In your household, does one person handle all the finances? The one who pays all the bills, files the joint taxes, deals with insurance matters, and knows where all the important papers are saved.
If the answer is yes, then your family finances are full of secrets.
What happens if that person becomes ill and can’t take care of these tasks?
According to a UBS Global Wealth Management study, more than half of married women leave all financial decisions to their husbands. This could be risky for several reasons. Three key reasons are:
- Women tend to outlive their husbands on average by five years.
- Women are earning more income than they have in the past, sometimes more than their husbands.
- About 36% of marriages end in divorce.
Chances are women will find themselves solely responsible for their family finances at some point in their life.
Here are a few steps to uncover family financial secrets and help get all the adults in the family up to speed and involved:
Step 1: Have a family budget meeting
Sit 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, and impulse purchases. 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 there isn’t a budget in place, this is an excellent opportunity to create one together.
Step 2: Review your retirement accounts
This is your financial future, too; you must know how much you both contribute 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 relevant financial documents are kept. If they are on a computer, make sure they are easily accessible without help. It would help if you visited your financial planning advisor together so they can go over and explain your current accounts.
If you don’t have an advisor, then contact Atlantic Financial Services, the professional financial services program located at Atlantic Federal Credit Union. Financial planning is for everyone. They can provide you a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to help you, “Start Tomorrow, Today.”
Step 3: Understand you insurance coverages
Know 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.
Have you entertained a recent quote on your insurance policies? Are you sure you have the right coverage and the right protection? Atlantic Federal Credit Union Insurance is an independent insurance agency that shares your Credit Union attitudes and values and can provide you their expert, unbiased advice.
Getting involved and helping to manage your family finances will prevent family financial secrets from being buried. You should feel empowered and ready to handle unexpected life events that come your family’s way.
This situation is also applicable if you are a single parent with children. If one of your children is over 18, it may be an excellent time to go over critical financial matters with them, should anything happen to you.
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