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Whether you’re already married, or thinking about it, money is going to be an issue in your relationship at some point. Below are some of the most common money issues married couples face.
- Different financial styles
We know that opposites attract, especially when it comes to dealing with money. Even if both of you being the marriage with similar ways of dealing with finances, over time, you may become opposites. For example, if two spenders marry, one may become the saver over time, otherwise they’re likely to end up bankrupt.
Opposite styles often result in friction, which is why money is a big factor in marital conflict. Spouses have to learn to empathise with each other by walking in one another’s shoes.
- Failing to be transparent
Newlyweds face the question of whether or not to merge accounts. Should you combine everything or maintain separate accounts and financial independence? There’s no set-in stone solution here, but being transparent about your liabilities, assets, income and spending is important, regardless of whether or not you have merged your accounts.
The benefits of merging include, among other things, that you’ll feel like you’re a team. But for those who marry when they’re somewhat older and better established, it may feel like they’re giving up their financial freedom. One choice is to set up a joint account for things like household expenses, while keeping a personal account for smaller purchases.
- And Mr. Debt
Newlyweds are often in for nasty surprises if they fail to share detailed financial information before getting married. Discord may be especially high is a diligent saver finds out that a new spouse is up to their eyeballs in debt or have unsecured personal loans and bad credit.
If you are planning to get married soon or are a newlyweds and have not yet discussed your finances, it may be time to swap credit reports with information such as lines of credit, overdue debt and bankruptcy.
- Risk intolerances
If one of you likes to invest in aggressive stocks for higher returns and the other prefers to play it safe, that’s pretty normal in a relationship.
But, spouses should consider their overall portfolio when it comes to figuring out how much to hold in stocks, cash, and bonds. If there are different risk tolerances yet similar amounts in their retirement accounts, for instance, it may work to invest the way each spouse prefers. But, if one has more than the other, their individual approaches may cause their entire retirement portfolio to be too conventional or too aggressive.
- Blending finances and families
A second marriage can cause adverse feelings about money. You may find adult children worrying about their inheritance, or a new spouse feeling cheated if their partner has to pay exorbitant alimony fees.
A prenuptial agreement can help to financially blend a family and help with how to deal with debt. It’s a way to make perfectly clear what the expectations are and who is responsible for what in the marriage.
Money can be the root of many disagreements in a marriage, but with open discussions, careful planning and expert advice, it doesn’t have to be that way.