René Nourse, CFP®
As I mentioned in my previous post on this topic, it’s important to ask your future spouse certain financial questions before getting married, as unanswered or unforeseen issues surrounding money could lead to problems in your future that could have been predicted by asking certain questions. While we discussed questions surrounding your future together and their own financial past, today we encourage you to look into these other topics that will have an impact on your life together.
Does your partner have a specific age they want to retire at, or a specific amount they want to have saved before even considering it? Do they plan on still working part time after retirement, or do they have extensive plans to travel, and if so, where to and how?
Another important question to consider when it comes to both of your retirement plans is who will oversee them? Not only does this take into consideration the question of if you will be using their financial planner or advisor or yours, but also, who will be the liaison—you, them, or the both of you?
The Tiny Details
While many of us have had experience in working together with others when it comes to finance, such as splitting rent and bills amongst roommates, doing so as part of a married couple is a bit different. It’s important to consider the following when it comes to the details of who will be handling what in your marriage in relation to finances.
Will you blend your assets and money together, or do separate accounts work better for you? Will you be signing a prenuptial agreement to protect your assets heading into the marriage? Who will handle the bills in your household? Who will oversee investments?
Will you be creating a monthly spending budget together? Will you have a certain maximum amount you can spend individually without consulting the other? As you can imagine, there are several other questions relating to this arena, many of which will relate specifically to you and your situation. Take the time to consider all possible avenues and any potential conflicts you can confront ahead of time.
An important lifestyle question, let alone a financial one, is whether or not you and your future spouse want to have kids? If the answer is yes, there are several other questions that follow. How many kids would you want? Will those children attend private or public school? Will one of you stay home to raise your children or will you look into different childcare options? How much are you willing to spend on fertility treatments if the situation arises where you might need them?
Family matters also relate to more than just future children. It’s important to consider your parents in your financial future as well. Will you be contributing to their care as they age if they ask for it, and if so, what percentage are you willing to contribute? Or if it came down to it, would you be willing to ask your parents or other loved ones for money?
Don’t feel as though you need to have all the answers ready to these questions right from the get go. This is not a conversation you and your partner will have only once, and that’s okay. Spending time and giving honest answers will give you a better foundation for your marriage, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.
It’s not uncommon to sit down with a financial advisor to dive a bit deeper into these questions before walking down the aisle. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions.
Photosource: Freeedigitalphotos.net, David Castillo Dominici