Helping you bring balance to your financial life.
Top Questions Women Ask about Money
Congratulations! Getting married is an incredibly exciting season of life, and we’re proud of you for thinking about what the next steps look like for you and your partner’s finances. When you think about managing your money as a married couple, it’s important to create a plan that’s rooted in your shared values. There are many questions you’ll be asking one another in the coming months and years that focus on financial priorities, and knowing that you’re both working with the same baseline for financial values is a huge help.
Questions you’ll want to cover might be:
- How much debt do we have individually that we’re bringing to the marriage?
- What do our individual savings look like?
- What are our financial goals in the next 3-5 years?
- What type of lifestyle do we want, and how does that inform our goals and our spending?
- Do we want to combine our finances?
- How will we use our wealth together to support friends, family, and the causes we’re passionate about?
- What type of legacy do we want to leave?
None of these questions are easy, and they may require multiple conversations.
Having a baby is a life changing event – whether they’re your first or your fifth! As you think about how you want to adjust your finances to accommodate your growing family, it’s important to think about your future goals for yourself and your children. Determining what kinds of immediate expenses you can expect as a result of your little one – from hospital bills to diapers – is a good place to start. a budget based on your new lifestyle and expenses, and set short-term savings goals to cover medical bills or other large financial requirements that come with growing your family.
Then, take this time to dig deeper and uncover how you want to continue to financially provide for your family both now and in the future. You might want to ask yourself if you want to help pay for your children’s college education, what type of lifestyle limitations and budgets you might want to set, and whether or not they’ll receive an allowance as they get older. Although not all of these decisions need to be made immediately when you’re having a baby, it’s good to be on the same page about how you want to financially prepare to parent your kids and teach them about money.
It’s always best to start with an open and honest conversation with your parents, and any siblings if applicable. Work to get a deeper understanding of what they have saved, what their debt obligations are, and what cash flow they expect for the rest of their retirement.
Then, you and your siblings can start creating a plan that balances your own needs with the future financial needs of your parents. This might include:
- Cost of ongoing care or assisted living.
- Help with medical expenses.
- Cost and emotional labor of having a parent live with you.
- Cost of smaller, more consistent, expenses – like groceries.
- Assistance with organizing an estate plan.
When determining whether you have enough money to meet your goals, it’s best to start by doing an honest evaluation of your goals, and what they cost. Be realistic here – don’t just think of a best-case scenario. Then, when you have a final figure, you can work backward to determine whether your current savings, spending, and investing habits will support those goals in your desired timeframe.
This can be trickier than it sounds! More often than not, we have to prioritize which goals mean the most to us and determine a saving strategy that supports them.
Losing a spouse or partner can be an incredibly challenging experience, and balancing your own grieving process with organizing your finances can be overwhelming. A good first step to take is to reach out to your financial planner, or your family’s estate planning attorney.
You will gather your documents, including:
- Will or trust
- Insurance policies
- Birth and death certificates
- Social Security information
- End of life documents (if applicable)
Taking the next steps to get any beneficiary distributions transferred to you and your loved ones, and organizing a plan for your financial future can be emotionally difficult, but important, during this time. Of course, it’s also wise to hit “pause” in the wake of loss and avoid making any dramatic financial changes or decisions. Unless it’s necessary, taking steps to alter your lifestyle can always wait until after the dust has settled and you’ve successfully moved through the probate process.
Separating from a spouse can be emotionally and financially difficult. Even in amicable separations, there are many decisions to be made – and you may or may not want to face some of the more challenging aspects of uncoupling your money.
The best thing you can do during this transition is to stay organized. Gather all of your important financial and legal documents, and keep them in a consistent physical or virtual location to reference whenever you need them.
You’ll also need to start thinking about your own financial next steps. This might mean opening new accounts in only your name, closing out any joint accounts or removing yourself from joint lines of credit where applicable, and updating your estate plan to remove your spouse or partner from your list of beneficiaries.
Finally, you may need to do some lifestyle planning during this next chapter. A new, updated spending and saving strategy that reflects your new values and goals is an excellent jumping-off point. If completely remodeling the way you handle your finances feels overwhelming, take things one step at a time.
When women support each other, incredible things happen.
Our women financial advisors are here to help.
Simplify your life with a plan that connects your money to what matters most.
Do women really need a separate movement?
Women and men face many of the same financial challenges, however studies show that women have unique financial needs. Just like men, women have personal needs, goals, and values that need to be addressed.
We know that women have made incredible strides in earning power and increased financial awareness.
Or $14 Trillion
of American personal wealth is now controlled by women