Talking money with our partners is hardly sexy. We get that. We also know that money matters are important and shouldn’t be avoided, despite their potential discomfort. Financially empowered women have to find ways to discuss money matters with confidence. No questions asked.
Do you want to know why? For starters, life happens and in a realistic world, not all relationships end in happily ever after bliss. According to financial feminist Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest, a recently launched innovative digital investment platform for women, “a woman’s household income falls 41% after divorce and 37% after a spouse dies.” Read: Be prepared for all possibilities — and this starts by being an active participant in the financial concerns of your partnership.
Open and honest communication between you and your hubby affects the entire framework of your love affair. Krawcheck agrees with us, saying that “getting together with your partner for a regular deep dive into your financial picture can give you more peace of mind, at the very least.” If you are looking at this with blank stares or even slight hesitation, we at Style Salute are here to lay out the code for all to see.
Ahead, 5 things to remember when discussing money with your partner.
1. BRING ALL FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS TO THE TABLE
First and foremost, be sure to grab hold of all of your financial documents, including your recent savings and checking accounts, investment accounts, and even any outstanding debt you may have accrued. Same goes for your partner. Without all of the paperwork, formulating a budget or monetary game plan will turn into a messy affair. Once the two of you have everything laid out and ready to analyze, future financial decisions can be made with more strategically.
2. SO, WHERE DID THE MONEY GO?
Figure out the trajectory of your mutual and independent wealth. In short, this means to calculate the flow of your money by assessing how much is being earned, saved, invested, and spent. Remaining calm and collected, leave judgement at the door even if something seems amiss. Instead, work alongside your partner to make financial changes that serve the both of you and keep you financially healthy.
3. SET GOALS AND MAKE THEM A REALITY
Goals are imperative in terms of your financial success because they motivate you to aim beyond your current status. Together and independent of your partner, establish monetary goals that you can both work towards and eventually attain. Examples include retirement planning, debt freedom, and investing when you are in the position to take that leap. Here’s a quick side note: Statistically speaking, women outlive men by roughly five years and tend to earn less money than their male counterparts. As a result, we women need to watch out for ourselves and consider investing more of our income. Investing in a diversified investment portfolio is a fantastic place to start, according to Krawcheck.But, how? Sign up for a free financial plan with Ellevest today. It only takes 5-10 minutes.
4. DON’T FORGET ABOUT RETIREMENT
Soaking in and savoring the present moment is important, but the future shouldn’t be neglected in the process. This is where retirement planning comes in. Come together with your loved one and talk freely about your ideal retirement lifestyle. Would you care to travel the world for half the year or perhaps purchase a beautiful condo on the Caribbean? The sky is the limit, with different couples finding happiness in varying styles of life. Once the visualization aspect has been accounted for, the two of you can then form a corresponding number amount that will allow for a comfortable, joy-filled retirement.
5. INVESTING IS A TWO-WAY STREET
Investing is fabulous and we highly recommend introducing it into your financial picture if you haven’t already. You are ahead of the game by having an investment portfolio in place. Still, when you have shared accounts, keep in mind that you shouldn’t relay all responsibility to your partner. It is crucial that you understand the underlying layers of your joint assets, rather than leaving your other half to be in charge. By doing so, you are relying on your partner to take care of business, even though it is vital that you step up and assure that you are both on the same front risk wise.
Not sure where to begin? Check out “The Go-Getter’s Guide to Investing.” Written by Sallie Krawcheck, the guide breaks down everything you need to know about investing in a free, easy-to-read instructional guide. Happy reading (and investing)!