Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts

Saturday, October 22, 2022

How to Stay Financially Buoyant During a Divorce

Divorce can lead to financial hardship and even bankruptcy if you aren't prepared. If you are going through a divorce or expect a divorce soon, you need to take these steps to protect yourself financially.

Here's how to stay financially buoyant during a divorce, so you don't have to start over with nothing.

Hire a Divorce Attorney

An experienced divorce attorney, like those at John D Wieser Esq, PC, can help make sure you get to keep the assets you've worked so hard for. You may not get to keep every last dime, but your lawyer can help negotiate a fair, better deal in court.

Learn to Be Frugal

You may be tempted to treat yourself and kickstart your life as a single person, but now is not the time to go crazy buying expensive clothes, beauty treatments, vacations, and dinners out. Save your money if you need to purchase a new home or vehicle after the divorce.

Get Financial Advice

An accountant or financial advisor can help you tremendously during this time, especially if your spouse has been the only one handling the household finances. You need to learn the basics of money management so you can succeed on your own.


After your divorce, you may not be able to afford the mortgage payment on your large home. You may need to buy a smaller house to accommodate your new income level. 

Selling stuff, you don't need and reducing expenditures is also a great way to save money and simplify your life during this hectic time.

Lean on Friends and Family

If you've been kicked out of your house, you may want to ask a friend or family member for a place to stay instead of booking an expensive hotel. 

This is only temporary until you find a new home or apartment, but it can save you thousands. It can be hard to swallow your pride and move back in with mom and dad, but your wallet will thank you.

Determine Your New Budget

One of the most important things you should do when you get divorced is determining your new budget. Since your household income will be reduced, your expenses will also have to decrease. 

Cut out unnecessary expenditures and create a new monthly budget that includes the costs associated with your divorce.

Going through a divorce can be a long, arduous process. You may not come out completely unscathed, but by following these tips, you can keep your finances in order and end your marriage without going broke.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dealing with a Pension Divorce

LOL Just divorced. And no, that's not my car.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Divorce rates have risen considerably for the over-50 demographic. In the US, for example, the rate at least doubled between 1990 and 2009. In fact, the number of divorcees over the age of 50 now exceeds the number of widowed seniors in the US. Likewise, in the UK, divorce rates for those over 60 years of age are now seven times higher than they were in the 1950s.

While statistics show that the likelihood of a couple getting divorced decreases the longer they are married, we are still seeing a spike in the number of pension-aged couples looking to split. In fact, the New York Times recently reported that divorces in the over-50 category have outpaced those of younger demographics.

Any time a marriage ends, a variety of problems come into play. The following are just a few of the most common:

  • Economic strain
  • Poor health
  • Strain on the extended family
  • The need for government sponsored assistance

When younger couples get divorced, the stakes are generally lower. For example, married couples around the age of 30 are less likely to have children or substantial assets that need to be divided. Pensioners, on the other hand, have a lifetime of property and assets to contend with – not to mention an extended family that has only ever conceived of the couple as a unit.

However, one financial consideration that deserves more attention than it receives has to do with the pension itself. You see, getting a divorce can actually affect the amount of your pension. And it’s not as if the amount is simply cut in half and divided amongst the two. The actual algorithm employed is much more complicated, which makes it all the more important to seek the advice of family law solicitors before going through with the divorce. At the very minimum, both parties need to understand how this dramatic change is going to affect their finances.

Generally speaking, there are three common ways to deal with a pension in divorce:

1. Pension Off-Setting

In this situation, the pension is drawn entirely by one person (who is, more often than not, the husband). In its place, the financial equivalent to sum total of the pension is given to the other party in the form of cash, property and other assets.

This is often a more attractive option when one person has been the primary income earner for the family. In this case, the person may feel like their pension is a direct extension of their professional performance. It is a personal asset that results from years of hard work. With that in mind, splitting the pension after a divorce may make the person feel uncomfortable. 

2. Pension Splitting

This is precisely what it sounds like. The pension is simply divided evenly between the two people when the divorce is finalised. There are usually a couple of options in this scenario. Half of the pension can be withdrawn and deposited into a different scheme. Likewise, the entire sum could remain in the original scheme and simply be paid out in halves to both parties over time. This is usually only an option where government agencies have introduced specific legislation. 

3. Pension Earmarking

This is a less common approach to settling the pension. In this case, a portion of the pension is legally attached to spouse. When he or she retires, this portion will be paid as a pension benefit.

