to take a huge bow and be very proud of what you did for these children and what you and those children will do for this world.

And so, um, with that, I would love to hear a little bit more about.  your widow story and your husband. And first of all, I loved, I loved hearing how you met. I think that'd make a great book of how, how everybody fell in love, because I mean, who doesn't love a love story. So tell us about your, your widow story.

Sure. Yeah. So I guess part of, even kind of wrapping it up with who I am. My personal tragedy expanded me personally professionally, and has also set me on path for all of my altruistic goals. I became a caregiver when I was 35. My late husband was diagnosed with ALS and in that same moment of diagnosis, that very same day when we were up at the duke ALS clinic.

I was told by the social worker that my job as a caregiver was to look for research trials. It was the first time I had ever been called a caregiver. So I was a caregiver for four years. And during that time, I very much felt like, you know, we were living a life of legacy that this was going to be hard.

But this was going to be our statement and how we were as a family and how we were going to end together as well. And I had that very clear from, from the beginning. Mm, of course there's the emotional upset and there was the panic attacks in the middle of the night. Life was very real at a 10 year old and a 14 year old travel soccer, you know, an already full, very, very busy life, two full time jobs, you know, did we have room for more.

Disease doesn't allow you to, um, try and figure it out. We just had to keep going right from the get go. So sure. There was a lot of stress, even from just the get go at the ALS clinic. There are 11 different clinicians at the ALS clinic. You go once three months, we had three different drug trials that we were involved in.

And by the time that my husband, we called it retirement. By the time he retired. And needed home healthcare. Within the first two weeks, we had 19 different business cards from one home healthcare agency. So the disciplinaries of all of the people that were coming in from the nurses, the physical therapists, occupational therapists, home health aids, um, physical therapists, assistants, dural, medical equipment, people, all of that was going on in a house.

Of very busy people. Mm-hmm, , it's not like you go home with a terminal diagnosis and just, you know, cradle each other. And gosh, we just so love each other. You can't do that for four years. Life is real. Kids are drinking. Kids are, you know, being teenagers and all of those types of life events are still going on.

Not only amongst them, but also between the two of us and also internally of what is our life gonna look like together. Who are and how are we gonna be for one another? And then ultimately, how am I gonna survive this on my own? And so I will tell you when I was going to caregiving meetings and trying to figure out how to navigate the healthcare system, you know, I felt very fortunate that I wasn't alone.

Keith was with us. He was in, you know, going through all of this with me. And we were having really meaningful and deep conversations throughout time. We were a team, we were in it together and we had to turn around and have deep dining room conversations with our children to keep them involved of what his progression looked like, where we were now.

If they wanted to know any key numbers or had any questions themselves, but in all those caregiving meetings, they always talked about how stressful caregiving is, what they never say is that the worst is yet to come. And that is huge. Caregiving was so hard and probably much like you, I spent four years imagining what widowhood would be like.

And I know from imagining it for four years, that it is truly unimaginable. You can't put yourself in a place where every facet and every corner of your life has been completely shreded you can't do it. Widowhood was a lot harder than I thought it was gonna be. I agree. I, so many of the things that you're saying, I think.

The widows can relate to, and, and even current people right now dealing with caregiving because you're right, the worst is yet to come. And I was very similar to you. You know, 35 became a caregiver. We were, we were soccer moms to caregivers, to widows, and

you live day to day. You don't even think about tomorrow because tomorrow will be different.  when you're a caregiver. Um, wow. That is huge. And so when, when Keith. And you were in this, um, what were some of the things and goals that you talked about or was it focus on the, the, the disease or was it the focus on the children or was the focus on the marriage or the future?

So I would say a great combination of all of those things. What a great question. Wow. Our goal was to live and leave a legacy. We called his disability years, his retirement years. Mm. We got to, uh, what Plato symposium talks about. We got to have the agave love Keith's body had physically deteriorated. His voice was weaker than it once was, and he was breathy, but he was mentally.

