When we are in a relationship, there are things we do better than our partner and things they do better than us. As our relationship progresses, it’s not uncommon for us to handle the tasks that come easiest for us and to gladly turnover what might be confusing or difficult to our partner, because it’s easier for them. There is risk in this strategy, however, because when it comes to financial decisions there could be dire consequences.

As a trusted financial advisor, I have worked with many couples. Often, I find the woman has no idea where the money is invested, what the investments mean, and how it will benefit them. They are often not familiar with their insurance coverage and what could happen in the event of an accident or disability. It’s important to have clarity about your finances and an understanding of this important process, because it is all part of your financial security.

New York Times best-selling author, David Bach said in his book Smart Women Finish Rich, that the average age of widowhood is 50. That’s young! A woman might lose her husband to a sudden heart attack, or car accident or illness. She is suddenly left to handle everything on her own and may have been in the dark up to this moment. It’s a misnomer that women are not mathematically inclined or financially adept, because in my years of practice, I have found that women see a higher return on their investments than men.

Here are three steps you can take to help you get on the road to financial security.

1. Make today your starting point. Find all of your financial data and organize it.

2. Create a financial inventory. This might be in the form of a simple spreadsheet. A free tool I often recommend is mint.com. The program helps you update all of your accounts and provides a convenient daily balance.

3. Be clear about where your money goes. Men tend to be more comfortable investing in the market, where women tend to lean toward long term strategic investments. For women, once they are in, they are in for the long haul. A trusted advisor can provide you with the background and information you need to make sound financial investment decisions, and give you the confidence of knowing exactly where your money is at all times.

Ferguson Jen - BW 3-8-2013As CEO and Founder of Symphony Financial Team, Jennifer Ferguson leads a team of best in class subject matter experts to provide the most comprehensive and coordinated planning for her clients. Jennifer’s primary role is to lead the team to make sure all aspects of the client’s financial house are in order and kept that way, and to protect the client’s vision of the ideal life they want to live. Jennifer has received numerous awards for her business and charitable work, most recently being honored as a nominee for the Orlando Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business award.

“Symphony Financial Team is an independent firm. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Jennifer Ferguson, Financial Advisor at 1515 International Parkway, #2031, Lake Mary, FL 32746 (407)792-5576.  Any opinions are those of Jennifer Ferguson and not necessarily those of Raymond James.