Carrie Schwab Pomerantz
(SET ITAL) Dear Carrie: My husband has always handled our finances, and I've been OK with that for the most part. But now I feel I should be more involved. What if something happens to him? He tells me not to worry, that he has things under control. I'm no longer comfortable with that. What do you think is important for me to know -- and how can I get him to include me? -- A Reader (END ITAL)

Dear Reader: In every couple, there's usually one person who takes the financial lead, and that makes sense. We all have our own talents and interests, and handling finances may come more naturally to one person than the other.

But I agree that, even if your husband is handling the details, it's essential you also have complete knowledge of your family's financial matters -- both large and small. Keeping you in the loop is not only essential -- to me, it's a sign of respect. And hopefully, your husband won't interpret your interest as a threat or vote of no confidence, but more like making sure you have each other's backs.

In my own family, I'm more the day-to-day person, but my husband is aware of every account and is part of every important decision. You might use this as a model when you approach your husband with your concerns.

BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR INTEREST -- AND YOUR PURPOSE

Because you've been content in the past to let your husband take the financial lead, it's possible he will see your new interest as somehow questioning the way he's been handling things.

Make sure he understands that you're not doubting his ability or asking him to give up control. You're just asking to be a partner in a very important part of your life together -- for the well-being of both of you.

PUT IT IN THE CONTEXT OF YOUR MUTUAL GOALS

One easy way to start the money conversation is to talk about your plans for the future. What do you each want to accomplish? Where do you want to travel? What's your retirement scenario?

This isn't just about money; it's about your dreams. But it does take money and a certain amount of financial planning to achieve them. Talking about your life goals could be a good way to open the door to your greater personal involvement in helping to plan and save for them.

SHOW HIM YOU'RE SERIOUS BY ASKING THESE QUESTIONS

To plan and save wisely, you need to understand what you have, what you owe, and how you're protecting yourselves. Your husband may initially feel that it's too much of an effort to explain everything, so make it easier for him by having a concise list of questions.

Start by asking about your:


Carrie Schwab Pomerantz

Carrie Schwab Pomerantz is a Motley Fool contributor.

Be the first to read Carrie Schwab Pomerantz's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.

TOWNHALL FINANCE DAILY

Get the best of Townhall Finance Daily delivered straight to your inbox

Follow Townhall Finance!