Always with us. And he had full ability to speak until the day that he died. And those were the biggest blessings because I really do look at as, as frantic and awful as caregiving was and how difficult it was to watch him die piece by piece, right. The deterioration and the trials that we we've faced together.

And the adversity that we faced in the healthcare system together. We're all really gut wrenching, but I'm always very, very grateful that I felt like we had time to be able to get things right. And so getting things right in my perspective, was putting our best foot forward in front of the children.

Very real conversations. And there were conversations with tears and those types of things, but he's still very much. Was a father who wanted the best for the kids and to see them succeed. And wow, it's, you're so right where people can't imagine what it's like, you know, it's, it's the club that nobody wants to be a member of, you know, and we've got the fast pass to way more information that we ever wanted.

Um,  let's shift gears just a little bit. So you know, you and I are seasoned widows. We've, we've gone through things. We did the grief work. We did all of those things that helped us to take steps forward. What advice would you give a brand new widow? Like, like what helped you? What helped me? I think the most as a brand new widow, like you Kathy, I still had my kids at home and.

You know, you go from wife to widow in that final breath. There's no preparation. It's just, it's a total transition of role. And if I wasn't a wife and I wasn't a caregiver, then I was a mother. And so motherhood took precedence over all things. There are times where I talk to other widows who didn't have children in the home.

And they're like, gosh, you know, and we both talk about it like a double edged sword, like, well, you've got the kids that keep you motivated. Um, or I don't know what I would've done. If my children had to watch me go through being this wish washy woman or, you know, the deep depths of grieving. And so it is kind of, you know, do you look at things.

A curse or a blessing or bitter or better. And probably the only person I could take advice like this from was my grandmother actually used those words with me, Meg, you can be bitter or you can be better. And she also used the quintessential phrase of, um, God only gives you what you can handle. And I said to her, I said, well, grandma, God must think a lot about me.

And she goes, he sure does, honey. That's what she said. She has such a strong spiritual belief. And so had anyone else said that to me, you know, God only gives you what you can handle. I'm like, oh my gosh. You have two working hands, come help me. You know, don't fake cliche things to me, come help me come walk my shoes.

Right. Um, but from her, it was someone who I know really wanted the best for me. And you just kind of have to check the source. So advice for, for widows, I would say there's so many things that one would be, have a list going of things that you actually need help. Have a list of five things. Cut my lawn, pick up my groceries.

So when you have someone say, let me know when I can help you, or if there's anything that you need, we all are busy. We all mean, well, I'm sure everyone has good intentions when they say that, but have your list. You need. We need community more than ever, because we don't have someone that's holding us at night anymore.

We don't have our partner helper any longer. We do need to lean on our community. And I had to learn that probably much like you through caregiving. So someone who's a sudden widow. I, I know they didn't get that time and they also didn't get that horrible trial of education that you cannot manage a house on your own under such duress, ask for the help and have a list of help.

List of things that people can help with. I love that, you know, and, and truly you're so right. People wanna help, they wanna say the right thing and it is hard to ask. I think having a list of five things. Okay, here you go. These were my ideas. When I woke up at 2:00 AM and wrote, wrote a list, right.  um, because when it comes to it's just overwhelm.

You know, I, I can remember that first year where I think I dropped my kids off to school and I went back home, crawled back into bed and set an alarm for when I had to go pick 'em up and the exhaustion. And when somebody can really alleviate that. Whatever it is, wash the pets, wash the car, weed a garden, take your garbage cans out, any types of things like that are so helpful.

Um, so I love that idea of writing the list prior, um, because you're right. It's grief is isolating. We went from wife to widow and it's a very isolating thing and you need your community and it's really hard to ask so normal. Well, let's, let's talk a little bit, you know, you're a financial advisor from math teacher to financial advisor.

I, I came from a teaching background too, so I, I love, I, we have so many parallels, Megan. I think that's why, um, we were put in each other's path, but what financial tips could you offer that would help widows now and in the. One thing I often tell people to, um, for new widows moving forward, just in general, you need a few, you need a few professionals in your corner.

