Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thrifty Thinking: Talking to Your Future Spouse

Here's something that may surprise you--A recent study showed that 42 percent of people would choose not to date someone based on a poor credit score. Yet other research has shown that 1 in 3 people have lied to their significant others about their finances and spending habits. So how can a person protect themselves before walking down the aisle?
Nicole Mayer, AIF, CDFA, RFC and Partner at RPG-Life Transition Specialists, says, “Money is the number one factor in relationship dysfunction. If you want to ensure a happy marriage, you have to make sure your finances are both in order.”
Along with important questions like finding out your partner’s credit score and learning about all of their debts, Mayer shares the 5 things you have to ask your spouse before tying the knot:
  1. How much can we each spend before we have to alert each other? Mayer says, “Even if you are each working and have your own separate bank accounts, it’s a good idea to make sure that you make a rule when it comes to big purchases.”
  2. How will we handle the costs of children? “This doesn’t just mean talking about childcare and extended paternity leave, but also about potential costs like IVF.”
  3. Would you consider returning to school? “If your partner has career goals that have yet to be satisfied, they might plan to return to school. This could be a significant financial burden for you. In some cases, partners end up divorced after they worked for years while supporting their collegiate partner. You have to consider scenarios like this before tying the knot—would you be comfortable working while your partner heads to law school, for example?”
  4. What is our policy about helping out family? “If your partner loaned $500 to his brother would that be a big deal? What if your partner’s mother is ill and needs thousands of dollars in medical care? How would you handle these financial pressures as a family?”
  5. When do you want to retire? “It might sound premature right now,” says Mayer, “But if you don’t plan for the future you could be in serious trouble. Don’t just ask when your partner wants to retire, but also in what style. Do they expect to travel? Do they want to buy a fishing boat or move to a warm climate? If so, what steps have they taken to make that goal a reality?” 

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