Valuing Your Pension before Divorce

If a divorce is on the horizon, it is essential that the couple arrange a pension valuation. This ensures that both parties understand exactly how much they are going to receive form a split pension in the future. This is complicated business, and you will almost certainly require legal assistance to effectively determine this.

Valuing a pension is going to cost a bit of money up front, but it is most certainly worth the expense – especially if the size of the pension is going to play a critical role in one or both person’s quality of life after the divorce.

Divorce is painful and rarely easy, and the difficulty in divvying up a pension only adds to the stress and anxiety. That’s why it’s so important to fully discuss your options with an attorney before going through with the split.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Four Life Events You Should Seek Financial Consultation For

Finance (Photo credit: Tax Credits)
Financial consultation refers to seeking financial advice from a qualified financial planner. The work of a financial planner is to help you identify your financial position, your needs and goals, how close or far you are to your goals and how to attain your goals. These four aspects of financial planning are especially important to keep in mind when planning for the following life events:


Tying the knot is a major, life-changing event in people’s lives. This is often largely due to the integration of the couples' bills, investments, expenditures and savings. Financial planning in marriage starts from before the wedding and should address every aspect of each partner's financial situation. These discussions can often lead to talk of prenuptial agreements. 

Prenuptials have become a necessity for some parties, owing to high divorce rates and an increase in attorneys specializing in alimony and divorce. A financial consultant can help determine if creating a prenuptial is the right move for a couple's financial future.

Buying a Home

Buying a home can be termed as a lifetime investment. Large investments like this can be either a really good thing or a really bad one, depending on both factors you can control and some you cannot. When looking to buy a home, one should seek advice about whether or not they are able to afford the purchase. 

The consultant will help you know whether you can buy the house at the current time, what type of house you can buy, or when the best time will be to buy a home. This planning applies to both daily live-in homes and vacation homes. Having a working knowledge of an area's home value trends and potential is necessary when making an investment of this magnitude. 

If you are unfamiliar with the area or housing market trends, seeking consultation from a financial expert with experience in real estate is one of the best ways to ensure the home you purchase will prove a solid investment.


People often wish to invest in certain projects in a bid to make more money and find financial comfort. This could be in form of buying property, investing in a business or buying shares. However, some investment options are definite time bombs that would land one in to big trouble. 

As such, it is best to consult a financial adviser when seeking to venture in to some sort of investment. This expert will advise you on whether to undertake the investment, how to proceed with it or whether to abandon it. They can also help you find the best investment avenue in the event that there are options.


Retirement is a big deal, since it means that one will not be able to engage in normal employment opportunities. Anyone planning on retiring in the next decade or so should take action immediately to ensure there are sufficient funds put away for the event. Future retirees should seek a financial assistant who can consult with them and help them know how to still live comfortably after retirement. 

A financial adviser can help them make informed decisions about their expenditure and possible investment avenues. These advisers are able to calculate your saving potential within the context of possible inflation and price shifts, to plan for uncertain living costs with their clients' current earnings, investments, and assets.

Financial consultants help people avoid economic trouble by finding the best solution for them. When you find yourself facing a major life event or financial hurdle, it is often best to seek financial advice and assistance.

Informational Credit to WBLI

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Top 10 Money Management Tips For Newly Weds

All newlyweds look forward to a life of love and bliss. While we certainly hope for the best for all newly married couples, it is foolish to think that married life will always be a bed of roses. One problem a lot of married couples face is their finances. Sadly, this is one important issue that they don’t take the time to plan well. To avoid this, we’re featuring 10 money management tips for all you honeymooners out there.

1. Do an honest financial self-assessment with your spouse

It’s important for couples to do an assessment of themselves and each other before tying the proverbial knot. Not only should they be secure in each other’s love, but they should also be secure in each other’s ability to provide.

Therefore, couples should know each other’s net worth. They should be up front about their income, assets, and investments. Couples who are honest about their personal financial information tend to make better financial decisions in the future. 

2. Set SMARTER goals

SMARTER is an acronym for S-simple; M-measurable; A-attainable; R-realistic; T-time-bound; E-enriching; R-rewarding. Newlyweds, and even those who are getting married, should keep this in mind when setting goals. It’s crucial that they set up realistic and attainable financial goals they know they can achieve. But they should also make it a point not to become a prisoner of their goals.

