It doesn’t matter if you’re newly engaged or you’ve been together for decades, dealing with your finances as a couple is important, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Going over budgets and savings goals may not be your idea of romantic, but that whole “for richer or for poorer” thing is part of traditional wedding vows for a reason. Couples who want to have an ideal financial union may want to consider taking these financial vows, according to Judith Ward, a Senior Financial Planner and Vice President of T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.
- We will make saving and planning for our retirement a shared priority - Having a mutual vision for your retirement is important, which means planning savings goals together and talking about your financial future as a couple.
- We will agree on shared financial objectives and how we’ll achieve them - This one is all about working together to get stuff done. It’s harder if one of you is a saver and one is a spender, but compromise is key.
- We will keep no secrets about money - This means you’ll openly talk with each other about spending habits, credit scores, and any debts you have.
- We will respect yours, mine, and ours - Some couples merge their money and others like to keep accounts separate, just find a system that works for you both and go with it. But even if you don’t share accounts, you still need to share goals and make decisions together.
- We will protect our family financially - You’ll need a safety net and a plan B, including:
- Emergency reserves to cover three to six months of expenses.
- Insurance, including life, disability, liability, and health coverage.
- Estate planning, including naming guardians for your kids, powers of attorney and healthcare directives.