by Bruce W. Helmer, RPC (President)
When one partner manages the finances, without regular updating, what happens if there is an illness or death? You not only probably have bills associated with that tragedy, but you may have the surviving or healthy spouse left in the dark about finances. Too often that is exactly what happens. Men usually manage the money – and they usually die first. Women’s life expectancy is 79 versus 72 for men. Because women outlive men by an average of seven years, their financial planning strategies need to take into account a longer life and the additional health care needs that may be associated with it.
These statistics make it clear why both spouses need to be involved in financial planning. The tendency of most couples is to divide money issues into two categories: periodic or regular expenses and savings or investments to finance future goals and plans. As I have noted, women are often responsible for the first, men for the second. Successful money management requires that those lines be erased. The result is that all the money in your household should be managed jointly and with agreement on your financial priorities.