There are people who revel in plumbing the depths of complex finance. If you don’t happen to be an accountant, a stockbroker, or a mathematical genius, however, you probably do your best not to think too much about your financial situation. As long as you have a budget, you pay your bills, and you set up savings and retirement accounts, what more do you need to know?
In truth, you should be paying much closer attention to your finances so you can make your money work for you in the best and most productive ways. Financial stability and effective retirement planning require you to understand your options, at the least, and adjust your strategies periodically to see the greatest benefits.
The good news is, you don’t have to go it alone. You can partner with qualified professionals to receive the financial advice, wealth management, and retirement planning services you need throughout your life. We can’t all be financial whizzes, but we can certainly find reliable experts to help us make informed decisions.
This can be especially important at key moments in life when a slew of unexpected financial questions may arise. When you enter a marriage, decide to divorce, or outlive your spouse, there are going to be a lot of financial questions, and you want to be prepared to answer them. Here’s a basic overview of what you can expect in these relationship scenarios.
Couples in the flush of new love aren’t necessarily grilling their soon-to-be spouses about their credit score, assets, and earning potential, but you should have some idea of financial status going in so you can plan accordingly. At the very least, you need to know your partner’s debt situation and have an understanding of spending habits.
There are a couple of really good reasons to share financial information, no matter how uncomfortable it is to ask. For one thing, an open and honest relationship demands it. If your spouse won’t divulge this essential information going in, how do you think your marriage will fare?
In addition, you need to plan accordingly to protect both of you and secure a stable financial future. For example, you don’t want your good credit dragged down with a spouse’s debt. It could affect your ability to make major purchases like a home or automobiles.
This might be a situation where you create a prenup or work with a financial planner on budgeting, paying down debt, and improving spending habits. Or you might want to be the one in charge of joint finances. There are many options to explore, but only if you know what you’re getting into.
When a marriage ends in divorce, it can be heartbreaking. The last thing you want to think about is chasing down unknown marital assets to ensure a fair division. With proper preparation, you won’t have to.
You should always know the ins and outs of your financial situation, especially when it’s linked to a spouse. Being in a marriage where one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing can come back to bite you in the event of a divorce, so take the time to get involved and make sure you have access to up-to-date accountings of your joint holdings.
You need to know balances for bank accounts, investment portfolios, retirement accounts, your mortgage, and so on. You need to be in contact with the professionals who manage these accounts, and you should have a rough idea of assets and debts.
Your attorney can try to help you uncover assets during a divorce if you suspect your spouse is hiding something, but there are no guarantees. It’s always best to keep an open dialogue during your marriage instead of leaving your finances solely to your spouse. This way you can answer pertinent financial questions as they arise during divorce proceedings.
Loss of Life
There are few situations in life more devastating than losing a loved one, and being hit with a lot of important financial questions you can’t answer when you’re trying to mourn may be more than you can bear, mentally and emotionally. If you’re prepared, however, you won’t have to face this added stress in the wake of loss.
Death and taxes are the only two certainties in life, or so the saying goes, and you and your spouse can prepare by collecting and storing pertinent financial information in one place, discussing end-of-life plans, and ensuring that each of you is aware of life insurance policies, retirement accounts, investments, and every aspect of your shared financial life. Setting up trusts is also an option that can ensure either one is financially protected should the other pass away unexpectedly.
It’s not always easy to discuss finances with a spouse, but there are definitely relationship scenarios that demand transparency, and it’s always better to be prepared than blindsided. With professional help from financial experts, you can keep your finances in order and plan for the future, no matter what life throws at you. Contact the qualified professionals at Investment Watch today at (410) 449-1140 to get started.
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