Conversations about finances can be uncomfortable, even with the people who are close to us — like a spouse or partner, parents, siblings or children. But money and other financial matters are often tightly linked to your goals and dreams for all phases of life — and often deeply intertwined with family relationships — so being able to have an open dialogue is important.
When you are putting together a household, it isn’t unusual to delegate responsibilities. One spouse or partner may take on the laundry, while another takes on the shopping. You might also decide which one of you vacuums and which one of you dusts. This is a perfectly fine way to divvy up household tasks and chores.
One household task it’s valuable for both partners to take part in, however, is your shared financial life. It’s important, regardless of your level of wealth or stage of life.
Having Tough Conversations about Finances
Counting on one spouse or partner to handle all financial decisions can create a gap for the other partner. Should the one in charge of the money separate, become severely disabled, or pass away, that may leave the other partner in a bind. A situation like that is probably difficult enough without adding additional stress.
How to Begin Conversations about Finances
If you are the partner who isn’t steering the household finances, ask yourself why. It may be that you have preconceived notions about how difficult it might be to educate yourself to make informed decisions.
Maybe you know how to do it, but you would simply rather not be bothered. It’s also possible that you recognize that your spouse or partner has a particular expertise in these matters and doesn’t need your help.
Education and Peace of Mind
Regardless of the reason, it’s probably a good idea that you should at least be able to hop into the driver’s seat, should misfortune strike your household. In that unfortunate circumstance, you should feel confident that whatever the reason or the duration, you won’t have any unnecessary concerns about managing your household’s finances.
For example, what if you have insurance that covers extended care, in case of a severe injury that causes your spouse or partner to be away from work for an indefinite period? How will you be certain that the claim is made? Who will make sure the bills get paid? The job will fall to you.
Addressing the potential threat of extended care expenses may be one of the biggest financial challenges for individuals who are developing a retirement strategy.
To help you navigate the basics of extended care, and shed some light on what some strategies would look like, I put together a huge resource for you.
This resource is designed to help you better navigate all of the ins and outs of extended care. In the boxes below, enter in your info and we’ll send it right to your inbox.
Continuing the Conversation about Finances
The good news is that through communication, regular conversations, and a little effort, you can probably learn what you need to know in order to help yourself in these situations.
Part of this, too, may be meeting and getting to know the financial professional who works for your household.
The more knowledge you have, the more confident you can become. Starting the conversation is just the first step.
It may take you some time to become comfortable in taking a greater role in the decision-making, but when you do, you may feel more confident if the responsibility ever falls solely to you.
Everyone’s needs are different, and I know the unknown can be a bit overwhelming at times.
If you need help sorting out what options would work for you and your family, please reach out to our office. We’re here to help you navigate what best suits your goals and personal circumstances and will help you find the best solution for you.