Right? Another thing I would tell a new widow to do is get yourself to group grief therapy, like immediately, even when you don't want to. Because you're right. Grief is actually an emotion that requires isolation. So not only, you know, does not everybody know what to say, but the emotion is hard to put words, to think of it as going to grief school, where you can hear other people, voice things that might resonate with you, where you don't have the words, because we have no prior experience of feeling.

Your heart has gone over a cheese GRA, I mean, it hurts so bad. So group therapy and also the people that you need in your life find a good counselor for yourself. And I would also say find a financial planner. Most Americans, most people do not understand their finances well, right. Most people more, so women.

Women have been historically held out of finance and legal and business worlds, the entire written history of us. Right. This is new. So. If your entire life has changed, right? Probably the titling of your home, your power bill, your car, your the way that you file your taxes, starting that second year, every aspect of your life, your financial life too, has probably changed.

Why wouldn't you put a financial planner in your corner? So I'm a big advocate for that is to find someone that has like a widow triage program. Uh, and that's what I would recommend tips that I can give you as a new widow. One of, um, the resources I give my resources away. So you can email me, I'm happy to share them.

I have a notebook resource that stems from being a care. And that very, very full life and adding 40 medical people like lickity split. I had to be able to stay on top of things. And when you're under stress, not only is it a, not a good time to learn, it's not a time where you retain a lot of information and yet you do wake up panicked that one of these many balls in the air is gonna drop.

Same way. I felt as a new widow when you're going through the estate process. Have a notebook. I actually gifted one of my friends, first friends who became widow out after me. I gave her a notebook and I told her what I did, which was to paper clip three or four pages together in the notebook. It was a smaller notebook that could fit in any purse.

I always had it with me and whether it's, you know, for us changing the power bill, what day did I call? What's the timeline and process. This is gonna happen, who I spoke to on the phone. If they told me it was three to five business days, if they were helpful, I asked for their extension and I asked them if I could call them on the sixth business day.

And from writing those notes in the notebook, I would go straight to my phone or your online calendar. Make your appointment on that sixth day, who you're going to call with that follow up phone number and the piece of paperwork that you submitted and reference back to the notebook page. You could rewrite everything in there if you wanted to, but if you always have your notebook that way, if you're talking on your phone and it's up against your face, you're not looking at your notes, you have it written down somewhere else, and you can take new notes when you go back.

Some things in the estate process. Aren't one and done. You don't just submit the death certificate and then have things come back. It's a multistep process over time that they give one piece, you get one piece, they do one piece, you know, you go back and forth. So it's a way to keep up with those things until the task is accomplished.

So that's a really great resource that I share with widows and caregivers. Another thing is. Getting your budget. It's actually a cash flow statement. It's not just the budget. Budget refers to just expenses, but putting your cash flow statement together, which means reassessing your income and reassessing your budget.

That's something that should be easy that you can do on your own. Maybe it's something you never handled, but you can figure it out through online banking. Autodraft. Credit cards, you know, keeping your late spouse's phone and email and monitoring it or monitoring the mail. If you still get paper bills and creating that, it might take a couple months, but you have to do it.

You always keeping remember, like we might not like finances. But this is really, you know, first, second, third grade math. We're just doing addition and subtraction. Maybe with some decimal points. It's not easy, but it is simple. Right? So stay on top of that and do the simple task and, and be sure that you just ask people for help.

Like the numbers are swimming in my head. Will you sit down and help me? I love these ideas and, and we'll put your contact information in the notes, in the show notes so that they can get a hold of you for that notebook, a resource, you know, some things that you do. And I think anybody listening, just like you said, many people don't work with the financial advisor.

