By Melanie Hasty-Grant
A MAN IS NOT A FINANCIAL PLAN
Okay, listen up ladies (and gentlemen). This is a challenge I have watched far too many clients, friends, and family struggle through. It’s time to change our thinking and our expectations.
My husband and I have been married for over twenty-five years, and we’ve worked together for almost half of them. But we both know that even the most successful marriages can end, in either death or divorce. That is why a man is not a plan, even in the best of marriages. If you are married, each of you needs the skills to eventually stand on your own. That’s especially true for women, who tend to live longer, earn less, and save less for retirement.
Choosing the right partner might bring happiness and all sorts of wonderful things, but it is not a means to financial security later on in life. It’s education, career, and good financial choices that can truly ensure your money plan is your own. Here are a few tips to maintaining financial independence:
- Explore issues surrounding money and power in your relationship. Often money causes an imbalance in power in the relationship if one person makes significantly more income. This can bring about feelings of resentment, anger, insecurity, and powerlessness. Discuss in advance, what role you want money to play in determining each person’s worth in the relationship.
- Discuss your finances. Failing to discuss financial issues throughout the marriage can jeopardize your security individually and as a couple. Don’t shy away from these discussions because you are afraid you will disagree. You probably will disagree at times. Working through these disagreements, in a healthy way, will make you and your marriage stronger.
- Establish a budget. Sit down and determine what your expenses are and create a budget. Without a budget you will end up spending more than your paycheck. If you are spending more than you make, it will be impossible to achieve your financial goals. Meet each month to review if you are on target.
- Divide the money management responsibility. Who is in charge of balancing the checkbook? Who’s in charge of the investments? Who’s in charge of the taxes? Divide up the money tasks and make sure each of you know what the other is doing.
- Sharpen your financial skills. If you lack financial knowledge, make an effort to master the basics and boost your confidence about money issues. Get a good book about money management. Review your finances together each month. Learn how to manage your money wisely. This will give you a sense of control and security that will help you build a solid future as a couple.
- Set financial goals and strive each day to work towards them. Having a goal that is written down and that you discuss and dream about often will help keep you focused. Remember, a man is a partner, a help mate, someone to love and cherish, to share your life with. But the odds are that one day you will be financially responsible for yourself again.
And that my sweet friends, is why “a man” is not a financial plan.
For more information go to www.waterstonewealth.com or call 918-272-1120.
Melanie Hasty-Grant, Experienced Licensed Professional Counselor and Managing Principal at Waterstone Private Wealth Management.
Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered throught CWM, LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC is under separate ownership from any other name entity.