René Nourse, CFP®
As you’ve probably all heard, money is one of the top sources of tension and stress when it comes to relationships. It’s also one of the top reasons cited for divorce. As such, and in an effort to avoid any future financial problems with your spouse, we highly suggest you sit down with your beloved to answer some of these questions on different topics before tying the knot. Having everything out in the open leads to better communication, and can help in strengthening your marriage.
Your Future Together
What are your dreams? The question doesn’t relate just to finance, but it is definitely tied to it. As you talk to your partner about their future aspirations, you’ll be able to have a sense of a dollar sign attached to them. For instance, knowing that your partner wants to open up their own business at some point in their life is good, so you can start to allocate savings for that purpose, as well as prepare your finances for a time in your life where you might be taking more financial risks than usual.
You might also get a better sense of their lifestyle choices as they relate to finance in hearing the response to this question. If your partner wants to have that huge house with the luxury vehicle parked out in front, well, it’s going to cost a pretty penny as opposed to someone who wants a simple life with less material goods.
Their Financial Past
How much money does your partner make? What, if any, do they owe? And what are their assets? Talking to your partner about the truth behind their finances is important so you have a sense of where they have come from, where they are at, and where they still need to go.
Do they have a target income they want to hit? Are there any financial red flags to be aware of from their past? Have they made any bad investment decisions before meeting you? Do they set aside a certain amount of money for charitable donations during the year? How are they currently saving for their future?
And then going even further back into their financial history come questions about their childhood. What was their financial situation like at home as child? Did their parents teach them about money at a young age? What is their relationship with money like? Having an insight into their past will give you a better sense of what your future together will look like, as you can search for trends and habits that might occur.
As you can imagine, there are several other questions and topics to cover as you dive into financial conversations with your future spouse, including talks on retirement plans, the details of who will be handling what in the marriage when it comes to bills, investments, and more, as well as family matters. We'll cover these other areas in Part 2 of this blog next week, so stay tuned!
Photo Source: Freedigitalphotos.net, boykung