When reading some of the comments to our posts I’m amused to see that some responders assume that I’m a man.  When it comes to women and money is it generally assumed that women my age are clueless about money and let their husbands control the family finances?

Women and Money

It irritates me to no end when my husband and I meet with sales professionals – whether insurance agents, mortgage brokers, contractors, etc – and they totally ignore anything I say, or even worse, look to my husband for confirmation.

I have dealt with the family budget, savings and investments since my marriage over thirty years ago.

Sure I discuss major purchases and investment goals and holdings with my husband, but he basically gives me free rein because he knows I’m more interested in finance than he is and I have worked for a financial institution for over 25 years.

It’s important for all women to know what’s going on financially in their lives and have some understanding of the decisions made even if they are not interested in the act of building the portfolio.

It’s fine to let their man manage the family investments as long as there is some discussion (even if only a couple of times a year) of strategies, progress and decisions made.  It’s a huge mistake for women to plan on a secure financial future by hoping to marry well and live happily ever after.

As a financial planner I’ve seen many cases of women who became widowed or divorced and were paralyzed with fear and confusion, not knowing what to do.  Because of lack of involvement and ignorance of their family finances, the pain and grief of personal loss was intensified.

Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, and women generally live to be about ten years older than men, so widowhood is a strong possibility.

Related: Is A Prenup Really Necessary?

Whether on your own with books or online information, or with the help of a trusted advisor, it’s everyone’s (both men and women’s) responsibility to learn the basics of managing money and taking charge of your financial future.

Make sure you know exactly what your holdings are.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  After all, it’s your life, your plans and dreams we’re talking about and you should know how to go about achieving them.

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