3. Plan ahead

Financial planning is all about creating a workable budget. A family’s budget is hard to do without doing an honest self-assessment and setting goals. Couples, especially newlyweds, will benefit by creating sub-accounts. These are the monthly payables that take care of their “overhead” expense. Examples of these sub-accounts are rent, utilities, transportation and communication expense, groceries, insurance, etc.

Part of planning is creating a strategy to meet the target budget (meaning: not go over it). But it’s also incumbent among the couple to come up with a contingency plan whenever certain situations dictate that they need to go over their budget for the month.

4. Stick to the planned budget

When the couple receives their individual monthly earnings, they need to deposit money into these sub-accounts first before they spend for their indulgences. This is the best way for them to stick to their planned budget. This method instills discipline in the couple, and at the same time ensures that they are not living beyond their means. Whatever is left after paying the sub-accounts can be used by the newlyweds however they wish.

5. Have a weekly “business” meeting

Couples need open communication in their marriage. And this holds true not only for love, but for finances as well. A lot of times, couples fight or argue because one of them brought out a touchy topic about finances at the wrong time.

This can be avoided by scheduling a weekly “business” meeting. Newlyweds can set aside an hour a week to discuss everything about their finances—from credit card debt, bank accounts, investments, and insurance. In the business meeting, the couple has a chance to confer and iron out financial details with each other. The goal should be to settle financial concerns during the meeting to avoid discussing finances until the next scheduled business meeting.

6. Control or manage debt

This should be easy to do if the couple started off on the right foot by planning and managing their budget early on. But if they were already deep in debt even before they got married, they should make it a priority to get out of debt as fast as they can.

They can start with the debt with the higher interest rate. Between a credit card debt that has an APR of 22% and a student loan with a 17% rate, they’re better off funneling more funds into the student loan. It might take a heavy toll on the couple’s finances on the get-go, but at least they’re not accumulating more penalties and interest on their unpaid debt.

7. Build an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund should be one of the allotted sub-accounts. It is advisable that the couple set aside 10% to 15% of their monthly income to go into the emergency sub-account. At least when the rainy days come, they know they have readily accessible funds they can reach into.

8. Plan for retirement early

It’s never too early to start planning for retirement. Couples will gain a lot if they talk to or ask their employers about retirement options (even on the first day of work). Some companies offer competitive retirement plans where they match employee contributions. Another approach is to invest in a retirement plan with a financial institution.

9. Invest

Another financial aspect that doesn’t get much attention is investments. Newlyweds need to decide early on where their surplus income will go. They need to research on investments that can give them a good yield without tying-up their money for a long time. Or they can talk to an investment or fund manager. These professionals can help them come up with investment packages to suit their current needs.

10. Remember: “For richer or poorer”

All couples should remember the vows they made, especially when dealing with financial issues. Things can get testy when discussing the household budget or when dealing with credit card debt. Therefore, it’s best that couples take a step back before they get eaten up by their financial problems, and remember their promise to love each other for better or worse and for richer or poorer.

Get your married life started on right foot. Take these money management tips to heart and you and your spouse will be on your way to financial freedom.

Do you like this article? You can find more tips and guides and everything about your wedding at

Friday, November 1, 2013

How A Senior Bachelor(ette) Can Stay Financially Stable

So I have an uncle Charles (not pictured above), the eldest brother of my dad. Unlike his other siblings, he never thought of marrying and settling down. He did have a handful of relationships, each lasted a good number of years, but never did it end up in tying the knot.

Uncle Charles is now retired, and is actively country-hopping around Southeast Asia. He is a man of modest means, and despite his relatively happy-go-lucky, eternally young lifestyle, he hasn’t ended up broke or in deep financial straits.

One time, when the family got together a few months ago, I quizzed him on how he manages to live a financially stable lifestyle without overspending or becoming a miser (he’d be the last person I’d call that). As of the moment, I didn’t have any plans of settling down, and I thought it prudent to receive some advice from a perpetually swinging single with experience.

Of course, he happily shared his wisdom with me, his favorite niece. Now, I’m sharing them with the Internet, because paying it forward and sharing knowledge is the right thing to do.

Always Set Something Aside

Just because you’re collecting your monthly social security checks doesn’t mean you should stop setting something aside for a rainy day. Life has a way of catching people unawares, and it is always a good policy to have some easily accessible liquid assets, just in case.
Bachelor and bachelorette seniors, assuming they have no dependents to take care of, definitely have no excuse in this regard.

