Because women live an average of six years longer than their male counterparts, they are much more likely to get to control the money eventually by themselves. Yet in couples relationships, it’s often men who make most of the financial decisions. Dan Ariely points out, “Women should say, ‘Honey, sorry, but statistically you’ll die first, so let me take care of the financial planning decisions for my later years.’”
This comment makes me smile. It’s often hard for men to share decision-making, let alone give a wife the power to make major money choices for both of them. But the realization that a wife may well outlive her husband should encourage advisors to educate married women about their options, hopefully before their spouse dies.