Money & relationships: What you should do if your husband doesn’t share financial details

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Try to seek the help of a mediator if your husband is reluctant to share crucial financial information
Among married couples with a single earning partner, a skew often slips into the financial equation. If the husband takes care of everything, from earning and spending, to saving and investing, there is a tendency to dictate terms to the non-earning spouse. In some cases, the wife has to ask, remind or grovel for money every month to take care of household or personal expenses. In many marriages, the husband shares money, but not information regarding his salary, spending or investments. It is crucial for both the spouses not only to be in the loop when it comes to finances, but also be equal beneficiaries of wealth. If you are not, and are having trouble finding common ground, go through the following points to know what you should do.

1. Know your financial rights
A wife has the legal right to secure basic amenities and comfort—food, clothes, residence, education and medical treatment— for herself and her children from the husband. So, understand that as a homemaker, you should not have to ask your husband for money; he is bound by law to provide it to you. Also, the wife has a right to know the details of her husband’s salary, as per a 2018 ruling by the Madhya Pradesh High Court. This is important because the quantum of salary will provide clarity to the wife about how much money she can have for household and personal expenses.

2. Show interest, split financial responsibility
If your husband does not share financial information, it is possible that at the start of the relationship, you did not evince any interest in financial transactions. If you want to change the status quo, have a conversation about it with the spouse. It is important to not only display interest, but also split financial responsibilities as per your individual skills. If you are good with investments, take on the responsibility, leaving the tasks of earning and paying bills to the husband. If investing is not your forte, you could handle the household budget and payment of bills, leaving investments to the spouse.

3. Get this information
If the husband is not sharing information out of habit or laziness, not malice, make sure you seek it from him periodically. Both the partners should be in the know about important financial aspects because if one were to pass away, the other should not be left clueless. While it is not important that you communicate on a day-to-day basis, both should be on the same page when it comes to goals and budgeting. Make sure that you know the accounts and passwords of all online and offline saving and investment accounts. You should also know about the investments in your or your spouse’s name, and have access to original documents of all insurance policies, be it life, health, vehicle or house. Finally, ensure access to will and property documents, essential for smooth transition of assets.

4. If husband refuses
If you have tried to talk to your husband about the need to share crucial financial information, and he is reluctant to do so or refuses outright, try to seek the help of a mediator. This person can be a trusted confidant or older relative, respected by both spouses, who can help clear the impasse. If this doesn’t work, approach a financial adviser, who can take an objective and pragmatic stance on the need to share financial details. If this, too, fails, seek a marriage counseller as a last resort because the issues and fissures are clearly deeper, involving your marriage, not merely your finances.

IF YOU HAVE A WEALTH WHINE, WRITE TO US…
All of us have been in a financial dilemma when it comes to relationships. How do you say no to a friend who wants you to invest in his new business venture? Should you take a loan from your married brother? Are you concerned about your wife’s impulse buying? If you have any such concerns that are hard to resolve, write in to us at [email protected] with ‘Wealth Whines’ as the subject.

Disclaimer: The advice in this column is not from a licensed healthcare professional and should not be construed as psychological counselling, therapy or medical advice. ET Wealth and the writer will not be responsible for the outcome of the suggestions made in the column.

[“source=economictimes.indiatimes”]

Delhiites could live 3 years longer if the Clean Air Plan works out

National Clean Air Programme,Delhi pollution,Delhi air

Delhi’s residents could hope to live 3.35 years longer if the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is implemented and the reduction in air pollution is sustained, according to Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman professor in economics at University of Chicago and the director of the Energy Policy Institute (EPIC).

Greenstone is one of the creators of the Air Quality Life Index of AQLI which measures the impact of particulate matter pollution on life expectancy. According to Michael Greenstone, Delhi is among the most polluted cities in the world.

NCAP, which was launched by India’s environment minister Harsh Vardhan last week, aims to reduce the concentration of PM 2.5 (fine, respirable pollution particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micron) and PM 10 (coarse pollution particles) in 102 non-attainment cities (cities which didn’t meet the annual PM 10 national standard from 2011 to 2015) by 20% to 30% by 2024 over their 2017 annual average levels. NCAP was criticised by environmental experts for not having legally binding air pollution reduction targets. It aims to take a “participatory and collaborative” approach.

Greenstone said the targets could also be achieved by providing incentives or disincentives . “I think it’s terrifically important that the government get deeply engaged in air pollution reduction. NCAP reflects that the public is beginning to demand improvements in air quality. It’s an important step,” Greenstone said, adding that NCAP has very ambitious goals “As is so often the case here too, the devil is in the detail. I assume there will be a lot of hard work in successfully meeting those goals. Money helps focus people’s minds. Empower people to meet targets, give them incentives to deliver it.”

In the US, under the Clean Air Act, if states failed to get their counties to comply with standards, then the money to build highways was withheld. “What’s at stake here is an opportunity for people to live longer,” Greenstone added.

Greenstone who has worked with and tracked the air pollution reduction strategies in China for decades said India’s neighbour has achieved improvements through a “methodical focus.”

“In China, the work on air pollution was set out by the demands from the public. India is the biggest thriving democracy in the world; China has more of a single party rule. It’s been quite surprising to me how responsive the Chinese government has been to air pollution, even though China doesn’t have a history of democracy,” he said. According to Greenstone, China managed an unprecedented reduction in air pollution in a very short time.

“After the US passed the clean air act in 1970, it probably took 12 to 15 years for reduction in pollution in US to be as large as what China has achieved in only four years. The US had two or three vicious recessions in the midst of that but China has been growing. So it’s against backdrop of growth that it is especially interesting,” he said.

In China, officials who didn’t achieve the target in their city or district didn’t get promoted or were punished for not delivering on air pollution targets. Using satellite data, the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI), a tool developed by EPIC for both India and China found that PM 2.5 levels air across China were down by 12% in 2016 compared to 2013 levels.

Greenstone recommends targeting the biggest polluters first through NCAP. “Go to the biggest polluters and fix them.” EPIC has been working with the Gujarat government for several years now on developing an emissions trading system for industries there. Taxes, cap and trade mechanisms could be used under NCAP too he said.

[“source-“hindustantimes”]