There is no doubt that the emotional and financial consequences of a divorce can be tough to wrap your mind around. Often, on top of the emotional aspect of separating lives, there is the added stress of recovering financially, especially if you deferred financial responsibilities to your ex-spouse.
As stressful as divorce can be, it is possible to recover – emotionally and financially – when you take it one step at a time. Keep in mind that the feeling of “moving on” is generally fleeting in between episodes of grief and all the other emotions you’ll feel during the divorce process. However, strength comes with redefining your life and carving a new path; opening yourself up to new experiences, new ways of thinking about yourself, and new relationships. It’s a process that involves becoming willing to actively explore options rather than to passively react. Given time, your emotions will begin to stable out and you’ll be better prepared for tackling your financial future.
The realities of divorce, in which your assets are now divided into two households, can generally lead to the stark truth that post-marriage lifestyle is going to be impacted. Even if you received a nice settlement in your divorce, you’ll want to take control of your financial future. You need to ensure you can live comfortably for many years to come, and you want to provide your children with stability and security. In short, you’ll want to get on the road to long-term financial security after divorce as soon as you can.
Here are some paths you can consider.
1. Find a job
Getting a job seems like an obvious solution to bringing in some immediate income. However, entering or re-entering the job market is often met with many fears and concerns. Perhaps you left the job market many years ago to raise the family or never entered it in the first place. With people losing their jobs every day, the fears of joblessness are well founded. One of the benefits of finding a job is that it is a low-risk solution to bringing in additional income. The downside is that it can be hard to find the right fit if you’ve been out of the market for an extended amount of time.
2. Buy an existing business
It may seem less risky to buy an existing business than to start one from scratch, but you have to perform your due diligence to ensure that you are fully aware of the full financial picture of the business. Enlist the support of a good CPA to pour over the books of the company carefully.
One of the benefits of purchasing an existing business is that you’ll drastically reduce your ramp up time because the business (presumably) already is cash flowing and has a steady stream of recurring revenue. On the other hand, there will be a higher purchasing cost because of the existing customer base, infrastructure, and not to mention the branding and other work that has already been done. You’ll also need to be aware of any debt owed. A good business broker can help you evaluate if the price they are asking is reasonable, given the financials of the company.
3. Buy a franchise
If you know you want to be your own boss, but you’re not willing to take the risk of either starting from scratch or you don’t have the higher level of investment required to buy an existing business, franchising can be a great alternative. Buying a franchise gives you all the reward – with less risk – than starting your own business. A franchise reduces your risk because the system has already been proven to work. They have (hopefully) worked out all the kinks, and tweaked their systems through the years on the earlier franchisees as well as in their company-owned store(s).
A franchise is a good choice for a first-time business owner because of the built-in systems, mentoring, marketing support and complete training during the start-up phase of the business – not to mention the ongoing coaching generally provided.
In the more established concepts, the franchisors will also provide you with real estate site selection and lease negotiation. And finally, you will have a community of other franchisees that want to support you and see you succeed.
4. Start a home-based franchise
If you’re interested in franchising but want control of your working hours and flexibility, a home-based franchise can be a very attractive option. Working at home does require self-discipline but the benefits can be substantial – especially in the start-up years. A home-based franchise will require less startup capital because there is no physical location to fund. These businesses tend to have the highest profit margins as well, due to the lower overhead – another plus.
Remember, you can succeed at anything you put your mind to. No matter how you choose to start your career or entrepreneurial run, always do your due diligence. Researching all viable possibilities, asking yourself key questions about your why, and properly planning for your future business will help put you on the path to financial security after divorce. Take advantage of the momentum of the new year and grab your future by the horns.
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