It is no secret that deciding whether to get married (or not) is one of the most significant decisions people could make in their lives. While couples typically have conversations about where to live and starting a family, many studies show that couples do not discuss finances before tying the knot, which can lead to challenges down the road. As you learn more about your significant other, consider the following conversations:
Experience and beliefs
How knowledgeable are you when it comes to finances and how do you feel about money? Once you get your arms around this, talk with your partner about their perspective. Together, you can explore how your life experiences and upbringing have helped to shape your mindset.
The good, the bad, and the ugly – lay it on the table. Each person should have a fundamental understanding of what income, assets, and liabilities the other brings to the relationship. For example, would you be comfortable if your partner were saddled with unsecured debt and you were liability-free? Your answer might be yes, but you need the information to make that decision. Also, nobody wants to uncover major ‘financial surprises’ after becoming a legal union.
Do you dream about retiring early and relocating? Perhaps opening your own business? Even though goals change over time, it is helpful for couples to understand how each person envisions their future. Your goals will impact your finances and influence how you should plan for them together.
Spending and saving
Often one spouse is considered the spender, with the other identifying as the saver. But these broad-brush labels do not tell the whole story. Couples that discuss practice budgeting together can set targets for discretionary spending and savings for various goals.
Even though goals change over time, it is helpful for couples to understand how each person envisions their future. Your goals will impact your finances and influence how you should plan for them together.Laura Powers, Lead advisor
Before you walk down the aisle, prioritize a discussion surrounding finances with your partner. As exciting as it can be to plan your dream wedding, it is even more vital that you plan for your financial future together. These discussions take time and should continue throughout your life. Strategic can help you navigate this discussion on an individual level or together with your partner.
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