Let’s continue our series on special financial issues that may especially affect women. When people marry, they still maintain a separate credit rating. This will now be affected by accounts that are maintained separately as well as co-signed together. When married women choose to apply for credit, they can do so under their maiden or married name. Having a strong credit rating is not only important for getting joint or separate credit while married, but may be needed again if the marriage ends.
Once children arrive, women and their families have extra decisions to make starting with whether to continue work or stay at home. Few decisions have as many personal, professional, family, and financial consequences. Each family’s goals, priorities, and circumstances will be somewhat different. But either way, in addition to the impact on the family, it will affect the woman’s future wage levels, professional development, job advancement, and retirement savings. This is one cause of women tending to earn less over their lifetime and having lower retirement incomes.
Of course, marriage itself has many financial issues. I have covered many of them previously including combining finances, checklists, children, and more. View them here:
Regardless who pays the bills, earns the most, or sets the budget, it is vital that both partners have their own budget for spending, are knowledgeable of the household finances, know where the important papers are kept, understand family investments, and discuss the family’s financial priorities and goals. This is especially important for women who statistical tend to outlive their husbands.