Managing Alone Book Review by: My Own Advisor

Another great book review for Managing Alone from My Own Advisor.

A few weeks back, the co-author of Managing Alone Jennifer Black reached out to yours truly and offered me a copy of her book to check out. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of the book after reading the Introduction. Death, it’s such a negative word. When I think about death it conjures up feelings of loss, grief, pain and confusion. I’d rather not think about that right now. Besides, when I started reading Jennifer’s book, the sun was shining and it was a great day outside. I had much better things to do (and enjoy) rather than read a book about widowhood.

Then I got to thinking…what if I lost my spouse? How on earth would I cope? I couldn’t imagine life without her and I can’t fathom the devastating emotional avalanche that would come over me. What would I do and how would I move on? My answers to these questions all pointed to one thing: I would need help; tons of it. And so, I decided to turn some pages and read a bit…

Managing Alone is a collection of stories designed to help individuals get on with their lives by offering ideas and financial advice when they need it the most – after the loss of their partner. Each chapter tells a story, sometimes a very emotional one, when a spouse passes away based on actual events Jennifer and her colleague and co-author, Janet Baccarani have encountered. Here are some of the stories you’ll read about:

  • Disaster hit twenty-something Kayla soon after she married Jacob. No wills and no joint bank accounts were just the start of Kayla’s worries.
  • Tragedy struck twice for Sara in her 40s after her husband Mateo, first collapsed at a vacation cabin out-of-country. The medical fees to get Mateo back to Canada amounted to $65,000, because they didn’t take out-of-country medical insurance before their trip. Sadly, within a year after the first heart attack, Sara and her two teenage kids found themselves without a husband and a father.
  • Barbara had just retired from full-time teaching when she learned she had melanoma after surviving breast cancer. The cancer quickly spread and within months Paul, in his early 50s, was alone.

In each story, Managing Alone offers some advice on how to get through the tragic circumstances of losing your partner, emotionally and financially. Jennifer and Janet provide guidance on:

Locating your deceased spouse’s assets,
Understanding Canadian government benefits when your spouse passes away,
Setting up trusts to protect your estate,
Developing a financial plan,
Dealing with final expenses,
Managing your financial and legal affairs if your spouse did not leave a will,
and more…

Death is never an easy subject to deal with and losing a spouse would be utterly devastating for many individuals. With Managing Alone, at least people can find some advice to help ease the financial stress that comes with losing a cherished partner.

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