Why Women Need Financial Intimacy (Part 1 of a Series)

by financialmom on March 16, 2010

in Financial Intimacy, Financial Plan, For Women Only

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I am going to start this series on Why Women Need Financial Intimacy with a quiz (stay with me, this will only take a couple of minutes)! This series was born from a book recommendation I received last fall, and it is the best book I have ever read on protecting women from financial disaster.

Helga Hayse of FinancialIntimacy wrote Don’t Worry About a Thing Dear – Why Women Need Financial Intimacy out of her own personal story. Every woman should get this book and read it, whether you are single, engaged, married, divorced, or widowed – you will learn something to immediately impact your financial life.

Helga was a guest on my Intelligent Investing radio show on February 9, and we had an excellent time talking about her book – you can listen to the show or download it for free on ITunes. The following quiz is included in Helga’s book, and I have included my comments on why you must do these things to have financial intimacy in your relationship.

Financial Intimacy Quiz

How many of these statements can you answer Yes to?

1) I can discuss money with my husband or fiancee without arguing. Since we know the leading cause of divorce is money problems,  this one is extremely important.  And the arguments usually start because someone is spending too much, and maybe hiding it from their partner.  You have to learn how to have a money conversation without arguing.

2) I know the balance on my fiancee’s or husband’s credit cards. If you are engaged, you need to be sharing your complete financial status with each other.  And that includes FICO (credit) scores.  You don’t want to find out you have married a financial disaster after the fact, especially if you live in a community property state.  If you are married, and in a community property state, you better know your husband’s spending habits, since you are equally responsible for any debts he incurs.

3) I know and understand our financial assets and liabilities. This is the complete balance sheet of your life together – both the pluses and the minuses!  Assets are the value of the things you own, and liabilities are the debts you have.  Together this gives the whole picture of your financial life together.  You can own lots of stuff (+), but if you bought it all on credit (-), you are living in a house of cards waiting to fall.

4)  I understand my husband’s record keeping. Maybe your husband is the financial nerd of the family.  He really enjoys paying the bills, and crunching the numbers.  But he keeps it all on the computer in a program you don’t understand, or even have the login and password for.  Or even worse, he keeps all your financial records at the office, where you don’t even have access to them in an emergency.  Something’s got to change here if you don’t understand the financial records.

5)  My husband and I discuss all investment decisions. Are you participating in the family investing decisions?  If you aren’t, it’s time right now to start.  Your husband needs your perspective on all financial decisions that will affect your family.  You may have a whole different point of view than he does on how to invest your hard earned money – and guess what, you may be right!

6)  I know my husband’s accountant, lawyer, and financial advisor. Actually knowing who they are and how to contact them is only the beginning. You should be attending all meetings your husband has with them.  That is  how you learn what you need to know, and can help make intelligent financial decisions for your family.

7)   I understand my husband’s will and our estate plan. In other words, you know the will and estate plan exists, you have read them, you know what the legal jargon means, and you agree with what they say!

8)   I don’t sign anything I don’t understand. This is one of Helga’s main points in her book – never sign something just because your husband says “Just sign here honey!”  Soooo important especially this time of year, when we are doing our taxes.  Ask questions before you sign anything if you don’t understand it!

9)   I have durable power of attorney for health care and financial decisions. If your husband has a medical emergency, and is incapacitated, do you have the legal authority to make health care and financial decisions for your family?  Get this done right now – it’s a simple form, and you will sleep better knowing it’s done!

10)  We have a revocable living trust and it is fully funded. Not everyone needs a living trust.  Consult with your attorney and your financial advisor to determine whether this is appropriate for your situation.  If you have a revocable living trust, have you done the work to change the registration on the assets you want in it to the correct living trust verbage?  This is where follow through is essential.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series, which will go into more detail of how women can protect themselves from financial disaster by practicing financial intimacy.   Also check out Helga’s FinancialIntimacy website for more information.

New Profile Pic 2599R Why Women Need Financial Intimacy (Part 1 of a Series)Pamela Otten is CEO of Pamela Otten LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. She loves to work with women business owners and entrepreneurs, and women in transition due to job change, death, or divorce. Pamela will help you set and reach your financial goals, educate you to understand your investments, and teach you how to do more charitable giving. Pamela is a Qualified Kingdom Advisor (www.kingdomadvisors.org), trained and committed to integrating biblical principles with her investment advice.

cc smallest Why Women Need Financial Intimacy (Part 1 of a Series)Photo Credit – emma freeman portraits

Financial Planning, Investment Advice, and Investment Management provided through Pamela Otten LLC, Registered Investment Advisor.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Golda Smith October 25, 2011 at 10:52 am

When I was part of a “we” I can’t say that I did know his financial habits except to say that they weren’t good! That was a huge problem for me and I know that the next time I enter into a partnership finances will be discussed because it’s important.
Golda Smith´s last [type] ..The Price Is Right: An Old Concept Is Making a Return

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