Advice from Labib: Money and Marriage

Advice from Labib
Money and Marriage

Recent research has revealed some fundamental differences in the way men and women typically invest. This may explain why an estimated 30% of married couples have never discussed their finances.
Instead of risking a disagreement, many couples leave money matters in the hands of one partner, but a sudden disability, death, or divorce could leave the uninformed spouse in a difficult spot.
Even if you and your spouse are better off keeping financial discussions to a minimum, keep these basic financial issues in mind.
* People and papers- Both spouses should know the contents and location of estate planning documents such as a will, power of attorney, letter of instruction, and trusts. Financial records and contact information for the couple's legal, financial, and tax advisors also should be readily accessible to both husband and wife.
* Credit cards and loans- When people marry, their debts and credit scores often become common property, making both parties responsible for outstanding liabilities. Couples who discuss their credit situation can work together to resolve any issues. And if one spouse passes away unexpectedly, the other can continue to make payments on time and avoid fees and penalties.
* Family budget- Keeping both partners apprised of how much money is coming in and going out each month--and where it is being spent - can help reduce redundancies, increase savings, and ensure that bills are paid regularly.
* Financial goals- Making sure that both spouses are working toward the same goals can add efficiency and focus to a couple's financial plan. Whether saving for a second home, early retirement, or a child's education, it's important for a couple to know how close they are to reaching their goals and what it will take to get there.
It's easy to disagree about money. Still, keeping both you and your spouse up to speed on the family's financial issues can help ensure that both of you are moving in the same direction.

Alfred Labib is an Independent Financial Advisor. "Our Goal Is To Help Investors Grow And Preserve Their Wealth Through Discipline And Process." 301-824-4523,