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Kathleen M. Rehl, Ph.D., CFP®, wrote the award-winning book, Moving Forward on Your Own: A Financial Guidebook for Widows. She owned Rehl Financial Advisors for 18 years before an encore career empowering widows. Now “reFired,” Rehl writes legacy stories and assists nonprofits. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger’s, CNBC, and more. She’s adjunct faculty at The American College of Financial Services.

Latest Posts By Kathleen M. Rehl

4 months ago

Widows Rock! Thriving in Stage 3 of Widowhood

My husband died in my arms right before Valentine’s Day 16 years ago. I soon found a quote by Alan Watts that became my mantra for many months afterward as I moved through the initial phases of widowhood: “The only way to make sense out of change…

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5 months ago

Navigating Financial Realities After Losing Your Spouse

Sixteen years ago, my world shattered. That’s when cancer killed my beloved husband. A spouse’s likelihood of passing away is three times higher for women than men. Many women find that widowhood forces them to take on and make critical financial…

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6 months ago

After Heartbreak, New Widows Must Revisit Their Finances

I was devastated. A few days before I turned 60, I was suddenly a widow. But really, I was typical. Surprisingly, the average age at which a wife becomes a widow is 59.4. About 1 million women a year in the U.S. experience what may be the most stressful event…

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7 months ago

6 Know-It-All Statements New Widows Don’t Want to Hear (and Alternatives That Are Actually Helpful)

Perhaps because my late husband was a pastor, some people thought they were helpful after Tom’s death to tell me, “God needed another angel in heaven.” (Wrong! I needed that angel beside me, not gone away.) Or they said, “I know exactly how you feel…

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8 months ago

5 Easy Steps to Write a Legacy Letter for Family and Friends

Before Great Gram got hitched at age 20, as they used to say, she was a teacher in a one-room rural Iowa schoolhouse. After marriage, she wasn’t allowed to teach. That was written in her contract. As a teacher, she called her readin’ and writin’…

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9 months ago

Confronting the Elephant in the Room: The Importance of Your Estate, Legacy and End-of-Life Planning

If you’re anything like me, there are times when you’d rather put off solving a problem than deal with it immediately. But the problem may become even more difficult if that elephant in the room is avoided…

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1 year ago

I Celebrated One Year Wine-Free

As a young adult, I drank wine to fit in with my social crowd, celebrate victories, and relax at the end of a grueling week. I thought conversations at parties flowed easier with a wine glass in hand. Festive toasts were made at friends’ birthdays…

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1 year ago

Choose Refirement Rather Than Vintage Retirement! These 7 Questions Will Help You Find Your Direction

This January, I’ll start my 78th year. I’m part of a large aging population in America. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2030, all baby boomers like me will be older than 65…

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1 year ago

5 Big Money Mistakes that Widows Make and How to Avoid Them!

I’m a member of the club women hate to join — the Widows Club. When my husband died, it felt like a big part of me died, too. I lost the love of my life and the dreams we shared for our future. All gone in an instant and right…

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2 years ago

Jane Fonda and I Happily Agree About Drinking After 60

We’ve said goodbye to Jane Fonda’s long-running series, Grace and Frankie. In character, she often held an ice-cold martini. However, in a recent interview with CBS News about the show’s last season, Fonda said she stopped drinking in real life at age 84…

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