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Your Spouse's Money!


When I was a kid, my Grandfather used to tell me lot of stories, a privilege which most of the kids this generation are devoid of. One of the stories which I still remember is about Death. The story goes around like this – During early times, Death was one thing which used to happen to people at any point of time without any reason. When the time of their departure from this earth used to come, people died instantaneously, no sickness, no accident; they simply used to fall on ground and were declared dead. This made families very upset. They all gathered together and prayed to the Lord of Death – Yamdoot. He answered their prayers and asked them what they are looking for. People told Him that our loved ones are hale and hearty one day, and then suddenly they die without any reason and this way doesn’t give us any time to prepare ourselves for their death both mentally and emotionally. Yamdoot understood their plight and finally changed the way he used to take lives. He said from now on wards Death will happen for a reason, be it accident, be it Health issues, but there will be a reason. Only thing which will remain uncertain is the Time of Death, no one will ever know when one will die. People were ok with this change; at least they will now not fret over how their family member died? Till date this thing has continued, Death happens with a reason – old age, heart failure, accident, so on and so forth.
This story relates so well with the way, we deal with our finances. Since we all don’t know when we will die, it becomes very important for us to share our financial details with our spouse and if he/she is not there then with the kids, so that they are prepared when the day arrives. In this time and space, where most of the families have dual income with both the parents working and having separate bank accounts, sometimes we don’t think it is important to discuss our money details with our spouse considering that we have earned the money we have. But if you look at it from other perspective, the cons of not sharing the details with your spouse are much more than the pros. Let’s understand it point by point.
1.     Security: If your spouse knows how much you save and where all you save, it becomes easier for them to take their personal financial decisions for themselves. Sometimes going ahead with same job is really tough, knowing that your partner has enough money for 6-7 months back-up it becomes easier for one to decide on the road ahead.
2.      Less chances of money getting lost: If you and your spouse share your financial details with each other, it becomes easier for the survivor to track the money in case something happens to the other partner and he/she leaves this world without telling anything. Imagine in case of a homemaker, if the only earning member of the family dies, and she doesn’t know where his husband used to save money and what all bank accounts he had. Not only she has to bear an emotional burden of taking care of herself and her family but she also need to get the finances right.
3.      Diversification of Assets: If you know your spouse has invested in so and so financial instrument, it will help you take a better decision in terms of your own investments, and there would be lesser risk of putting all eggs in one basket.
4.      Trust: In addition to all the points mentioned above, this habit builds trust between the couple, which is an integral part of any relationship.

So, let’s have a reality check today. Are we preparing are loved ones?

Charu Hastir, CFPCM is founder of www.theriteplan.com. Rite plan is an online financial planning portal created to achieve a single objective of providing easy and Do It Yourself Financial Planning to netizens. Rite Plan is wholly owned by Tikkun Olam Financial Planning Services LLP. Please visit: https://theriteplan.com/index.php?route=common/home/

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