Let’s kick off the summer with an uplifting quiz question: What area of disagreement between spouses is the best predictor of divorce? Sex, right? Nope. Or perhaps in-laws? Sorry, no. The answer is disagreements over finances. Money implicates our deepest values, hopes, and fears. It serves as a proxy for status and success, and it often drives our sense of self-worth. It’s no surprise that disagreements over money have profound implications for our relationships. For couples, the cornerstone of financial health is not how much you make, how much you spend, or how much you’ve saved — it’s how you communicate about and relate to money as a team. And in this article we’ll be walking through the essentials of healthy communication about money.
As your parents get older, they’ll inevitably begin to face a variety of issues that come with the golden years: planning for retirement, estate planning, living arrangements, long-term care, when to give up driving, and others. Often it falls to one or more adult children to step in and help. Below are the steps to take to broach these topics with your parents as they begin to face these issues.
Unless you’re Scrooge McDuck and enjoy swimming through piles of cash, money is not an end in itself. Instead, money is a means to something else. Your money allows you to purchase necessities and luxuries, to finance family vacations and evenings out with friends, to feel good about yourself (or even superior to others), and to have some security in an uncertain world. There is always an underlying reason why we value money and use it the way we do. Understanding those reasons—why you earn, save, and spend your money—is where wisely managing your finances starts.
Ho ho ho: consumer spending this holiday season hit a four-year high. Good news for the economy, right? Perhaps, but at the same time revolving credit (think credit card debt) has hit an all-time high in the U.S., while food pantries are more packed than ever (including with people who have traditionally middle-class jobs).
As one’s parents get older, they’ll inevitably begin to face a variety of end-of-life issues: estate planning, living arrangements, whether skilled nursing is appropriate, when to give up driving, and others. Click here for some proactive steps to take to assist one’s parents as they age and begin to face these issues.
When was the last time you stopped and evaluated your lifestyle? Upgrades to our lifestyle can creep in subtly and, before we know it, that gym membership we coveted for so long feels like a must-have. Check out some guidelines for reviewing your lifestyle here.