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Abstaining from Financial Planning Leaves Women Vulnerable

Women Defer to Partners

More than 50% of women in heterosexual couples leave financial decisions to their male partners, according to a recent UBS study. This is not just an older generation issue; most millennials do this too.

Given high divorce rates and women’s tendency to outlive men, the probability is this leaves many women unprepared. A major life event can leave them scrambling to determine where they stand financially, and how to manage money going forward.

Getting Involved

The good news is that most couples want things to be more equal. According to Own Your Worth, 96% of married women and 98% of married men want women to be more involved in financial decisions.

Taking a team approach to money management takes the pressure off of one person to succeed by themselves in the relationship’s long-term financial health. Most of those surveyed also said that women’s financial participation is crucial to gender equality.

Knowledge Is Empowering

When one partner takes all of the responsibility, it may prevent both partners from having a full understanding of their financial needs, goals, and bigger picture.

There are some simple steps women can take to be a participant in financial decisions, which can make you less vulnerable. Regular conversations about your current financial status can provide a good basic knowledge that supports informed decisions. An occasional high-level review of investments and savings can give a sense for whether you are on track to reach long-term goals.

One useful technique is to set a regular time for these conversations to occur. Meeting as a couple with a financial planner could be another way to set goals and talk about money together.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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