Married couples in America frequently utilize a “divide and conquer” dynamic where they split up duties depending on each spouse’s strengths and weaknesses. On the surface, this might seem like an intelligent and efficient way to manage duties, but if you take a pragmatic look at the future, you will quickly realize this is a recipe for disaster. This is especially true when it comes to the couple’s finances.
According to a recent UBS report, 56 percent of women rely on their husbands to make all investment decisions. Interestingly considering the shift in gender roles, 61 percent of married millennial women leave investment decisions to their husbands. Similarly, approximately half of all married couples reported that the man is the dominant household financial decision maker. The remaining percentages here are divided between women making the decisions, or both spouses making the decisions. These statistics are concerning because learning how to use a washing machine after your spouse dies is easy but learning how to manage complex investments or pay household bills is much more difficult.
Few things are more terrifying to a new widow than realizing she has zero knowledge about her finances with her late husband. Now, not only must she pick up the pieces and try to move on from losing the person closest to her, but she also must learn how to manage her money and investments. This would be particularly daunting for someone with no education in finance, accounting, or economics. Even worse, if her education level stopped at high school, this would be absolutely terrifying.
To avoid these unnecessary dangers, each spouse should be knowledgeable enough on all of the couple’s duties, especially the financial duties, rather than just the ones for which he or she is responsible. Here are three solutions a financial savvy spouse can use get his partner up to speed on the couple’s finances, to hopefully avoid these types of dangers later and ensure a later transition runs smoothly:
Encourage Your Spouse to Complete Some Type of Financial Education
There are various educational opportunities available when a person wants to learn a new skill. There are in-person classes, books, on-demand videos, and