Womens FAQ

The general rule is that spouses are not responsible for each others debts, but there are exceptions. Many states will hold both spouses responsible for a debt incurred by one spouse if the debt constituted a family expense (e.g., child care or groceries). In addition, community property states will hold one spouse responsible for the others debts because both spouses have equal rights to each others income. Also, you are both responsible for any debt that you have in both names (e.g., mortgage, home equity loan, credit card).

That depends on several factors. If your new employer offers a group health insurance plan, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) may apply. This act prevents your new group health plan from treating your pregnancy as a pre-existing condition if you were covered by group health insurance through your previous employer. But read your new policy carefully. Although most health plans cover maternity care and pregnancy, in some instances the health plan offered by your new employer may not include such coverage. Unfortunately, you won’t qualify for the protection offered by HIPAA if you had an individual (non-group) health policy or if you had no health insurance at all.

Even if your new employer’s group plan includes pregnancy and maternity care, you may be subject to a waiting period before you become eligible for coverage. So, if you need prenatal care during this period, you may need to pay for the doctor’s visits out of your own pocket. Remember that you may need more care near the end of your term. You may be able to continue health coverage through your previous employer under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, but you’ll have to pay the full premiums yourself.

Of course, your new company may not provide health insurance coverage, in which case, you’ll probably have to shop for individual health coverage. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires that health plans in the individual and small group market (that are not considered grandfathered plans) offer minimum essential health benefits including maternity and newborn care. And, if you can’t find an individual health insurance policy that will cover you at an affordable price, you can shop for and purchase a health insurance plan that will cover your pregnancy through either a state-based or federal health insurance Exchange Marketplace.

So, before you take a new job, make sure that you understand the coverage and eligibility requirements of your new employer’s health insurance plan. Plan carefully for the protection of your health and the health of your baby.

Yes. If you already receive Social Security based on his earnings record, you’ll continue to receive it as long as you live (or in some cases, until you remarry). If you don’t receive Social Security yet, you can apply for a reduced benefit when you turn 62 or wait until your full retirement age if you want to receive an unreduced spousal retirement benefit. If you’ve been divorced for more than two years, you can apply as soon as your ex-husband becomes eligible for benefits, even if he hasn’t started receiving them (assuming you’re at least 62). However, if you’ve been divorced for less than two years, you must wait to apply for benefits based on your ex-husband’s earnings record until he starts receiving his own benefits.

You don’t have to worry about losing your benefit even if your ex-husband remarries. Benefits for a divorced spouse are calculated separately from those of a current spouse.

That depends on several factors. Perhaps the first step is to make sure your existing asset allocation is appropriate for your circumstances; if you haven’t reviewed it in several years, you should probably take a fresh look at it, whether or not you intend to consider his assets in your investing strategy. Assuming your allocation is appropriate for your current situation, you may want to make sure that any overlap between your accounts doesn’t create a portfolio that’s too heavily concentrated in a single position. For example, if you have received company stock as part of your compensation plan for many years, you might not have enough diversity in your portfolio; if both of you have worked at the same employer, the problem could be even worse.

However, you don’t necessarily need to make dramatic changes right away. No matter how compatible you might be, marriages have been known to fail, and sometimes they fail in a shorter time frame than anyone ever expected. If you do decide to make adjustments, remember that you can phase them in gradually to create an asset allocation strategy that includes both portfolios. For example, you might decide to simply allocate new money to a different investment or asset class rather than shift existing assets.

Explain to your husband why you’ve chosen to invest as you have; you may have a perspective he’s overlooked or information he hasn’t considered that could be helpful even if you manage your portfolios entirely independently. And since it’s your account, you have the final say. If there’s a difference in your investing philosophies, a neutral third party with some expertise and a dispassionate view of the situation may be able to help work through differences; that can be especially valuable in cases where substantial assets are at stake.

