BRANDON – For author, speaker and former financial planner Kathleen Rehl, a heightened concern for widows began on 9/11.
That day, Rehl got stuck in Houston on a layover between flights from Tampa to California. Television monitors in the airport played clips of the World Trade Center towers crumbling, and all air travel was suspended. She rented a car and drove back to Florida, alone.
She realized that “many women were widowed that day, as husbands died in the New York towers. That was the start of my focusing more on these women.”
After her own husband, the Rev. Tom Rehl, died of liver cancer in 2007, she closed her practice to new clients except widows.
“This became my new passion and purpose in life — helping my widowed sisters. It’s thrilling to be part of this important work,” she said.
At Rehl’s workshops, women often ask her to help them with their finances.
“That’s partly why I gave up my license, so I can say with full honesty that I am no longer licensed to provide personal financial planning,” said Rehl. “I generally recommend they find a fee-only, certified financial planner through one of several financial planning organizations. And I do not receive referral fees for sending these women to good planners. That’s just the right thing to do.”
Barbara Routen, [email protected]