They say ‘the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world,’ but when it comes to retirement planning, at least one survey has found that a number of women are not having their say.
In “Why Mothers Should Play a Bigger Role in Family Finances,” Forbes.com reported on a MoneyRates.com poll that found that in families where one spouse takes the lead on spending, husbands tend to be in charge of financial planning and decisions. (In a little more than half of the households surveyed, spouses shared responsibility for financial decisions).) Forbes.com outlined reasons why women who take on a reduced role should get more involved:
Women tend to live longer. Forbes.com notes, “…because a wife is more likely than her husband to need to handle financial decisions alone at some point, it is best that she stays fully up to speed throughout the marriage.”
Both spouses should have input on decisions about Social Security. Couples should agree on a strategy since their benefits will vary depending on their work history and the age when they decide to initiate payments.
Women tend to know more about the household budget. Planning for retirement requires figuring out how much you will need to live. The survey indicated that while men tend to want to make major decisions about money, women handle the household budget and likely know more about what it costs to keep the household going.
Two heads may be better than one. If your tendency is to defer to your spouse, consider that you have valuable perspective and experience.
Everyone needs some counsel and advice at one time or another. No matter who you are—married, divorced, single, widowed—you may need some help with financial planning. This is when you can count on a Fee-Only financial planner to help chart your course.