Why 7 Out of 10 Couples Don’t Know How to Access Joint Accounts

I was interviewed by Drs. Rob + Janelle Alex, Ph.D. who wanted to understand why 7 out of 10 couples would benefit by getting their finances and their household on the same page on their program Author’s Talk About It. Five years ago I would have had no idea how disconnected most couples are when it comes to their joint assets.

When I launched MemoryBanc, I did it believing I would be helping other caregivers. However, when the first year of sales ended up being mostly couples between 40 and 60, I realized there was a larger market need for our products and services. We do help quite a few caregivers, but they are dwarfed by the number of couples that use MemoryBanc as a tool to coordinate their shared lives.

Consumer Reports shared that only 3 out of 10 couples could cite and knew how to access the three largest financial accounts of their household–that means 7 out of 10 don’t! Consumer Reports.org went on to share that only 28 percent of couples are completely confident that their partner is prepared to assume responsibility of their joint retirement finances.

Do you know your finances if something were to happen to your partner? The last thing you want to deal with is how to access financial accounts, pay bills, or get into your online services portal if something were to happen to your loved one. This summer when my son broke his phone, the only way to get a replacement mobile phone without a major penalty fee ($500) when my husband was traveling was to order one online from the AT&T account he set up. Not only did I need his passcodes, but I also needed to answer a security question. Thankfully, I had these close at hand.

authorstalkThe reason 7 out of 10 couples don’t have this information is because many of us divide-and-conquer. Our lives are much more complicated and we have to manage a lot more information than we did even twenty years ago. It’s one of the reasons $58 billion is sitting with state and federal treasurers in unclaimed money.

To get a handle on your joint finances and household assets, you can get a copy of MemoryBanc: Your Workbook for Organizing Life from Amazon for $15.33 (plus shipping if you don’t have Prime). That’s a 23 percent discount.

If you aren’t ready to make this leap, but want to get started, you can download a free chapter “Taming the Internet” now. I hope you will at least begin this important conversation.

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