household, does one person handle all the finances? Who pays all the bills,
files the joint taxes, deals with insurance matters, and knows where all the
important papers are saved?
happens if that person becomes ill and can't take care of these tasks?
to a study by UBS Global Wealth
Management, more than half of married women leave all financial decisions
to their husbands. This could be risky for a number of reasons. Three key
tend to outlive their husbands on
average by five years.
are earning more income than they have in the past, sometimes
more than their husbands.
- About 36%
of marriages end in divorce.
are women will find themselves solely responsible for their family finances at
some point in their life.
situation is also applicable if you are a single parent with children. If one
of your children is over 18, it may be a good time to go over important
financial matters with them, should anything happen to you.
are a few steps to help get all the adults in the family up to speed and
Step 1: Have a family budget meeting
down with your spouse, partner, or adult children and talk about spending
habits and savings. Go over your combined incomes and total expenses, including
the amount spent on groceries, mortgage, insurances, entertainment, kids, etc.
Review all your debts together, including credit cards, medical bills, and
student loans. This will help you understand where you currently stand
financially as a family. If you or your spouse have a written budget in place,
make sure both of you agree with and follow it. If there isn't a budget in
place, this is an excellent opportunity to create one together.
Step 2: Review your retirement accounts
your financial future, too; it's important that you know how much you both are
contributing to your retirement accounts and what the current balances are. You
should know where your accounts are held and how to access them. Make sure everyone
knows where important financial documents are kept. If they are on a computer,
make sure they are easily accessible without help. You should visit your
financial planning advisor together so they can go over and explain your
current accounts. It's also a great time to review the beneficiaries on your
Step 3: Understand you insurance coverages
what is covered by all your insurance plans, including life, health, home, and
auto. Make sure you know who to contact to file a claim and what your
deductibles and co-pays are for each policy.
Tips for Staying Involved:
the adults in your family understand your current finances, it's important to
continue staying involved. Start having monthly budget meetings with your spouse,
partner, or adult child to review current spending and planned expenses for
involved in managing your family finances enables you to feel more empowered
and ready to handle any unexpected life events that come your family's way.