Divorce and Your Finances with Amy Holewa | RU016

Amy discusses important things to be aware of when dealing with your finances and your divorce. Learn the difference between budgeting and cash flow and why both are necessary. Learn how to begin collecting documents that you may need. The more you know about your finances, the less fearful you are likely to be when dealing with money issues and the wiser decisions you are likely to make. 

Ask yourself:

What are my biggest financial concerns?

What documents do I want to collect, and where can I find them?

How can I release any judgments I may have about my past financial decisions?

About the Guest:

Amy Holewa, Certified Financial Planner and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst with over 20 years of financial services expertise, Amy works with clients in the areas of retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, and wealth transfer strategies. Being a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst allows her to partner with clients during unique financial situations. Her goal is to work closely with clients to develop an outline that aligns with their goals while maximizing their financial position.





Holewa Divorce Services

11272 86th Avenue N. Suite B

Maple Grove MN 55369



Securities offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. (RAA) member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Financial Dimensions Group, Inc. RAA and Financial Dimensions Group, Inc. are not affiliated.

 About the Host:

Divorced after many years of marriage, Barb Greenberg founded Rediscovering U, a company that provides education, support, and resources for women transitioning through divorce and into a new life. She and her company have been recognized for “…creating equality, justice and self-determination for women…” She is an award winning author of 3 books, Hope Grew Round Me, After the Ball: A Woman’s Tale of Happily Ever After, and The Seasons of Divorce: Insights for Women in Transition. Her books are available at a special price for you at https://rediscoveringu.com/divorce-sponsors/books/ Barb would like to thank Joey Greenberg for his technical expertise and creativity. Without him, she’d still be thinking about starting podcast!

Visit https://rediscoveringu.com to learn more!

You can also find Barb at:





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Barb Greenberg:

Hello, and welcome to rediscovering you where you will find valuable insights, support and education to help you move through the difficult and often painful process of divorce with grace and courage and hope and find the ultimate gift of rediscovering yourself. I'm your host, Barb Greenberg, award winning author and founder of rediscovering you. If I'd had access to a resource like this during my divorce, I would have not felt so isolated, I would have made much better decisions, I still would have breathed for that for so hard for so long. And I wouldn't have eaten so many boxes of macaroni and cheese. When women heal, families heal, when families heal communities heal. When communities heal, the possibilities are endless. Let's get started. I am so excited to introduce you to this wonderful guest we have Amy Holewa, Amy is a certified financial planner. Plus, she's a certified divorce analyst. I wanted to make sure I had that right certified divorce analyst, which is going to be so excellent for you to hear from her. And let me just tell you a little bit about her. Well, first of all, Hi, Amy. I, I'm thrilled that you're here. And I'm just gonna share some goodies about how wonderful you are. When I first met my introduction to her was with over 15 years of financial experience. And we've known each other so long. It's now over 20 years of financial experience. And she loves working with clients in all sorts of areas retirement tax planning, estate planning, and wealth transfer. And then because of her certification, divorce planning as well. And she works really closely with her clients to develop an outline that aligns with their goals. Doesn't that sound nice, very personalized. And from the initial consultation you have with her. And considering all your objections, objectives, not objections objectives, she can walk you through every single step necessary to achieve your goals. And so she's with you from start to finish. And I just love that piece about her. And she's also very involved with the Collaborative Law Institute. So she's very conscious about collaborating with your soon to be ex, and collaborating in all parts of your process. So welcome, Amy Yay

Amy Holewa:

Wow it great to be here.

Barb Greenberg:

This is gonna be fun. Tell me a little bit of tell us a little bit about yourself. And you know, maybe why you decided to focus or shift your focus to divorce, as well as all the other financial pieces. Yeah, sure.

Amy Holewa:

So I tell you a little bit about myself, I when I was little, little meaning like seventh grade. So however old you are in seventh grade, I went to we had economics class and I thought, oh my gosh, I'd love this topic. I loved learning about stocks and investments. And I thought I wanted to be a stockbroker when I grew up, and I went to college, and I was a finance major. And again, I thought I wanted to be a stockbroker. But my aunt, she worked for a financial planning firm. And she said, No, no, Amy, you want to be a financial advisor. And, and that's where I've been ever since college. So I love working with clients well beyond just the financial stocks and investment piece, but to look at the whole picture, and what does it all mean? And how does it relate to you so, so that's, you know, the financial planning process. And that brings into the divorce piece, why I do what I do on the divorce side, because having a good understanding of what you have financially helps, helps helps you through the negotiation process through the property division and cash flow pieces. And why I decided to get specialized in and that is because I had clients that came to me after the divorce, and they're still homeless, do this. They're intertwined financially, you know, intertwined, but from a debt perspective, how their accounts where we're still together are not separated, or they might have done something maybe decision in the divorce process that caused them some tax issues, and unnecessary expenses. So I got my certified divorce financial analyst certification, because if you're working with when I'm working with clients before the divorce, it's much easier to help them understand their financials, so that they can make informed decisions, because you only really get one chance to sign that divorce decree. So once the divorce decree is signed, and that's, and that is, with the court system, and, and, and done, you, you can't go back and change it, you have to go back and try to get try to fix things. But it's much, much more cost costly to fix something after the fact than it is to get it right the first time. So that's why I decided to get specialized in this area as to help people before because it's way more effective.

