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Real fatherhood means love and commitment and sacrifice and a willingness to share responsibility and not walking away from one’s children. -William Bennett
I’d like to start by wishing my wife a happy anniversary! If the next 19 years are anything like the first 19, we will be in great shape. I write this after taking on the role of Mr. Mom for the last seven days, as the real Mom was in the US helping organize the Nefesh B’Nefesh Mega Event which is this huge aliyah fair for prospective olim. I am living proof of the adage that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Getting the kids up for school, making lunches, cleaning, preparing dinners which included the special “hotel omelet night” – that’s for another time – homework, logistics were all tasks that I had no problem handling. It was the WhatsApp that I received two days before my son’s fourth grade party where the absence thing started to kick in. You see, he had to bring in canned olives, some plates and some cheese, and my wife actually prepared everything before she left. The WhatsApp though was a big surprise. He also needed to bring in a platter of cut fruit, for 35 kids! Yikes. I had two options. Either go to the local fruit man and spend like NIS 300 on a fancy fruit platter or spend like NIS 40 and do it myself. Knowing that I have to practice what I preach, I headed to the supermarket and bought the fruit, woke up really early and cleaned and cut strawberries, apples and peeled and separated more tangerines than I could ever imagine. In the end, my platter looked so nice that I am announcing here that I am quitting my job as a financial adviser and going into fruit platter catering! Just kidding.
What does any of this have to do with your money other than the fact that you can save a ton of money cutting your own fruit? I think it’s all about teamwork. In order to have a successful marriage, you need to be partners. Sometimes that means working hard either to help raise children, clean a toilet, or take down the garbage. Sometime it takes one spouse being away to really appreciate all they do to help the family.
While sometimes it may seem easier for one person to “be in charge” of the money, it may not be so great for the relationship. Recently, TD Bank did a Love and Money survey. Amazingly, it showed that 90% of respondents who say they are in happy relationships discuss money at least once a month. On the other hand, just 68% of unhappy couples talk about money this often.
It’s not her fault
The important word used in the survey was “discuss.” It’s not about yelling or getting angry. It’s not about control. It’s all about discussing in a calm manner your financial goals, dreams and actual situation. From years of experience working with clients and how they want to invest their money, couples that speak about money issues and try and work together, typically end up investing their money properly because they understand what they both want the money to do for them.
As personal finance expert Dave Ramsey wrote, “Marriage is a partnership. It’s time to stop making these money mistakes and find common ground. Sure, it’s tricky to figure out how to not fight about money, but you can learn how to discuss your finances in a more productive way.”
You married your spouse for a reason. Believe it or not, you need their skills – especially the ones you don’t have. That free spirit or nerd can bring valuable insight and knowledge to the table. They’re your teammate, and it’s time to start treating them like one.
Welcome home dear and happy anniversary. Oh and sorry for the pile of laundry. That’s the one thing I didn’t get to!
The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates.
Aaron Katsman is author of the book Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing (McGraw-Hill), and is a licensed financial professional both in the United States and Israel, and helps people who open investment accounts in the United States. Securities are offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. (www.prginc.net). Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. For more information, call (02) 624-0995 visit www.aaronkatsman.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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