Make Money Work For You

There are a lot of ways you can have your money grow. Aside from the emergency savings, do allocate some of your hard-earned savings on investments that are stable and relatively low-risk. If you plan to do some high-risk gambling, make sure it’s with money you can lose.
This piece of advice is pretty universal, regardless of your marital status.

Take Advantage of Senior Citizen Discounts

There is definitely no shame in partaking of any discounts and promos aimed at the more senior members of our society. Don’t let your guard down, however: there are a lot of unscrupulous people and companies that are bent on parting the senior from their savings, so always scrutinize any offer or promotion before jumping in.
Uncle Charles, for instance, takes full advantage of senior citizen cruise discounts.

Protect Your Assets

If by some instance that you do find a romantic connection, and you wish to formalize it with marriage, it’s not unthinkable to protect the money and properties you have earned via a prenuptial agreement.
A lot of people might think this move to be a little anti-romantic or even downright paranoid, but do realize that divorce rates would tell you a very convincing story on why you should do this. This is particularly important for single seniors, as they have a considerable amount of resources earned from their years of work, and to lose a good chunk of their hard-earned money and properties to a divorce settlement would simply be crippling.

Seek further legal advice from family law practitioners and lawyers with similar specializations. Online-enabled firms like Gower & Bluck offer free consultations, so it would be best to seek their initial opinions on such matters.

Keep on swinging, seniors!

About the Author
Stacey Thompson is a professional writer, marketer, entrepreneur, and a lover of weird little animals. She is based in San Diego, California, and maintains a blog with her gal pals, Word Baristas.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Practical Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong After 50

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), divorces among people over the age of 50 have doubled since 1990. There are many reasons why the rates have skyrocketed, and understanding these reasons is one way to help maximize the divorce triggers. In addition to that, here are other practical tips for a happy marriage even until after your golden years.

Talk about it

One reason for failed marriages is avoiding issues rather than addressing them. Couples should get things out in the open and take time to talk to each other about anything that may be bothering them. If you think conversations like these will turn into shouting matches, you can always bring in someone else to serve as a mediator.

Laugh and smile

Humor plays a vital role in relationships, especially in long-term commitment. As you grow older, laughing and smiling are great ways to dissolve a heated situation. Instead of pointing the blame on each other, focus on laughing at mistakes. You can make fun of yourselves to resolve an issue and not take things too seriously. Laughter is the best medicine, right?

Practice selflessness

In some instances, all that is needed is a selfless act to rekindle a relationship. This little act of kindness goes to show how much you care for your partner. Remember, being selfless doesn’t mean losing yourself. Instead, it relieves moments from your younger days, when care was easier to express.

Spend time apart

When you retire, you and your spouse find spending hours and hours in each other’s company. While being physically together is beneficial, too much time together can also lead to feelings of suffocation. You may feel that you are no longer the same person. You can remedy this by doing things on your own, whether engaging in a new hobby without your spouse or spending time with friends. Short periods of separation can make the married couple's’ time together more meaningful.

Act like you’re dating

After many years of marriage, you often become less romantic with your partner. You may tend to forget the little details that made a relationship fun in the early years of being together. The sweet surprises, love notes, and flowers may slowly melt away after being together for some time. Now, in your 50s, make an effort to go on dates, exchange love notes and talk about what you love about each other. Cuddling, hugging, holding hands, and kissing is also a great way to show affection

Renew your wedding vows

Let’s face it. After 30 years of marriage, your wedding may only be a faint memory. To bring back the same passion you’ve felt during your wedding day, renewing your vows may be a great idea. You don’t need to spend so much like you did the first time, too. There are many resorts that offer all-inclusive vow renewal packages that are easy on the budget.

With the tips mentioned above, you can continuously enjoy a happy marriage and stay away from thoughts of divorce and separation.

About the author: Melissa Page is a professional writer based in San Diego, California. She writes about relationships and health on her group blog, Word Baristas. When she’s not writing, she’s bowling with her friends.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Secret to a Long and Happy Marriage

Whenever I see happy couples celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, I find myself amazed and often wonder how they managed to last that long. Even more amazing are those couples that reach their 60th or Diamond wedding anniversary. What’s the secret of their decades happy union? Here are some ways you can keep the fires burning steadily throughout the years.