That depends on several factors. Perhaps the first step is to make sure your existing asset allocation is appropriate for your circumstances; if you haven’t reviewed it in several years, you should probably take a fresh look at it, whether or not you intend to consider his assets in your investing strategy. Assuming your allocation is appropriate for your current situation, you may want to make sure that any overlap between your accounts doesn’t create a portfolio that’s too heavily concentrated in a single position. For example, if you have received company stock as part of your compensation plan for many years, you might not have enough diversity in your portfolio; if both of you have worked at the same employer, the problem could be even worse.

However, you don’t necessarily need to make dramatic changes right away. No matter how compatible you might be, marriages have been known to fail, and sometimes they fail in a shorter time frame than anyone ever expected. If you do decide to make adjustments, remember that you can phase them in gradually to create an asset allocation strategy that includes both portfolios. For example, you might decide to simply allocate new money to a different investment or asset class rather than shift existing assets.

Explain to your husband why you’ve chosen to invest as you have; you may have a perspective he’s overlooked or information he hasn’t considered that could be helpful even if you manage your portfolios entirely independently. And since it’s your account, you have the final say. If there’s a difference in your investing philosophies, a neutral third party with some expertise and a dispassionate view of the situation may be able to help work through differences; that can be especially valuable in cases where substantial assets are at stake.

Even if your husband is a financial expert, it’s a good idea to at least understand investing basics. For one thing, because women on average tend to live longer than men, the odds are extremely high that you could be responsible for making your own financial decisions at some point. If you suddenly had to make all the decisions yourself–and many women have found themselves in that position–you’d benefit from knowing enough to protect yourself from fraud and/or communicate effectively with a financial professional.

Also, even if your spouse is more knowledgeable about finances than you are, understanding enough to consider the pros and cons involved in an individual financial decision can often produce a better outcome; it forces both of you to address questions you might not have considered otherwise. Knowing why a decision was made can help minimize second-guessing on either side later.

If you disagree about a particular investment, remember that though diversification doesn’t guarantee a profit or prevent the possibility of loss, a diversified portfolio should have a place for both conservative and more aggressive investments. There may be ways to accommodate both spouses’ concerns, and a neutral third party with some expertise and a dispassionate view of the situation may be able to help you work through differences.

That depends on several factors. Perhaps the first step is to make sure your existing asset allocation is appropriate for your circumstances; if you haven’t reviewed it in several years, you should probably take a fresh look at it, whether or not you intend to consider his assets in your investing strategy. Assuming your allocation is appropriate for your current situation, you may want to make sure that any overlap between your accounts doesn’t create a portfolio that’s too heavily concentrated in a single position. For example, if you have received company stock as part of your compensation plan for many years, you might not have enough diversity in your portfolio; if both of you have worked at the same employer, the problem could be even worse.

However, you don’t necessarily need to make dramatic changes right away. No matter how compatible you might be, marriages have been known to fail, and sometimes they fail in a shorter time frame than anyone ever expected. If you do decide to make adjustments, remember that you can phase them in gradually to create an asset allocation strategy that includes both portfolios. For example, you might decide to simply allocate new money to a different investment or asset class rather than shift existing assets.

Explain to your husband why you’ve chosen to invest as you have; you may have a perspective he’s overlooked or information he hasn’t considered that could be helpful even if you manage your portfolios entirely independently. And since it’s your account, you have the final say. If there’s a difference in your investing philosophies, a neutral third party with some expertise and a dispassionate view of the situation may be able to help work through differences; that can be especially valuable in cases where substantial assets are at stake.

No. Our first concern is to eliminate problematic investments, our next concern is tax considerations, low cost basis positions and concentrated positions can take time to work through. Ultimately, our goal is to reshape your portfolio to work better for you with less risk and at a minimum cost.
Yes. We often make recommendations concerning outside investments that we are not actively managing.
No. We only take Limited-Power-of-Attorney (LPOA) over your account(s). All of our client’s accounts are held with a broker-dealer or a bank, so we never have possession of any of your assets and we do not have the ability to remove funds from your account.