Barb Greenberg:

I have to tell you, having gone through divorce, I really appreciate that you do that. Because I had no idea there was such a thing as a divorce a certified divorce financial analyst, I had no idea. So I didn't get that kind of help. And as a result, I made some decisions I probably shouldn't have made. And in our divorce, we had something called a Kiron waiver. I don't know if that's just in the state of Minnesota or other places. But you know, once it's done, it's done and you can't go back. So which was in the long run? I'm glad because the thought of going back and messing with that. For me, it wouldn't, it would have been too exhausting. So I really appreciate what you do. I think it's so important, so important. And then I also had, I had some somebody who just didn't pay attention to me. He he just wanted to sell me a bunch of stocks. And then said goodbye, like, oh, wait, that's that's not gonna work. That's that's not good. Okay, so I'm really, I'm really glad. I love that you do both pieces, that you care about your clients, and you have the expertise to do what is right for them once you have that information. So maybe, let's start with like, a couple of the most important things you think people need to be aware of, especially women, when they start the divorce process, or even when they're still dealing in the midst of it? What are a couple, like really important pieces they need to be aware of? Um,

Amy Holewa:

well, I think there's a few things that I always think of it in, what phase of the divorce are you in? So his arrival, there's like the pre divorce phase, maybe. So it's Phase One is you're getting your ducks in a row is what I was calling. So during that time, one of the, if you're thinking about getting divorced, or you guys have been talking about getting divorced, if that's a good time to start gathering your gathering information. So whether that be you know, statements, for in any accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, bank accounts, making sure you can access joint bank account information, because as you start to get further and further in the process, it can be hard challenging to get that information. And while you're gathering it, I think even more important than that is then educating yourself about what these things are. What and you know, is it a retirement account? Is it an account that's taxable if you take money out? Or is it you know, like a Roth IRA that's tax free. So kind of educating yourself on what, what these different investments are, or, or bank accounts and then also, you know, getting a good understanding of cash flow. So cash flow and budgeting are kind of interchangeable terms, but budgeting is really just I use the word cash flow because budgeting implies that there's a specific number you know, for groceries or whatever that bill is where cash flow is understanding, what are you spending your money on today? What What are some common expenses that you know happen? How much are you spending on groceries and electric bill and some of those things so having a good understanding of where are you spending money Honey is important during some of that initial phase, it also comes in phase two, which I would call the, you know more of the active negotiation time where you maybe you're working with your attorney, and Preparing for mediation, and things like like that, in in those, when working with an attorney, most clients are going to be required to provide some kind of budget. So if you start to kind of gather that in the pre Phase and Phase One that will help you as you move into some of that negotiation things because the more that you understand your finances, the less scary some of those conversations can be. So knowledge is power, like there, there's no better application to that phrase, then, than the divorce process and understanding the assets and kind of cash flow and what your needs might be after the divorce. So those are my guess my Nuggets. So far, I would say those are very important things to

Barb Greenberg:

know, I'm sorry. Yeah. That made me think of a bunch of things. One was, there's a woman who teaches classes on women and money. And that fear thing is huge for a lot of women because they don't understand it. And I agree with you that budget can be a trigger word almost for some people, because it's like, it feels like you're getting boxed in almost, or flow. I love the cash flow that just feels like there's movement. And I remember her saying her name is Ruth Hayden. She said, budget is just like a boundary, you know, you know how to shut the refrigerator door after it's been open for a while, you know, you're supposed to drive on the right side of the road. It's just a boundary, but it still has that. Just that really touchy? Yeah, rounded.

Amy Holewa:

It's kind of like that limit fill sometimes I think, is that limiting mindset versus more of an abundance. So, you know, understanding where cash flow is. And I always say there's no judgment, when you're, when you're reviewing where you've been spending money. It just is, it's just a, it just is, there's no judgement. It's just how it is. And then you can use that information to make decisions going forward. And that's the key is, you know, how do you go forward understanding what it is that you have and what your your cash has been doing? Like, you know,

Barb Greenberg:

I'm really glad you said that. Because as a woman who likes to judge yourself really harshly. That's very reassuring that you can go to a financial person, and not be judged by what you have, or haven't done what you did or didn't say, the things you spent money on that maybe you shouldn't have, but you really wanted to thought we're gonna be just the best things in the world. It's just and you can get really hard on yourself and to be with somebody who really understands money and goes, No, that's okay. There's no judgement. It's just what it is. That's a huge, that's huge. So thank you. Thank you. Do you have any? Do you see any? Oh, threads maybe are commonality about women and money. And I know not all women have issues with money. We've had women in our classes, too. They were the they were the ones that did the budget, they were the ones that paid the bills, they were the accountants, they were the financial people. So that's awesome. I love that. But and for those of us who maybe kind of shied away from that, are there attitudes that you see that kind of thread through a lot of women's connections to money? Um, you know,

