We all know that being a part of a couple takes work and that open, honest communications is key! In order to have a relationship that is strong financially, as well as emotionally, remember to regularly discuss and review your finances and goals to help make sure that you and your partner are not only on the same track, but on the right one for you as a couple.
Here are 7 of the most important things that couples should regularly review:
- Retirement Plans – If you’re a young couple, retirement may seem far off, but it’s important to remember – through compounded interest – a small amount invested now may go a long way in the future. Be sure to reexamine your goals and your portfolio to make sure that you’re both saving enough for retirement, and that you maintain a proper asset allocation.
- Life Insurance – While not a pleasant topic, it’s important to discuss with your partner what will happen in the event that one of you passes prematurely. If one, or both of you, are dependent on the other person’s income, you may want to consider purchasing a term-life insurance policy.
- Wills and Trusts – Like life insurance, wills and trusts also are important for protecting your loved ones. They’re especially critical if you have children, or a significant amount of assets. Make sure that your assets are directed in a way that’s consistent with your wishes.
- College Funds – If you have children, or are considering having children, you definitely want to discuss a saving strategy to help pay for college tuition. Like retirement savings, a little bit now can go a long way.
- Health Insurance – Make sure that you and your partner are both covered, and that you understand the differences – and overlaps – in your plans. Is there any unnecessary overlap? Should you purchase more coverage to protect yourself? Or should you switch to a high-deductible plan to save money? These are questions that should be reviewed at least once annually!
- Major Purchases – If you are planning to make a major purchase such as a home, or a new car, you’ve probably already talked with your partner about it. You may not have talked about how you’ll pay for it though! Some questions to consider: whether or not you’ll pay cash for the purchase; if you finance it, what type of down payment you will make, and over what period of time; and if you need to cut down on expenses elsewhere to save up for the purchase.
- Monthly Expenses – Review your expenses each month to see where you can make changes and cut back. Consider making a budget together to make sure that you are allocating your income in the best possible way for both of you.
While financial topics can be difficult to discuss, they’re an important part of a happy and successful relationship. Make sure that both you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to finances, and set short and long term goals together to help keep you both on track.
If you need help going over your finances or coming up with a plan, it may be wise to contact a financial planner. Financial planners can help point you in the right direction, based on your own goals, and help facilitate difficult, but important, discussions.
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