Start with a Solid Foundation

Most people believe that the key to lasting relationship is a foundation based on friendship. A couple who began as friends sometimes tend to be more solid than those who started dating because of chemistry. Granted, attraction is important and you feel that sparks are important for you to be able to consider someone else as a potential partner. However, once the sparks are gone and the giddy feelings of falling in love have faded, what else is left? This is why I believe that the happiest of relationships is when your significant other is someone you can consider as your best friend, someone who knows you inside out, and who loves and accepts you for who you truly are, flaws and all.

Set Aside Time for “Date Night”

Ever wonder how some couples remain so in love even after being together for so long? Despite being busy raising their children and working hard to provide for their needs, these people still manage to find some alone time for themselves, for “date night.” This is also true for celebrity couples like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who despite their huge brood, and hectic schedules, still find time for a romantic dinner. A friend revealed to me how her parents, who are in their 50s, still go out for dinner or a movie once in awhile. It’s no wonder why their love hasn’t diminished over the years.

Keep the Romance Alive

I think that romance is important in any relationship. Aside from date nights, little surprises count as they help spice up your relationship with your significant other. Celebrate your anniversaries and mark each milestone--like your 25th anniversary--with a special gift. You can’t go wrong with giving jewelry as a gift. There is a wonderful selection at David Yurman, where you can choose from earrings, necklaces, rings and other accessories. For your 30th anniversary, pearl earrings or a pearl necklace would make a lovely gift. If your spouse is the adventurous type, a romantic getaway is just the thing that would keep the fires of your relationship burning.

Utilize the Five Languages of Love

Many a marriage has fallen apart because of lack of communication. Sometimes, it’s not because there is less talking but more of less understanding each other. The crux of the matter often lies in how you choose to express your love to each other. If you truly know your spouse inside and out then you know what language of love she or he best understands. If you both have different love languages, I think it’s important that you learn to compromise and reach a middle ground where you can use each other’s way of expressing love. If both are secure in their love for each other then there would be no need to hear the words everyday affirming that love.

About the Author

Based in San Diego California, Tiffany Matthews is a professional writer with over 5 years of writing experience. She also blogs about travel, fashion, and anything under the sun at, a group blog that she shares with her good friends. In her free time, she likes to travel, read books, and watch movies. You can find her on Twitter as @TiffyCat87.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Financial Infidelity | 3 Steps to Help You Come Clean

Created by Phil Scoville on June 25, 2005 Down...Image via Wikipedia
When one spouse keeps secrets from the other the stress and tension can eat a marriage up. You know something is wrong, but can't put your finger on it. Communication is down and a marriage could hang in the balance.

The secrets don't have to be earth shattering like drug or drinking problems. But according to statistics almost one-third of Americans lie to their spouses about money. Whether it's secret bank accounts, mounting debt, or falling earnings, there’s something shameful that’s being hidden.

It's not uncommon that there's secret stashes, there’s debt, there are even addictions or mistresses. And we’re afraid and don’t want conflict, and so we rationalize that for the peace of the relationship, we should say nothing.

It may be easier to not come clean with your spouse in the short term because you may feel you can work it out on your own. In some instances, it will work out and you will have avoided a close shave. But usually it doesn't work out that way, the problem becomes overwhelming and blows up in your face. You will have destroyed mutual trust and surely destroyed the relationship forever.

Why not come clean now before the lies go critical and wipe out your family. Here are a few ways to start the conversation going.

Find the right time.

You should find the right time when things are quiet and you have time to discuss it. In a humble way you have to state the problem completely and ask for forgiveness. Then be ready for feelings of betrayal and hurt to show. Getting through those feelings will be hard, but you must be patient and let them work their way out. Showing regret and a repentant attitude will help.

Show your credit record.
Showing black and white evidence of the extent of your misbehavior will only help the healing process. Seeing your credit report shows your need to be honest. Doing this now will only head off future problems. Imagine if you were able to keep things a secret and you spouse found out later when you were applying for a loan and a stranger revealed this to them.

Focus on the positives.
Exposing a lie that's yours is an embarrassing gut wrenching experience. Sure it's hard for a while but think of the future benefits of being honest. Even the deceiver will feel a ton of pressure relieved when the lie comes out. When both of you are involved and on the same page with money your relationship will flourish.

