Fortify Your Finances: Proactive Financial Steps Every Woman Should Take In Her Relationship

Lauren Smith |

In many relationships, women tend to find themselves taking a backseat at the financial table to their male counterparts or husbands. This is due to various historical, societal and cultural reasons – sometimes even preference.

However, it's crucial for women to have a good understanding of their family’s finances, regardless of their current role as the head of the household, as financial literacy empowers them to make informed decisions, contribute to long-term planning and navigate unexpected changes with confidence

Today I’m sharing a few important steps every woman should take with her partner right now to protect herself (and her family) from potential uncertainty in the future, whether that be becoming a caregiver for your partner, becoming a widow or going through a divorce.

Unapologetic Communication About Finances

Be proactive in claiming your space in financial discussions with your partner. Open and direct communication is not just desirable; it's essential for a resilient financial partnership.

Action Steps You Can Take Now

  1. Regular Financial Summits: Schedule monthly financial summits. Address income, expenses and long-term goals without hesitation.
  2. Define Shared Goals: Ensure you and your partner are on the same page regarding your vision for your life and your financial goals. Whether it's investing, homeownership or retirement planning, make sure you understand your current plan and that your voice is heard as you continue to shape with them and work with your financial planner.

Financial Prowess: Arm Yourself with Knowledge

Knowledge is power, and you're ready to wield it. Become financially savvy together to ensure that decision-making is a collaborative effort.

Action Steps You Can Take Now

  1. Educational Power Moves: Proactively seek financial education resources. Attend workshops, devour books and challenge yourselves with financial literacy. It may not be your first choice for how to spend your time, but please understand that knowledge is your weapon against potential future financial uncertainty.
  2. Joint Financial Advisor Sessions: Talk to your partner about being included (or go ahead and initiate!) meetings with your financial advisor. Don’t have one yet? It’s never too soon in a marriage or long-term relationship to get on. Together you can gather insights, ask the tough questions and build a financial plan that you both understand and are excited about.

Emergency Funds: Fortify Your Financial Defenses

Life can be a battlefield, and you're strategizing for victory. Build a financial fortress to withstand unforeseen circumstances.

Action Steps You Can Take Now

  1. Establish an Emergency Fund: Ensure you have an emergency fund to be your personal reserve that can weather any storm. Be aggressive in accumulating at least three to six months' worth of living expenses to safeguard against unexpected challenges.
  2. Be Proactive About Insurance: Ensure your and your partner’s life insurance, disability insurance and long-term care insurance are complete and in tip-top shape. Be unapologetic in protecting your financial interests against the unknown.

Legal Control: Assert Your Rights & Wishes

Don't just plan for your future; consider all potential angles. Legal documentation is your strategic playbook, and you're taking charge.

Action Steps You Can Take Now

  1. Take Ownership of Legal Concerns: Consult with a lawyer to better understand the concepts of wills and estate planning. Leave no room for ambiguity—assert your wishes within your partnership regarding assets, dependents and healthcare directives.
  2. Establish Power of Attorney: Designate powers to individuals you trust to lead the charge on financial and healthcare decisions if you find yourself unable to command. Ensue your partner has done the same so that if the unexpected happens, you are set up for success in handling a life after they are no longer with us.

Taking control of your financial destiny is not just an option; it's a necessity. And something that I encourage ALL women to do as early as possible in their marriages or long-term relationships.

As you embark on this proactive journey, remember that assertiveness in financial matters is not only your right but your responsibility. Stand tall, plan boldly and be confident in your financial knowledge to help face any battles that may lie ahead.

If you're ready to take control of your financial future or need guidance on your financial strategy, don't hesitate to reach out. Your future is worth fighting for.


Please Note: Any opinions are those of Lauren Smith and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The information contained in this blog does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Every investor's situation is unique and you should consider your investment goals, risk tolerance and time horizon before making any investment. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.