Whether or not spring and love are in the air, Valentines’s Day is a reminder that most of us prefer to be part of a couple. Sooner or later there’s something that every couple needs to talk about.
That something is, of course, money. If you are to have a future together, its essential to understand each other’s views on this vital subject. We’ve found some of the key topics you need to cover.
How will you deal with debt?
Debt is a major source of stress in relationships. If one partner’s routine credit card balance is the kind of sum that causes the other sleepless nights, you need to discuss your attitudes and how you will deal with any money either of you owe.
The fact is you do need to deal with debt. It can spiral out of control if it’s not dealt with, and it can be toxic for a relationship. If you’re married, one person’s debt could have a negative effect on the other’s credit rating. It could impact your chances of getting on the property ladder. Be honest about what each of you owe and work out how you can deal with it together.
What if things don’t work out?
Not every relationship or marriage works out, and if yours does not, it can be better for all concerned if you have already agreed how you will deal with the finances. If you’re buying a house together, how will you divide up the proceeds if you sell up? If you’re getting married, should you have a pre-nuptial agreement? This isn’t a pleasant conversation to have, but it could save you a heartache if things go wrong.
What protection should you have?
What you will do if redundancy, or illness struck. Do you have a contingency fund? Is there enough in there to cover your outgoings for several months? Discuss getting insurance protection.
What kind of retirement do you want?
Whether you want to grow old together in a country estate or just want to be comfortable in a bungalow by the sea, you’ll need a financial plan in place for retirement. Deciding what you want out of life after your work is done is another thing to discuss and agree on. You’ll need help putting together a plan for building a pension pot large enough to make your retirement dreams come true.
How will you invest?
Planning for the future means that you’ll need to understand each other’s views on investments, too. One of you may be cautious, the other have a high tolerance for risk and enthusiasm for new investment ideas. If you are going to build a portfolio together, you need to agree on your goals, timeframes and risk tolerance. You also need to decide whether one of you will take charge of choosing and buying investments, or will you want to make every decision together?
What if things go wrong
If you’re just setting out together, it may seem too early to think about a Will. It isn’t. If there are going to be two of you its vital that if one of you dies, the other is provided for. It’s even important, if there may be three or more in the years to come.
You’ll be able to see some of the ways that the Continuum team can help you in our Client Brochure.
The value of investments can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.