Selina Jen & Richard Chang
Jamie Teo & Daniel Ong.
These celebrity marriages could not survive the horrible monster named 2016.
While we are no expert at entertainment news, an educated guess is that money is not the reason for these marriage mishaps.
After all, they have more than enough moolah to last them for lifetimes.
While divorce is on the rise in Singapore, we can never be sure of the true reasons for splitting.
This is because there can only be one official ground for divorce in Singapore – the Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage.
However, studies have shown that money is one of the top stressors in a marriage as well as the leading reason for nuptial breakdowns.
Besides the lack of money, financial incompatibility is the root cause of many failed marriages.
So just get the same financial adviser?
No, that may alleviate the problem in the short run but a financial adviser cannot do anything if you two don’t communicate.
Instead of leaving it all to an outsider, these are some financial tips that you and your spouse may practise to keep your relationship strong.
Discuss your financial goals
This is a big one.
Your spouse may want to buy a safe but low-yielding endowment plan for your kid’s education.
You may prefer to risk a little more with an Investment-Linked plan.
Early retirement is your goal; she doesn’t wish to stop working.
She likes to save on the small items; you don’t really see the point.
These seemingly minor differences may cause cracks to your marriage.
Talk to your partner.
You may not share the same ideals on finances but you may either compromise or agree to disagree.
Two of you may not be peas in a pod financially but each may pursue individual dreams while sharing a common vision for the family.
It may not be easy but the best things in life are worth working for.
Keeping your accounts together & apart.
It may sound contradictory but stay with me.
Open a joint account.
At the same time, keep your individual bank accounts.
Make equal contributions into the joint account and spend it on family expenditures only.
It is not ideal if both of you pool your income and all your personal spending together.
One will definitely spend more than another.
Long term, it just does not pan out as a sense of unfairness will prevail.
With a joint account, there will be less scrutiny on personal expenses.
And definitely a lot less grumbling and finger-pointings.
Shortage of funds in your joint account?
You may decide to sponsor the family trip from your personal account.
Your spouse will be delighted at your generosity.
Is having separate bank accounts working well for you?
Please carry on.
If you have no argument on your existing financial arrangement, it should be good enough.
After all, no two marriages are perfect mirror images.
Valuing the homemaker’s contributions
We know we have been emphasising on the importance of insuring your breadwinner.
But homemakers do make a sizable contribution towards the marital union.
In fact, a homemaker must also be valued not just for his or her contribution, but also in terms of insurance coverage.
Let us calculate just how much a homemaker is worth.
A thrice-weekly cleaning on weekdays is worth $2,400 per month.
Full day childcare service will cost about $700.
DIY laundry expense should rack up at least $100 a week.
If you are counting at home, it is already $42,000 a year.
We have yet to add in other tasks such as sending the children to school, cooking, washing up after a meal, etc.
If one-half passes on, the surviving spouse must take over the role of the homemaker.
He or she will need to hire commercial assistance.
Thus, an insurance for the homemaker is a must-must.
Keeping updated on insurance plans.
This is vital because of two reasons.
Coverage and claim.
You do not want to over-insure a common property.
Both of you may take up home insurance separately.
Despite having two policies, you don’t get twice the amount but only what you have lost.
It can get worse.
Both of you assume that the other party has bought the insurance.
Upon the time of need, you realise that none of you has gotten any coverage.
For the sake of claims expedition, you need to know the insurance details of your Special One (SO).
In emergency situations, you shall be able to arrange for the right hospital ward.
You may also contact the relevant insurers to take care of the Personal Accident or Critical Illness claim payout.
At dire times, you do not want to scramble around the house, looking and reading the insurance policies.
Spending time with the spouse should be a priority.
That is exactly why you need to update your partner about insurance coverage.
Spending time together.
In spite of hectic schedules, do remember to spend quality time with your SO.
It is the interactions that determine how strong your relationship is.
Communication breakdown is a common reason for marriage failure.
This is the best financial advice for any couple.
Simply because divorce proceedings can be very expensive.
Going to Court usually is.
Wrapping it up
There is no perfect recipe for a great marital life.
It takes a lot of love and respect to keep it going.
As you observe, most of the above-mentioned tips entail lots of communication.
Sometimes you find yourself at odds with your spouse on a financial issue.
Don’t give up and leave the other party to decide.
Talk and try to reach that sweet middle ground.
After all, a mutual agreement is much better than a unilateral decision for the long-term health of your marriage.
Finance is nothing but just one part of your happy union.
Don’t allow it to ruin your bliss.
With these tips, you may find the storybook ending you deserve.
Happily ever after.
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