5 Financial Goals For Wives

Since 75% of married women will outlive their husbands, it is important to know the financial basics for economic survival.

If you are a married woman or know one, this information may is important. A majority of wives today do not know or understand the financial situation they will inherit when their spouse passes on. Many cannot balance a checkbook or read a bank statement. Some have no clue as to investment strategies or estate planning.

If you fall into this category, it's time to get out of it by learning all you need to know about personal financial support. While you could (and probably should) spend years studying basic finances, here are five vital things a wife should know (or learn):

1. Live on a monthly budget. Whether you work at home or in the job market, you need to make or follow a monthly household budget, even if your spouse is the principal breadwinner. Sit down with him to go over the income and spending strategies that are currently in place. Learn where the money is going and how to get it to go to more productive places, like savings or long-term investments. Live within your means instead of overspending or using credit cards. This is the first step toward financial freedom and maturity.

2. Balance your bank statement. When you receive the monthly statement, it may include itemized activity for a checking or savings account as well as interest earnings on a money-market CD (certificate of deposit) or mutual fund investment portfolio. Ask your husband or a bank associate to help you understand the abbreviations and structure of your statement so that it makes sense. Find out how to balance it each month so you can account for every penny.

3. Ask about life and disability insurance. If for some reason your husband were in a car accident today that left him dead or comatose, do you know where the health and life insurance policies are kept and how they will provide for you? If not, this is the next step of your self-guided tour into economic emancipation. Find out which policies you carry, how much they're worth, and where they are kept. If you do not currently have an insurance policy, it's time to get one, even if it's only a burial policy in the event of a family member's death.

4. Complete and file with the county recorder's office copies of you and your spouse's estate wills, powers of attorney (if needed), and living wills. Keep copies of the medical forms with your doctor and financial forms with your attorney. These will help family members carry out your wishes in the event that you are unexpectedly struck by illness or pass away suddenly.

5. Look into starting an investment or long-term savings plan. Everyone can use extra money to live on or for support of vacations, college, a new car, or other future goals. If you already have a savings or investment plan, go over it with a financial officer, such as a bank associate, to see how it looks for the long haul. You may need to increase deposits or change the terms of the account, depending on personal circumstances.

Every woman should have a detailed plan that provides income for her future, married or not. Discuss your financial goals with a financial officer who can answer questions and help you prepare for the golden years with a nest egg.

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