You’ve heard the advice time and time again. Before you get married, you and your partner should sit down and have a detailed discussion about your finances; what they are currently like and what your expectations are for the future. But how many couples really talk about the nitty-gritty details before they say “I Do?” Failure to have these conversations can and often does lead to tension down the road.
Imagine not having any discussions about money until after you are married. Who is paying which bills? What kind of monthly budget will you plan to stick to? How much debt have you brought into the marriage from credit cards or student loans that may impact your ability to purchase a home together? How much do you plan to save for retirement? Will you join your assets or leave everything separate?
Often when there hasn’t been communication, you discover there are different expectations for each spouse. One spouse is the spender and one is the saver. One desires a smaller budget for a reasonable “starter home” while the other wants high-end everything. One spouse has accumulated thousands of dollars in debt on a credit card that the other was unaware of. And now, you’re married and living together, trying to sort it all out as you go. You can imagine how difficult those conversations could now be.
Seeing a financial planner beforehand could help facilitate these types of conversations, before you walk down the aisle, to make decisions easier in the future. A planner can be the neutral third party that helps you make the big decisions such as budgeting, savings, buying a home or planning to start a family. With this kind of open dialogue, you can be sure your expectations are clear to your partner and each has an understanding of the other partner’s future goals.