Does Marriage Provide The Ultimate Security?
In the Indian society getting a girl married means that a father has provided her security for life. But is that really true ... does marriage really provide the ultimate security?
Ria’s father was at the verge of retirement and wanted her to ‘settle down.’ For him settling her meant getting her married. So he started looking for a boy who was well established and could take care of his daughter. The groom hunt finally came to an end with Varun who seemed to meet all the requirements which Ria’s father was looking for in his son-in-law. What followed was a massive three day celebration of the wedding along with pre and post wedding celebrations. Everyone was very happy with the wedding and soon Ria got busy with her new family and was happy with her husband.
After ten years of marital bliss Varun suffered a heart attack and due to this he had an unexpected and untimely death. Ria, who all this while was happy and “secure” was suddenly clueless. She did not have any knowledge regarding financial matters. She did not know where and how Varun had invested in policies and bonds. To make matters worse she was not even aware of Varun’s bank account details, leave alone the password for internet banking. She did not have any details regarding Varun’s company and was clueless on how she could get financial help despite “having it all.” This was Ria’s story, where she had to face hardships after her husband’s death, but let us not be like Ria.
Another friend I knew had applied for a divorce because of the financial crisis at home. Her husband was a spendthrift and did not believe in saving, while on the other hand she believed in doing so. But her husband lost everything in gambling and when they needed money; they had none.
To make marriage a complete security it is a must to strengthen the financial union and this is how it can be done:
- Both husband and wife should be aware of expenditures and savings
- There should be equal responsibilities and money decisions should not be just one person’s task
- Be specific when it comes to talking about money matters
- Work on a plan and work together to achieve that for long and medium term expenses
- Identify your assets, discuss all the bonds, policies together ... their advantages, who is going to benefit in case of the sudden demise of the policy holder
- Building an emergency fund is fruitful as this is the money which is kept aside for an emergency like illness.
- Save for your retirement and share the details with your spouse
- Keep details of all the bank accounts whether single or joint account
- Note down all the passwords, and user id’s at one place; It can be a common folder on the desktop and if you are not tech savvy then write them all down in a diary
- Last but not the least trust your spouse and talk about the management of money with a plan that works along investing, budgeting and investing.
Talking on these issues can give a new direction to your marriage because the burden of unsettled money matters is enough to mar a relationship. The key to a happier, richer and a secure relationship is that of openly discussing the finances and working together to resolve the issues in order to achieve the goals.
By Shubhra Rastogi