Widowhood is financial period. Every decision that you make as a solo decision maker has a financial and money component to it. If I wouldn't have had my advisor, I can't even imagine. Where I'd be today, you know, of the planning for college, helping me with the house, helping me buy a car, you know, showing me what is, you know, pulling the reins on my horrible spending habit.

you know, girls gotta have shoes, Megan. I mean, really,

but I'm telling you, it is not my wheelhouse, you know, one plus two equals five to me, you know, I, I. Strongly recommend when you said, find some professionals, you need a great advisor, you need life insurance, you need all of those things to really help you and empower you to move forward. Um, so I appreciate you giving those tips.

Um, let's go through a couple more questions because honestly we could have Megan here all day because she is dropped in some great information here. One of the things that I didn't know that much about you until I, we met and we started talking about how we help widows. Um, but tell me how you advocate for widows and in your business or community or your volunteer work.

Sure. Yeah. Thank you. First in my business, very easy. Um, I offer free consultations to anyone 60 to 90 minute consultation. Very, very, very light on the paperwork. Just general information. I don't wanna list or anything much about you, but I do offer free consultations for financial planning. I do offer widow checklists.

I have a couple that I've kind of repurposed from a couple different financial places where I've worked in the past. As I mentioned, the notebook resource, um, I have a cash flow Excel spreadsheet, or you can do it, you know, use it in PDF that's available for people to use. I also have an important document.

It came from an a, a R P magazine years ago at a caregiving conference that I went to. And I, I repurposed that. And, um, I would say, you know, reach out to me. That's one way that I try and help people at least prepare to go meet with a financial planner. I also have like a list of sites of how to, how to do a background check on your financial planner.

And also the CFP board. Um, I put in this list as well, you know, great questions to ask a financial planner, I would say for widows, number one, have they worked with other widows like you, right. Someone who understands survivor benefits. I had a couple other advisors advised me things that were not true about survivor benefits and I had to educate them.

And I was so surprised cuz they were in the industry so much longer than me. I also, um, in my own community, I started the Cape fear, modern widows club. And I brought that to the area with, uh, with another Kathy actually. And that's been extremely rewarding. We have grown, we started organic roots, um, before mid modern widows club.

And we have grown to having 20 to 25 widows at every one of our meetings at this point. We've um, received the proclamation from the city of Wilmington for international widows day. And we, it looks like we'll get the one from the state this year as well, which is on June 23rd. I'm also part of the modern widows club golden committee.

And the golden committee is to spread financial literacy for widows to support them and also raise funds for modern widows club nationally. We have great resources, great education, but of course it is a nonprofit and it doesn't run for free. So we are also trying to raise funds there. Um, and then, like I said, the, the other work that I'm trying to do in advocacy right now is really getting recognition for international widows day.

And that helps ensure that the, the communities in North Carolina are growing and not just growing, but thriving. That's the whole idea is that we come together to support one another. To authentically share our experiences, learn from one another. And just a lot of head nodding goes on at the modern Godo club.

When you bring women together that have a, you know, again, the club, you never wanted to join, but with like experiences, it's, it's very beautiful, the gems of information that you take away. And of course, you know, when you give back. It's amazing how much you get out of that. Like, I feel so honored to be a facilitator and an advocate for the modern widows club.

And we've just got such a special, great group of ladies and I'm sure most of the communities are the same. I know the ones that I have visited, certainly resound the same message and support for one another.  I just, the more we go into this podcast, the more in awe I am of you. Being a widow, raising kids, changed careers and giving and giving and giving back.

And I just. I, I think you're a rockstar. So let, let's go to my final question. You know, um, if you were to wave a magic wand, what do you wish other people understood about widowhood? Ooh, that just took a turn. I didn't think it was gonna say go. Let me just say where I was in my mind, the magic wands. What change would I like to have happen in my mind?

I think I've put 20, 25. Down as the date. I am hoping that the research, my work, the way that I've come together, right. I, I started at a. Global organization and finance and went to Merrill Lynch and then a small company. I built the firm that I wanted. I'm a fee only fiduciary advisor. I write holistic plans.

