Reading Time: 2 minutes
At Intelligent Investing, one of the things that we believe makes us different is our attempt to unify families with financial communication. We’ve heard stories of people being laid off, paychecks being cut, and many more financial uncertainties. These times can be scary, and we can tend to want to internalize our emotions and not share them with others…leading to more loneliness and depression.
I recently read that China’s divorce spike due to the Coronavirus should be a warning to the rest of the world. If absence makes the heart grow fonder, the opposite might be true, but it doesn’t have to be. We know that financial stress can be a top reason for divorce, but it shouldn’t be. As families are put under new financial and emotional stresses, it is important to make more of an effort regarding your communication with your spouse and family.
Five Financial Questions to Ask
In order to help you get started, here are five financial questions to ask your spouse. Perhaps you can grab a cup of coffee and turn off Netflix for 15 minutes. My hope is that this may lead into deeper conversations.
- How financially secure are you feeling and why?
- In what ways could we can improve your feeling of financial security?
- How much do you think we have in our emergency fund?
- Do you think we need more or less in our emergency fund?
- What would you want to know financially should something happen to me? (getting laid off, sudden illness, unexpected death)
These are not the only financial questions you can ask, and your list of questions will be better than mine. The point is it starts getting both spouses on the same financial page.
When I asked my wife, Amanda, these questions, one of the things that came out of the conversation was that she wasn’t sure where all our money was should something happen to me. This opens the door for me to better communicate and document that, for example, we have a UK pension plan from the time I worked in London.
It may feel awkward at first—especially if you haven’t had these talks in a while, or ever. However, your spouse will appreciate your effort and it may grow you closer during these times of social distancing.
Need More Help?
If you do find yourself unemployed, be sure to consider whether it is worth rolling over your 401k or 403b. Check out our blog on the topic. Being laid off can be an emotional and scary time. Intelligent Investing was built to help you control your emotions of fear and greed. We’d be happy to take you out for a cup of coffee or lunch to discuss your situation and see if we may be able to help. Also, be sure to check out our Coronavirus’ Impact on Retirement mini-series.