By Laura Latzko
Myra Alport understands what women go through during a midlife transition.
Divorced at an older age after a 27-year marriage, Alport hopes to help woman over 50 learn how to handle and manage their finances after a life-changing event.
She recently founded the Scottsdale-based financial coaching business, Myra Alport Money Coach LLC, which banks on her 30 years of experience in financial services. She says many women need advice and tools for managing their finances after a divorce.
“Women in midlife are typically focused on family, sometimes on career,” she says.
“I think that they are often left out of financial conversations, whether it’s because they have chosen to, or the responsibility has relied heavily on their spouse. I just feel that women are not as in-the-know about financial education. I want to be able to help women make more informed decisions.”
Alport says many individuals are too ashamed or embarrassed about their finances to discuss them.
“People find the topic awkward,” Alport says. “It’s uncomfortable. People tend to want to look elsewhere. I’m trying to bring it to the front by starting this business, getting the word out that there are people who will take the time. I consider myself a hand holder. No judgment. Let’s try to plan your life going forward with a values-based approach.”
Generally, Alport has an initial consultation with clients and then meets with them once very few weeks. She offers coaching packages ranging from one session to three months of coaching.
Alport says during the early sessions, she gets to know her clients, their financial situation and history.
“Before you can get to the actual steps, you need to take the time to get to know someone else and what their life has been. What is their money mindset? Were you taught when you were a kid that your husband was going to manage the money, and you wouldn’t have to worry about that? Did you grow up with a single parent and you saw how they lived their life? A lot of it comes down to how you’ve grown up,” Alport says.
Alport prefers to meet with clients using video calls, which are convenient and allow her to expand beyond Arizona.
Women divorcing in their 50s often have emotional and social issues along with financial ones. Alport says during this difficult period, they are trying to figure out how to move forward — especially if they have enough money to last their lives.
“At that time what I didn’t have was a future vision,” she says.
“What do I want for myself going forward? What is the picture that I want to paint for myself? I think that’s where I really got stuck. I decided that I wasn’t going to paint a masterful picture because I wasn’t willing to go down that path. It was a little painful. I wasn’t ready to do that. I decided I was going to live in the moment… What did I want my life to look like? I really didn’t have a vision. I was more concerned about freedom.”
Alport’s role model was her mother, who was single after she divorced and then her second husband died.
“I watched my mom, who lived a very long life, make it as a single woman for the vast majority of her life,” Alport says.
“That was inspiring to me, and I want to inspire other women that they can live the life that they see for themselves.”
Alport hopes to help her clients make financial decisions.
“There are a lot of life decisions that women have to face on their own,” Alport says. “They are not necessarily prepared to. They may not make the best decisions financially. Whether to keep a home or not keep a home. That requires maintenance, things they may not have had to think about before. Keeping a home versus perhaps moving across the country to be closer to family…That’s where I come in and raise the questions. Oftentimes, there are things that don’t surface because maybe you are just going with the uncomfortableness of the situation. That’s where I come in.”
As a financial coach, Alport suggests clients change their habits. It is ultimately up to them to decide whether they will follow her advice on planning expenses and managing debt.
“We are going to do a lot of talking,” Alport says. “I’m not going to tell you what to do. The choices are yours. I’m going to explain what those are, in different aspects of your life. Once we have agreed on that, we still stay in touch and make sure that these important items that are ranked highly in your life will evolve.”
Alport essentially educates her clients on topics such as their investments, Social Security and Medicare benefits, pensions and other health care benefits.
Ultimately, Alport hopes to show other women that they can move forward after getting a divorce later in life.
“I really want women to know that they can live the next chapter of their life happily and joyfully. Even though divorce can be devastating in so many ways, there is life beyond it. With proper planning, there’s a wide-open space,” Alport says.
Myra Alport – Money Coach LLC