I do not have to manage money, but I can also manage money. So it's through learning through research and through study, which is always something that's so important to me. And it was something that I learned how to thrive in as a caregiver and also how to turn anger and upset into advocacy. You know, when we see great harms being done, we wanna make sure we advocate for change.

And so in my future, I imagine that there will be a lot of, um, research that I'm trying to impact change with IRS codes around the word qualified widow, and maybe the terms that go along with that, as well as some of the things that we see in survivor benefits as well. So that's where I see my future. Um, as far as what do I wish other people understood in widowhood that griefs timeline isn't fitting along with conventional thinking that I think we stand in judgment and think that we would, we would do widowhood better if we were widows, you know, so.

I'm a feminist. And I think women supporting women is imperative to growth and that widowhood is a part of womanhood. So to have some compassion around there also, I think people offering help. It needs to be executed. Right. Actions speak louder than words and all those cliches, you know, people with intentions doesn't matter.

Doesn't really matter as much as if they're living in integrity and actually doing what they say they're gonna do. The other thing is, is I would like to hear widows talk more about money. Talk more about sex out sex. Talk more about dating, which I know it's super taboo. I mean, A great benefit of, of marriage is having two incomes, a great bene or, or, you know, somebody who's a supporter and someone who's an earner, whatever the case was, another great benefit is regular sex.

Wow. You know, like, but it's not just that we've been married. It's about being respected. Being able to be safe and intimate with someone because shockingly, when you go back into the dating world, we don't always find safety and respect. Ugh. Right. I hope that hasn't been your experience, but

well, you know, it's funny that you say that because what's very interesting in that. Even on like social media or anything like that. You, you say something about widowhood or you hashtag grief or widowhood. And then all of a sudden you get Tom, Dick, Harry, and Harrier following you. And, and that wasn't the intent.

And I think you're completely right. Dating sex, really honoring our needs as humans. All of those things. And there's something about societal taboos and judgment that they're still seeing widows as older vulnerable sitting at home with nine cats in a sweater. And we've, you know, just really changing the, the face of widowhood.

So I'm right there with you. Right? Right. Well, thank you. That's what I, I think I would like for people to really understand and see is that we come in all shapes and sizes and ages and, and pocket books too. I mean, from poverty where someone really does need help. And how can your community, your church community make sure that an entire family doesn't fall on their face.

It can be done. It should be done. Well, I'm gonna have to go back and listen to this several times because there were so many great nuggets that you've shared. I appreciate your honesty, your leadership in, in truly helping widows move forward and specifically financial, because that financial literacy is huge and the mistakes we make as solo people.

Can be very costly, long term. So I appreciate that last thing. Where can people find you? Where can they contact you or connect with you? Well, I'm of course on online I'm on Facebook. Uh, but you can email me. It's Megan, Kaka, None of those are easy to spell. Right? It's the simple spelling of Megan, M E G a N and Kaka is K O P K a

And look for One thing though that you touched on Kathy too, is the vulnerability piece. And I just always caution people about the sense of urgency and widowhood. There are some, a sense of urgency might be whatever is keeping you up at night, and that may be true or may not be true.

Look for things that have a timeline. If you have to choose a pension or an annuity, if you ha, if you don't have enough money to stay in your home, don't fall for the cliche that you get a year off rest assured no one's giving you a year off. The IRS is not saying I'm so sorry, honey. Don't file this year.

We all know that your husband died. No one cares when it comes to money. Sadly, it's a very cold and cruel place, or so it seems, but those. Timeline sensitive items is why I encourage people. Please go find a professional. Let them help you run the numbers because if there's a timeline, You might lose the ability to make a better decision for yourself.

One might be made for you. That is that's gold because a planner, a financial advisor is that, is there your decision and thinking partner, right? We don't have anybody else to bounce ideas off anymore, and they really help you make decisions that are collective in your whole scenario. And.  oh, that's I like the timeline piece, cuz it's true.

