How To Cope with Financial Survivor Guilt (Including Guilt from an Inheritance) With Bestselling Author, Keisha Blair


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In this exciting episode of the Holistic Wealth podcast with Keisha Blair, we have an exciting solo episode on how to cope with financial survivor guilt (with Keisha Blair). Around the globe over 6 million people have lost their lives to COVID-19. Many families are dealing with grief from the loss of a loved one. We’re also in the midst of a high-inflation period, with rising gas prices, rising food prices and rising interest rates. The pandemic has caused us all to look more deeply at our lives to examine the direction we want our post-pandemic lives to take. In this episode I will walk you through effective strategies to cope with financial survivors guilt, including the guilt associated with an inheritance.

What is Financial Survivor Guilt?

Financial Survivor's guilt is when a person has feelings of guilt because they inherited a sum of money related as a result the loss (often the death of a loved one such as a spouse, parent, or other family member). It is often worse, when the loss is sudden, tragic and unexpected. It is a common reaction to traumatic events and a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition, there are many instances where several people who still have jobs and financial security felt guilty about having been spared while others lost their jobs. In a 2018 study, researchers surveyed people who were receiving treatment from a traumatic stress clinic in the U.K. They found that 90% of participants who had survived an event when others had died reported experiencing feelings of guilt.

As the Founder of the Institute on Holistic Wealth, I’ve heard many widows and other clients refer to their life insurance payout as “blood money”. It’s associated with the death of a loved one so it comes with intense emotions filled with grief, loss and tragedy. The Trauma of Money Certification program at the Institute on Holistic Wealth is also designed with strategies to cope with financial survivor guilt.

How To Cope with Financial Survivor Guilt

These are a quick list of some strategies to help you cope with financial survivor guilt (Listen to the full episode of the podcast):

1. Practice Gratitude – practicing daily gratitude through writing in a gratitude journal or dropping notes in a gratitude jar – which helps with reducing stress, anxiety and financial survivor guilt.

2. Focus on Mindfulness - Regular and sustained mindfulness practice has been shown to improve attentional control, increase awareness of internal and external experiences and reduce stress.

3. Know Your Personal Financial Identity– Take the Personal Financial Identity quiz on the Institute on Holistic Wealth website and regain control of your spending habits.

4. Embrace the Holistic Wealth Method – Think of all your decisions as either a depletion or addition to your holistic wealth bank account – and focus on activities that enrich you.

5. Positive Self-Talk - can stop catastrophic mind chatter that causes work stress and keep you calm in stressful situations and boost your financial confidence.

6. Find Your Purpose (Your Why) – Remember your “why” and embrace your mission and purpose (refocus and re-energize).

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