Amy Holewa:

this was a this is an interesting question. I think that, um, I don't know that it's specific to women. I think that it's specific to everyone. But one thing is that you have to remember that when it comes to money, Rome was not built in a day. Right? So the the little things that you do from a day to day perspective, have compounding effects on your financial future. So, you know, that educating yourself and you know, working with a financial person, financial professional, like myself is is a good resource. But at the end of the day, I'm not going to tell you, you can't buy the shoes, right? So you have to make those decisions day to day. So that's, I think, I would say probably the judgment, maybe that's maybe a common theme that I see with women is I think we are harder on ourselves about maybe how we spend money, or what you know what we're buying. And like I said, it's just just is, so you can then use that information to make informed decisions going forward. And again, I don't think it has to be you have to know everything on day one, it's doing those little 1% better every day measures, those lead to the big results, from a financial perspective, long term. So and I don't know if I answered your question, but that's

Barb Greenberg:

totally love that piece too, about, you don't have to know everything right away, because I feel like I have to know everything right away. And then I saw myself, and I scare myself, instead of not just take the little step, just take the little step

Amy Holewa:


Barb Greenberg:

that is just wonderful. Um, oh, my goodness. And you did, you did already go over, like the documents that people need to pull together. To talk about that a little bit.

Amy Holewa:

A little bit. I mean, when I'm working with science, and even a lot of attorneys will have a list of all the documents to gather. And, and I'm, I'm happy to provide that, as, you know, part of part of what we can give members access to. But there is, you know, getting pay stubs and account statements are key copies of tax returns. You know, those are some of the key pieces. In this day and age, you know, it used to be that you just waited for the mail, and the statement showed up and you make a copy and you have it with everything going online, that becomes a little trickier to get copies of statements. So ideally, you know, you're you're able to talk with your spouse about sharing information and getting information from each other. But sometimes that can be tricky. So sometimes gathering, the list of things that you you might need, can also be just as important as actually gathering the documents. So you know, if your spouse works for a company, and I'll use General Mills, since they're in Minnesota, so if they work for General Mills, depending on when they started, they might have a pension, and they might have a 401k. So those are two different accounts that they have a General Mills, so you know, just taking a making even just a checklist of things to be asking for, when when it's when it comes time for some of that document, sharing piece and disclosure piece, you know, if you if you have a list of things? Well, I know, you know, he works at General Mills and and some General Mills employees have a pension but I'm not seeing any pension information, then, you know, that's a good place to, to check in with your attorney, or even with your spouse to say, I think you have a pension, can you take a look at that and provide me with some documents. So that is that is another yes piece to think about from the financial perspective. And, and definitely working with a financial advisor that, you know, as financial planning, I'm looking at all kinds of companies, benefit packages, and stock options can be another one that you don't necessarily get a statement for. And so you may want to add that to the checklist of things and life insurance and things like that. So those are, you know, other than, you know, the basic statements that you normally think about from a bank account, but but there are some other accounts that may not get the statements come into the house. That makes sense.

Barb Greenberg:

Totally makes sense. And I have a question I don't think you can answer it. Sounds good anyway. We've had women, a few women come to our classes whose husbands have their own businesses, and they're very concerned that money is disappearing or money is hidden or money. How far should they go down that path of trying to discover or uncover or can it be found or is it worth it? Can you Is that something you can address?

Amy Holewa:he most obvious like, regular:Barb Greenberg:

There's so much information here. I'm, I'm really excited. And you know what, our time is just about up. So before, and we will have Amy back. She's coming back. She's coming back because she's got more goodies to share. But before we leave, right now, will you share and we will put this in the notes to the best way to contact you? Yes.

Amy Holewa:

So I, my website is Aimia hola.com. And my office is located in Maple Grove, and Jeremy to share my phone number.

Barb Greenberg:

Maybe you don't have to do that. But maybe if they get to your site, there'll be a phone number and an email and all those kinds of good things, right?

Amy Holewa:

Yes, am YHOL II wa.com is my website and it has all my contact information, emails, you can send me a message directly through my website, and that does come directly into my email. So

Barb Greenberg:

that's awesome. And Oh, Anna can't forget this. She now has short videos on YouTube, which is under your name as well.

Amy Holewa:

Okay, YouTube channel is a new lover. That's why you go find her.

Barb Greenberg:

Yeah, because just you can just tell there's so much juicy stuff. And, and she makes it very accessible and not uncomfortable or intimidating. And so I just, I loved having you. I was so excited to have you back. And thank you so much. Thank you so much. We'll talk to you again soon.

Amy Holewa:

All right, thank you so much Barb

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