It is true. And, and redoing. That's why I was sta start with the cash flow. Cause starting with your cash flow. If you have a true financial planner, they need to know Kathy. If, if you can go buy those shoes or not, , you know, , are you jeopardizing food on the table? You know, those are the types of things. I, what are you saying, Megan?

I know. No, I don't like I don't ever wanna micromanage someone spending. Yeah. You know, we have our own. What some people might think are Fri frivolous. Absolutely. But we have our pleasures and I wouldn't even call 'em guilty pleasures. Like we have our things that, that feed us for whatever reason that are important to us.

And that there is no shame in that. And I always tell people I'm like, your budget is what your budget is. You're not gonna get a cookie for having, or a gold star for having the best budget ever. Budgets are gonna fluctuate because sometimes things don't go right with the cars or some opportunity for the kids to go to a special camp comes up.

We wanna be able to make sure that we can make better decisions. It's actually, my mission statement is to empower women, to make better decisions with more confidence about their money. That's my mission statement. I love it. So we've gotta have clarity. And then my piece does come in with some of the higher map, whether it's, you know, the exponential growth of the market of compounding interest or options treating, or how can we build more income today?

Those are the types of things that are really on the professional level, but I think the things that you can help yourself with is understanding cash flow. So you can make those better decisions working with someone. And you're right. Unpartnered most of these things we don't wanna go through alone. I loved that.

Uh, who wants to be a millionaire show where you pull the audience, you know, who the, your three best friends are, any of them, financial professionals, can they really help you? Do you really trust their advice? You know? Right. But that's another reason why I love the modern widows club. We had that, um, statement that saying that everyone says, you know, don't make any major decisions for a year, which makes me wanna throw up again, because some things have a timeline.

Some people can't afford to stay in their house or whatever it is. And she said that she had, um, There her, she and her husband used to RV together and she had this huge RV in her backyard, but everyone told her not to make a major decision for a year, but she didn't want it. She wanted to sell it. There was no way she was going on her own.

So every once in a while she would go out and sit in it and it would put her in such a bad mood, but she waited that full year and she literally sold it within weeks of the first year of her husband passing. I'm like, why, why do we do that? Don't torture yourself with this weird trite advice. And again, I know people are well intended.

I get where that comes from. We are not our normal, good decision making self for a couple years. Right. We don't wanna go well, sit, uh, society's timeline of one year when I think you and I would both agree that, wow, that was eye opening on how hard your two. Yeah. Year two was when reality set in. Yeah, you got a little bit of yourself back and it wasn't that almost UN skinned, deep grieving, but you're right.

Facing reality had its own special little bag of tricks for you too. So decision making and I think clarity and thinking is not at its best the first couple years. I, I agree. And, you know, I encourage anybody listening to contact Megan, to get some resources, to have that complimentary, you know, time and, and talk with her because, you know, I resonated with something you said about, you know, judgment of, you know, you and I are both teachers.

I've always said, you know, teachers are here to help. We're not here to judge and you either help or hurt. There's no in, in between. And I think at advisors. Are there to help you live your best life because we don't widows don't know what their future looks like. We don't know what that picture is. And so, I mean, I wouldn't go to a dentist that didn't know what they were doing.

I wouldn't go to a doctor that didn't know what to, you know, go to a financial advisor who specializes with widows and that's Megan. So I wanna thank you so much today for your time, your expertise, and truly just your heartfelt care that you are, you know, paving a path to open up a new life for widows, create awareness for the world.

And so that we can all feel. Seen heard and respected. So thank you so much for coming today. You're so welcome. It's an honor and a pleasure to be on a show. Doing great things too. So thank you right back. I appreciate so much getting wonderful widows out there. Speaking to other widows. You're doing a great job, Kathy.

Thank you, Megan. Cheers until next time.

Hey, everyone. Thanks so much for listening today. Let's keep moving forward and keep this conversation going because here's the deal. When people who grieve feel heard, seen, and respected, we all grow. I am so grateful for your support and sharing this message with anyone in your circle who needs it until next time, sending joy to you all.