Finances are personal. So much so that we have rules and laws in place to protect confidentiality, so others don’t know how much we make, how much we have in the bank, or what our tax forms look like. But have you ever considered that in some ways, society is teaching us to be ultra-protective of financial and other personal information to the degree that it has also influenced our private lives? As a result, we keep the most important people out-of-the-loop when they really should be in-the-know!
Both before and after my wife Lauren and I got married, I could tell that while Lauren was interested in occasionally knowing where we were at financially, I was much more interested in handling the daily ins and outs of our finances as a couple. Given my passion for personal finance and her gladly relinquishing investing and other financial responsibilities to me, I felt good about taking on this role so she didn’t have to think about it. It seemed like a win-win – but was that really the best idea?
Similarly, the other day I was thinking about some very dear family of mine. My parents, my two siblings and I are the closest family they have, so we plan to take care of them and look out for their best interests both now, and in the future when they are no longer able to do so for themselves. Reflecting on that responsibility, I suddenly realized that I knew nothing about the resources or planning they have done to date. How would I help manage for their care down the road as they age or (Heaven forbid) in the case of an emergency? Where would I even start?
Sometimes when we feel we’re doing our spouse a favor by keeping track of the family’s money so “they don’t have to think about it”, we may actually be doing them a huge disservice by unintentionally keeping them in the dark. The same can be said about those who do not have a spouse, but whose loved ones, beneficiaries, or heirs are similarly out-of-the-loop. If nothing is shared with them, they will be left in the dark.
Finances aren’t always fun or easy to talk about, but it is imperative that we do talk about money. At All Star Financial, we often stress to our clients that they should bring their spouse, significant other and children along to our regular quarterly reviews to ensure no one is being left in the dark.
Please give us a call and we can help you develop a game plan to get your family in “the know”.
This link will take you to an article that I think provides some great tips. Overall, the article is geared more towards couples, but many of the tips can easily be applied to those not in a relationship as well.