Young people have starry eyes when they plan to marry. Certainly, they look forward to a lifelong bliss together.
Unfortunately, about half of first marriages end in divorce. For subsequent marriages, the divorce rate is even higher, according to the American Psychological Association.
What do you think is a common factor in divorce ? It’s arguments over money.
To increase your odds for a happy marriage, here are eight money strategies:
1. Pick the right time and place for a money discussion
Discussions about finance should never take place in what should be romantic settings. In other words, pillow talk should be reserved for just that.
Your goal should be for the two of you should be to get on the same page.
Reason things out and decide what is most important.
Decide who will take care of your mutual finances. That means the saver in your family should handle the bookkeeping.
Be open – no negative surprises – transparency is paramount for trust and bonding.
2. Determine your objectives
Discuss your individual financial goals and come to decisions about your goals as a couple.
Typical key questions to answer:
Will you merge your money? If so, will each person also have a separate bank account? (Some advisors think you should.)
Will you manage money separately and assign certain bills?
How much money will you save? How much will you spend and on what?
Will you have children? Will you send them to college? How will college expenses be financed?
What type of accounts will you have? If you have a high income, consider premium accounts that pay interest and pay your out-of-network ATM charges.
Which charities will you agree to support?
3. Deal with debt
Debt is a relationship-killer.
Share your credit scores and how much money you owe. Agree on how you’ll deal with your joint debt. Figure out what bills to pay first.
“A long marriage is two people trying to dance a duet and two solos at the same time.”
-Anne Taylor Fleming
4. Agree on a budget
Take into account how much each of you owe, how much income you have, and how much money will be required to operate your family unit.
Don’t forget about your tax obligations.
5. Start saving for retirement immediately
Always pay yourselves first – your retirement plans before paying any bills. For example, couples at age 25 who set aside $500 a month in retirement funds – which earns 5 percent annually – will grow to $766,689 in 40 years.
But if you wait to save for retirement, the net result will be a lot lower.
6. Anticipate financial tsunamis
Build an emergency fund totaling 6 months of living expenses in a good interest-bearing account.
Every couple has unexpected expenses – from car repair bills to medical expense your insurance doesn’t cover.
Don’t depend on credit cards for emergencies.
7. Be thrifty in spending
The tendency for many Millennials is to eat out. Instead, eat at home. You’ll save money and eat healthier food.
When you buy cars, consider good used vehicles. The value of a new car deteriorates significantly the minute you drive it off the showroom floor.
Insurance is always higher.
Don’t lease. Most everyone drives over the allotted mileage, which results in higher due amounts when the lease expires. Plus, you won’t have an asset at the end of the lease term.
8. Buy insurance
Millennials think it’s impossible, but people do get sick or die prematurely. Don’t risk leaving your spouse alone without protection.
So you need car, disability, health, life, and renter’s or homeowner’s insurance.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant strategies:
Money – Your Net Worth Matters More than What You Earn — When it comes to finance, most business owners and other individuals strive to increase their wealth to have more opportunities. The trouble with some, however, is that they focus on income and not their net worth. That means, of course, spending less than they earn.
7 Steps to Wealth and High Net Worth — Creating wealth and enjoying high net worth doesn’t result from pure luck. It takes a certain mindset and strong action. Here are seven proven steps.
Drowning in Student-Loan Debt? How to Pay it Off in 1 Year — You’re not alone if you’re drowning in student-loan debt. The average college graduate in 2015 was saddled with student loans totaling $35,000, which takes 10 to 20 years to pay off. Here’s what you can do to stay afloat.
Debt Consolidation Will Sink You without These 6 Tips — If you’re not careful in your debt-consolidation plan to bundle your debts for a lower interest rate and minimum payments, you might get into more financial problems. Here are six precautions.
“We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.”