(Update to original post from October 31,2018)

Coping with the death of a spouse is difficult. Not only are you dealing with putting the financial pieces together but you’re also juggling your emotions and the emotions of family and friends.

It’s easy to become distracted with funeral arrangements and responding to inquiries from family and friends. While you are grateful for everyone’s concern, it can be overwhelming.

As things begin to calm down, you may find yourself with space you were craving for in the beginning. Sometimes that space can be deafeningly quiet.

To fill the void or even to change your routine, consider finding a job. Even if you don’t need the money, having something to do every day can be a blessing as a way to move forward.

Look for something simple. Something that gives you a distraction from the loneliness you’re feeling and a way to interact with new people.

Working in retail, such as a small gift shop or boutique, may give you distraction without high pressure. Other ideas include a receptionist for a small office or stocking inventory for a store.

The key is to find something that gives you an outlet and is not high-pressure.

If you are currently receiving Social Security benefits and have not reached your full retirement age, verify how much income you can earn before your benefits are impacted.

For 2022, the earnings limit is $19,560. For every $2 you earn above the limit, $1 is deducted from your benefit amount.

With survivor benefits, the rules are complex. Contact your local Social Security office to find out your options.

If it’s too cumbersome to find work and continue to receive Social Security benefits, then look for a volunteer job.

Identify a non-profit organization you’d like to volunteer at and pursue opportunities. It could be at a humane society, hospital, or even your religious organization.

If you want a more meaningful job, consider going back to school to become a Certified Nursing Assistant or another career in the healthcare industry. Use the time you now have available to venture into another career path.

When your partner in life dies, it’s hard to imagine moving forward. To help you cope, find a job to give you a new purpose in life. Whether that work is paying or a volunteer opportunity, it’ll give you a distraction to combat loneliness.


Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, RICP®, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing spending plans, comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, and retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”