Who’s Going to Deal with My Garbage?


Adam Blonsky

Wealth Advisor, Partner

Throughout my career as a wealth advisor, I've witnessed countless couples seamlessly divide household duties. It's a common practice among my clients, and one that makes practical sense—why duplicate efforts when each partner has their strengths? My own household is no exception, with my wife firmly declaring that she will not take out the garbage, a responsibility I've come to accept with gratitude.

However, life has a way of throwing unexpected curveballs, forcing couples to reevaluate their established roles. The need for role transitions becomes particularly evident as we age, and recent experiences with my own family underscore the importance of preparing for such changes, especially in the realm of personal finance.

The Importance of Planning:

As we've all seen, dividing roles works well in the earlier stages of life. Still, unforeseen circumstances can necessitate adjustments. When my mother had a stroke, she had to relinquish her role in the kitchen. It was commendable that she recognized her limitations, and equally commendable that my father stepped up to the plate. His surprising cooking skills and newfound ability to order meals online demonstrated the adaptability we all possess when faced with the unexpected.

However, personal finance roles often remain unseen and unshared. Both partners play a role in this lack of transparency—there's no telling and no asking. It's crucial for both individuals to take responsibility for having a plan in place for potential role shifts, but this is a step that many couples neglect.

Creating a Financial Transition Plan:

What might a plan for transitioning financial roles look like? Before delving into specifics, it's essential to initiate a simple conversation about the importance of this topic and why addressing it now is crucial. In the realm of personal finance, now is always the right time to plan for the future.

At a minimum, a comprehensive plan should include:

  1. Identify Your Outside Advisors:
  • Know who your tax accountant, estate attorney, investment advisor, and insurance agent are.
  • Ensure that both partners are familiar with these key professionals and have contact information readily available.
  1. Understand Your Financial Portfolio:
  • Compile a list of your financial assets and liabilities.
  • Gather legal documents, primarily those related to estate planning.
  • Organize critical files and ensure both partners are aware of their location.

      3. Locate Important Documents:

  • Identify where physical documents are stored.
  • Take note of computer files that contain essential financial information.
  • Ensure both partners are aware of the location of these documents.

     4. Establish Bill Payment Processes:

  • Understand how bills are currently paid—whether through a bank account or credit card.
  • Determine if payments are made online, through handwritten checks, or if there are automated payment setups


In navigating life's twists and turns, particularly in the later stages, proactive planning is key. Discussing and preparing for potential role transitions in personal finance is a responsibility that both partners should actively undertake. By initiating conversations and creating a comprehensive plan, couples can ensure a smoother transition during unexpected events, fostering financial stability and peace of mind. After all, in the journey of life, planning is the compass that guides us through uncharted territories.

Adam Blonsky

Wealth Advisor, Partner

Adam Blonsky is Wealth Advisor and Partner at Coyle Financial with over 25 years of experience in the investment industry. He specializes in guiding clients through the complex financial and emotional challenges that arise with aging.

All information is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty is made to its accuracy or completeness. This material is being provided for informational or educational purposes only, and does not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any client or prospective client. The information is not intended as investment advice, and is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or invest in any particular investment or market segment. Those seeking information regarding their particular investment needs should contact a financial professional. Coyle, our employees, or our clients, may or may not be invested in any individual securities or market segments discussed in this material. The opinions expressed were current as of the date of posting but are subject to change without notice due to market, political, or economic conditions. All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Copyright © 2023 Coyle Financial Counsel. All rights reserved.

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