Love and money: Financial advice for young couples
According to the American Psychological Association, U.S. divorce rates remain at a staggering high –with 40-50 percent of married couples choosing to part ways. At the same time, other findings reveal that money tends to be one of the contributing factors leading to divorce.
Stay on the same page
For young couples, having open and frequent conversations about money is important, and could help to alleviate problems down the road. Ideally, before you are married, both individuals should be aware of their partner’s debt (if any), their financial philosophies (spender or saver), long-term money values, monetary “triggers” (what keeps them up at night), and goals across different timelines. If not discussed before tying the knot, these are conversations that couples should start to have, and check in on throughout a partnership. This allows both individuals to truly understand where the other is coming from, and can help the couple to remain on the same page as they navigate their financial life together.
Assemble a team
Another strategy for young couples is to begin working with financial professionals early on in a partnership. Assemble an “A-team” of sorts – a financial advisor, an estate planner, a CPA – that can oversee financial objectives and help to keep you on track. By aligning with professionals early on, they too can understand the evolution of your goals, the trajectory of your relationship (home ownership, expanding a family, etc.) and, of course, can implement the proper guidance. Additionally, this team can serve as an unbiased, knowledgeable sounding board for couples who might not agree on big financial decisions.
It’s critical for any couple to be open and honest about their feelings toward money. For young couples, establish this baseline early on, as it can create a foundation for good communication habits and an understanding in meeting financial goals together.