Financial Conversations When You’re Engaged

Love, Romantic, Relationship, Together

While money is a primary cause of marital strife, a recent Ameriprise study found that nearly seven in ten couples say they have great financial communication. Before wedding planning kicks into high gear, make discussions about your finances a priority. Taking the time today to speak through money matters can create a good foundation for your future. Use the following six principles to direct your money conversations:
Open-minded. Listen carefully to what your future spouse says is important to him or her. Acknowledge your differences and build on your strengths. If your expectations do not match up, look for a compromise. Some couples sidestep discussions about money to avoid feelings of hurt, fear, anger or guilt. Creating a habit of frequent communication might help you avoid heated arguments, and will help ensure you’re on the same page financially until you walk down the aisle.
Honesty. Share the particulars of your financial history and current situation in case you haven’t already done so. Your future spouse deserves to know whether you’re paying off college debt, or if you’ve made any financial mistakes in the past (and how you’ve rectified them). Disclose the fantastic news, too. Divulge details about savings you’ve tucked away or a family trust that helps supplement your income so you both know the sum of where you stand.
Forward-thinking. As soon as you’ve shared your present situation and background, discuss your goals for the future. Be open about what your dreams are, but be ready to compromise. While you don’t need to agree about everything, having shared goals (buying a house, saving for college if you decide to have children, retirement, etc.) allows you to combine forces on economies and gives you a road map for spending.
Cooperation. To avoid any miscommunications as newlyweds, discuss and assign responsibility for monetary functions. Is one of you at tracking online accounts and paying bills? Are you enrolled in a retirement account and taking maximum advantage of employer contributions? Who will be the primary contact for your financial advisor, tax professional or estate planner? Two is better than one when you are able to divide and conquer financial tasks, but be sure that you’re both in the loop on key decisions and money matters.
Diligence. Once you’re married, make it a priority to update your financial documents. It requires discipline, but taking care of those housekeeping tasks right away protects you in case something unexpected occurs. Several Actions to consider:
• Consider combining your bank account if it makes sense for your situation.
• Amend your tax withholdings, to make sure the perfect amount is withheld from your paycheck now that you are married. Consult your tax professional before making modifications.
• Choose your wellbeing insurance. If both of your employers offer health insurance, carefully assess your coverage options and premiums for the ideal fit.
Like most things worth attaining, preparing for a life of financial compatibility requires work. In the event you and your prospective partner can commit to the identical money values, it might help you create a solid financial base.


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