Marriage isn’t just a matter of romance. Although love should be the main reason why you seal the deal with your significant other, there are other critical aspects to consider, if you wish to keep your marriage alive. Before even signing the papers, you should discuss important matters, like finances, assets, or retirement plans, with your future spouse. Here are six financial things you should cover before getting married…
Discuss your opinions about money
Different stands on money can break your marriage in the future. Seeing that most of us have strong opinions about money-saving and expenditure, not having the same views about the subject could tarnish your relationship. Some people are more secretive about their spending habits and like to hide where the majority of their money goes. Others are more upfront about it. Your spouse might want to put more money on the side, while you might be more casual about saving. If you don’t see eye to eye in this particular case, chances are it will start to bother at least one of you shortly. Most of the times, these habits are formed from our upbringing, and are not easy to get rid of, or correct. The safest way to approach this matter is to start recognizing your patterns of behavior and pinpoint those negative sides. Then, with the help of your spouse, you can slowly start changing the behaviours that are not benefiting your marriage.
Plan your estate
Planning far ahead is necessary if you wish to sort all your affairs, and leave a clean plate. That’s why estate planning is so important. Planing what will happen with your property and financial assets, and that your family is taken care of after you die is essential, if you wish to do right by everyone. Otherwise, unsorted financial aspects might lead to feuds of the beneficiaries of your estate if they fell they didn’t get what they deserved. So, have a talk with your spouse, and plan and update items like your will, life insurance policies or investment funds, and elect who will be the beneficiaries. This is imperative, even more in the case if there are more heirs involved, especially children from different marriages.
Prenups are not considered romantic, and just talking about them might kill the vibe, but in most cases, they are recommended. Many financial planners and accountants advise making these agreements, to avoid being sorry later, especially if you are bringing more assets than your spouse into your marriage. Research made with a thousand participants in Australia reveals that, although 74% of them thinks prenups are okay and justifiable, only 18% of them have such a contract. Such contracts are there to protect your interests in the case of divorce and are not anti-marriage. So, it is essential to talk about these matters before getting married, openly and honestly, without hurting anyone’s feelings. Your safest choice would be to hire experts, like the divorce lawyers from Sydney, who will guide you through this process, and have your best interests in mind.
The debt status of your partner
Make no mistake, you will share both the good and the bad when getting married. This means that all the debt your spouse has acquired over the years will become yours. So, before getting hitched, you might want to get a glimpse into what their liabilities are. If your partner has doubts about sharing this info with you or seems to dodge this issue, then you might have something to worry about. Give different, open-minded approach to this matter, without judging them. If they still don’t want to discuss this matter, you might want to reconsider your options. The basis of any successful marriage is honesty, and you should always be able to have an open dialogue about such issues. It is your right to have an insight into this, as it might strongly affect you in the future!
Financial and family goals
Setting the same financial course for you and your family is imperative for a healthy marriage. Therefore, it is crucial to discuss your attitudes about risk-taking and money. Most people have strong opinions about this, and it would be wise to make financial plans and goals for the foreseeable future. Only when you come clean about what you want to do with your money, you’ll be able to move forward. It is up to you whether you’ll invest your money in real estate, set it aside, or invest in the stock market. If you plan to start a family, you need to have a talk about what will it look like. How much money will you need? How many children? Will one of you stay at home to look after them, or will you pay for daycare? There are literally hundreds of questions you should talk about with your spouse.
Being fully aware of your spouse’s income source, or sources is one of the essential things to talk about before getting married. Whether they have a steady, nine-to-five job, with a fixed salary, or they are freelancing with unpredictable monthly income, you need to be informed about it. You need to know whether you will be able to meet all your monthly financial obligations together. Bills, mortgages, and food are all things you need to find the money for every single month. And even though it is perfectly fine to have an unpredictable source of income, you still need to make a long term plan on how you will deal with these issues in rough times.
Getting married means sharing everything with your spouse, whether you like it or not. Finances are often one of the main obstacles in a marriage, especially if you were not open about them in the beginning. To increase the chances of having a successful union, you should be clear about every aspect of your financial status, from indebtedness and retirement plans, to tax information and intent to sign a prenuptial agreement. Only then will your partner be able to trust you fully, and vice-versa!
About the Author
Emma Williams is an Australian writer with a master’s degree in business administration, who has a passion for anything lifestyle and design related. She spends most of her time redecorating and participating in house projects. As a great nature lover, her biggest pleasure is spending time in a small cottage by the river.
Find her on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/EmmaWilliams204
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