Financial infidelity is one type of marital unfaithfulness.
You are married.
Perhaps you have been married for a long time.
Maybe your marriage is relatively new.
You were financially secure, but you did not enjoy managing your financial affairs.
Instead, you let your spouse manage the money.
According to a recent The Mercury article titled “Why smart people don’t recognize financial infidelity,” this could prove catastrophic to your bank account.
You put yourself at risk of exploitation when you abdicate control of your finances and leave your financial affairs to someone else.
What could happen?
Your partner could open credit cards without your knowledge, make reckless investments, lose money through day trading, gambling, or just plain old squandering.
How can you protect yourself from financial infidelity?
Maintain control of finances.
When people marry, they often combine finances.
If this is not your first marriage, it would be wise to keep your assets separate.
Doing so will help you know where your money is going.
Educate yourself about your finances.
Your spouse may understand money matters better than you.
Even so, it is important for you to have money skills as well.
Consider taking a personal finance class to help you grow in your competency.
Talk about finances.
Bringing up the topic of money is not comfortable.
You may fear being perceived as paranoid.
Do not fall prey to this fear.
Trust is earned.
It is important to have these conversations with your spouse.
Do not sign any document without first reading and comprehending it.
Signing documents usually involves someone granting permission.
You would not say “yes” to just any question posed to you, would you?
Similarly, you should not sign just any document.
Create an estate plan.
Wills, trusts, general durable powers of attorney, health care treatment directives, and health care powers of attorney are all helpful in protecting your financial interests.
These, however, must be done right.
For this reason, you should work with an experienced estate planning attorney.
He or she can not only review any financial documents presented for your signature, by also help you reach your estate planning goals and protect your estate from financial infidelity.
Reference: The Mercury (Jan. 29, 2020) “Why smart people don’t recognize financial infidelity”