Why Women Need Financial Intimacy (Part 3 of a Series)

by financialmom on March 18, 2010

in Estate Planning, Financial Intimacy, Financial Plan, For Women Only

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Yesterday’s post in the Why Women Need Financial Intimacy series was on Myths about Marriage.  Today’s post is going to tell the truth about marriage, as it relates to a woman’s financial life.

This series is based on the book Don’t Worry About a Thing Dear – Why Women Need Financial Intimacy, by Helga Hayse.  If you haven’t read the previous posts in this series, please go back and read them!  For more information on this topic, and to purchase Helga’s book, please see her FinancialIntimacy website.

So here are some Financial Truths About Marriage:

Marriages Are Recorded in Court

When two people marry, a courthouse recording is created for the state – a legal and financial unit called a marriage. In a community property state (like Wisconsin), from the moment you say “I do,” all financial decisions made within the unit called your marriage belong to both of you, even if you don’t know about them because your husband didn’t tell you.

In many respects, a marriage is like a business partnership.  Most people going into a business partnership know more about each other’s finances than two people getting married.

Your Husband Can Not Read Your Mind

Every woman would like to think that if her husband loved her, he would always know what she wants. Seriously, how can he know that?  How is a man going to know what you need unless you tell him?  And, even worse, how will he know you want or need it again, and again, unless you keep reminding him?  I know it’s very irritating.  And actually, speaking up about what we need or want isn’t the whole problem.  It’s how we do it – what we say, and how we say it.

The big point here is if you are not talking to your husband about money, how could he possibly know what your financial needs or concerns are?

It’s Not Romantic To Talk About Money

It’s not romantic to talk about the plumbing, fixing the car, your relatives, and thousands of other things either, but does that mean you don’t do it anyway? Financial issues rank as the top reason for divorce.  It makes sense for money to be a priority for discussion both before and during your marriage.

Death Is Not a Four Letter Word

No matter who you are, what you have achieved, whether you are happy or sad, rich or poor, someday you will die.  So will your spouse.  Because death has very real and very practical financial consequences for the survivors, denying it will happen will cheat survivors of the ability to plan.

Obviously, the best time to discuss death is before you have to. Failing to do it will put you at the mercy of the state, your children or step-children, your husband’s attorney and accountant, and maybe even an ex-wife.  Because statistics show you will probably outlive your husband, it would be smart for you to know what you need to know about your finances before you become a widow.

A willingness to plan with you could be one of the greatest acts of love your husband will ever demonstrate. If he has difficulty facing his mortality, recognize that in this situation, you may have to be the stronger partner and insist the planning be completed, to make sure both of your intentions will be followed.  This is about your protection!  Do it now!

There Are No Guarantees in Marriage

Actually, there are no guarantees in marriage or in life.  Ultimately all you can do is recognize there are no guarantees, and plan accordingly.  How about having a will, a medical power of attorney, appointing a guardian for your children, even just telling people we love them? That’s just a short list!

The more you procrastinate in discussing these things, the greater the odds something will happen which you are not ready for. And the higher your anxiety will become about having the planning talk.  You know one of the greatest fears a woman has is someday we will become a penniless bag lady.  Don’t let it happen to you because you failed to speak up.

So you know you need to do it, but how do you raise the subject of planning and money and your concern about being widowed?  That’s the hardest part, figuring out how to have that money and planning conversation.

Purchase Helga’s book right here, which will tell you exactly how, what, when, and where to have the conversation in a way that will make both of you happy.  For the price of a few lattes, it’s loaded with great tips!  For more information on financial intimacy, see Helga Hayse’s FinancialIntimacy website.

New Profile Pic 2599R Why Women Need Financial Intimacy (Part 3 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 3 of a Series)Photo Credit – emdot

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

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