According to a recent UBS poll, 60% of women surveyed let their spouses and partners handle their finances. This is not uncommon, even among wealthy couples. The gradual shifting of financial responsibility and knowledge to one person often begins early in the relationship. But if the couple goes through divorce or the family financial manager dies or becomes physically or mentally incapacitated, their spouse or partner will have to scramble to figure out where their money is, how it’s being invested, and how debts are being paid while they’re also dealing with a legal or healthcare crisis. That’s why it’s important for couples to discuss these issues candidly and transparently, especially before retirement, so that either spouse or partner gains the knowledge they need to step in and manage their finances should a crisis occur. If this task is too challenging or contentious for a couple to do on their own, they should consider hiring a fee-only fiduciary financial planner to help organize and document their income, debts, savings and investments and serve as their impartial educator and mediator.
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