Reader: Have you ever kept a financial secret from your spouse?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tips To Help You Talk Money To Your Sweetheart

...And Then Sometimes Valentine's Day Sucks!Image by Sister72 via Flickr

This past Valentines Day just brought out the best side of me. When my wife and I talk about money these days it's good to know it won't turn into a knock down drag out fight like it used to. We have learned to talk calmly about money and practically know how the other will respond in any situation..

During are early years of marriage money was very tight. We were combining families and lives. It wasn't easy because most of our fights were about money. We both came from different experiences with money. Our families handled money differently. We had to get used to each other and also our spending-saving habits.

I found that the number one thing to solving money issues was communication. We had to check our baggage at the door and talk openly about the reasons for our differences. We had to be careful not to be hurtful and try to resolve little issues before they festered into big ones. Having those smaller open discussions headed off the potentially bigger ones down the line.

With so many differences we had to find common ground. We tried not to dwell on our past experiences but we set goals and figured ways to arrive at them. It wasn't easy but we kept trying. There was some times when the wheels came off the wagon. But with time and patience we persisted.

We found out early that if we didn't do the math and have a game plan but just relied on our talks we would fail. Putting your goals in writing, setting up a spending plan and tracking actual household income and expenses was imperative to success.

When discussing all this financial stuff we had to methodical and not emotional think about what we we're doing and planning to do. We came together and didn't have a chance to stay together unless we were methodical about our plans.

Sometimes you have to lose a battle, to win a war. Each of us had to give up entrenched ideas and beliefs for the common good. This is very hard to do. Giving up habits that you know are good, but for the greater goals of the marriage, we had to agree to disagree.

Lastly we sought out professional help. Not a psychiatrist, because it feels that way now and then, but a financial expert. They will show you the things you overlooked and things to do, to make your plans happen.

Marriage poses many challenges. Sharing money decisions, in a caring way, will only strengthen your marriage. Not working together may cause your marriage to dissolve. Giving your trust to another is a big step. You trust your spouse with your heart, why not your money?

Reader, what situations cause money fights in your home? Or are you past that ?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Should Couples Have Separate or Joint Accounts; Revisited

Back in Sept. I wrote a post concerning my views on a couple having separate or joint financial accounts. I stated that is what my wife and I had done and why. I always felt a little guilty that we were doing that. I was brought up that, for better or worse you combined your finances. All my friends and family have combined accounts, I am the only one with separate finances. 

I was reading a post over at and read how top-notch blogger J.D. Roth has his finances separate form his wifes. I thought if it makes sense to him why am I so concerned. 

Without all the cultural pressure of combining accounts and considering the relational pluses of having separate accounts, it makes sense in my life to have them separate. If you are someone who follows the work of Dave Ramsey, you know he says separate accounts are wrong. His reason for this is that if your keeping your account separate then your short circuiting a big part of the relationship. Having combined accounts gives you more ways to plan your lives together and foster more communication, resulting in a closer relationship.

For me in my first marriage, we combined are accounts. We were both in our early 20's, didn't have anything to lose, and we were fresh faced kids starting out in life. Little did we know someday all of it would be over. Fast forward to second wife. With remarriage, both parties already had established lives financially. Already established bank accounts, investments, and habits that were well entrenched. At that point combining financial styles and habits would be hard. 

The choice of having separate accounts, over a decade, has convinced me it was the right move. Having things separate reaps benefits everyday in the avoidance of disagreements. We both have strong opinions when it comes to finances. Also being a combined family, with children from previous marriages, it's only another reason we are doing the right thing.

If you are at the point where you must consider having your finances combined or separate, here's a list of things to think about.

The arguments for combining finances are:

  • If there is only one income, it doesn't make sense to have anything separate
  • One person is financially inept at handling money. Combining money would only be the practical thing to do.
  • You believe that joint finances are easier and economically make sense
  • It's morally wrong to keep them separate and it shows a distrust of your spouse.

The arguments against combining finances are:

  • You believe that with all the best intentions marriages fail, so whats  the point.
  • You both make the same amount of money. Then it's OK.
  • Your family has a tradition of separate finances.
  • It keeps the level of money fights to a minimum.

I can say I love my wife and I would trust her with everything I have. But I think keeping our finances separate has removed a point of contention and helped our marriage grow. Again it comes down to what's comfortable and right for you. When I want to give good advice to someone I think what would I tell my own children in the same situation. I would say be honest with your spouse and be honest with yourself in your feelings about money. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Before You Marry It's Time To Get Financially Naked

With the statistics of divorce in this country, more than ever we must better prepare for the big step of marriage. There is a lot to do before the big day. The list is long with all the things that need to be arranged. The preacher, the hall the church, the caterer and on and on. Lots of time is needed to get all this done. We can't forget to be sure we are preparing our financial lives together, also.

With all the rushing around be sure you give yourself the time and space to talk frankly about your financial philosophies. With financial conflicts still among the chief reasons for divorce, it's critical.

You need to talk over all the obvious questions like, How are we paying for the wedding? Should we combine our accounts? What if one of us gets laid off? Those are the easy questions to ask. You need to dig deeper into philosophical questions. Is your future wife a clothes maven with a hundred pairs of shoes? Is the husband a car freak that will only drive a BMW? These things are cute when your dating your future spouse. But if your future love has spending problems, you need to know before the big day.

A thorough pre-marital counseling is imperative to work all the bugs out. You owe it to your future spouse to expose all your crazy spending habits, turn over all the cards and get financially naked.

There are so many facets of life to touch on during counseling you will only be able to touch on the very important ones. One of them being your future home together. Does one person want a small 3 bedroom house and the other want a lavish 2 story McMansion. When the kids arrive is it public or private school. Religious school or home school. What about vacations? will it be Hawaii or North Carolina?

Counselors ask piercing questions to get an answer from your soul, for example:

Imagine the Best. You have enough money to take care of your needs, now and in the future. How would you live your life? Would you change anything?

Life Cut Short. Now the doctor says you have only 5 to 10 years to live. You won't feel sick, but you'll never know when death will come. What will you do? Will you change your life? How?

Regrets. Now imagine that your doctor says you only have one day to live. Ask yourself: What did I miss? What did I not get to be or do?

With these sample questions, your philosophy comes out. You really get to know how your future spouse ticks. Today people are more careful with their money. If they don't know their future spouse well enough an anxiety about their future behavior arises. This leads to mistrust. A sign of this mistrust is the use of Pre-nup agreements. They are used to protect assets in case of divorce. This is a big red flag that your marrying someone you don't trust.

The action that needs to be taken is, if your engaged to marry,  get a good financial marriage counselor to help you better prepare for the big step your about to take.

Monday, November 1, 2010

5 Topics To Discuss Before Marriage

A bride tossing her bouquet of flowers. Catego...Image via Wikipedia
The older I get the more I notice the many differences between people. The list is long concerning the points of contention between married couples. Where do I start? When picking a mate it's important to have pre-marriage counselling to get the dirty laundry out and discuss financial wants, needs and goals. With different goals come different choices concerning money.

These topics are in the air now because my oldest is getting serious about her boyfriend and things are progressing to marriage. I have brought up many of the things we are discussing today, to her.

1. Children. The first thing I told her to consider discussing was children. The conversation should be about whether to have kids and if so how many. Whether you prefer public or private school and how to pay for it. It's the most important thing to discuss because each junior you have will probably cost in the first 18 years at least $200,000. So discussing how many is of vital importance. With summer camps, day care and eventually college the costs could be enormous.

2. Family. The second thing that can wreck havoc on your relationship is family. There are many things to think about with family. Are there step children, are you ready to take on the emotional and financial responsibility's. The in-laws may be your responsibility when they are retired because they may not have prepared for their retirement. The in-laws can work their way into your marriage, can your spouse be capable of keeping boundaries up.

3. Retirement. Is your spouse a saver or a spender? Do they have what it takes to prepare for future events like college and retirement. If they are a spender how will this effect the family when you want to make a budget and be financially responsible.

4.The Car. This is a big sign of the financial responsibility. Does your future spouse like to show off with an expensive car. If your frugal and your mate is a free-spending person, you may find it exciting at first. It may be exciting at first but after the honeymoon is over you realize your stuck with an irresponsible person and it may crash the marriage.

5. The House. Are you looking to have a modest home or are you looking for a McMansion. You and your spouse should decide on what your goals are for the future. Will you put most of your income into housing or more into savings. Will you reveal to your future mate that you are a spender or a saver. Are you organized or a mess.

The point of this discussion is not to point fingers to who is right or wrong but reveal the dirty laundry for the other party to see. The idea is to not have any surprises after the wedding. I remember when I went through premarital counselling long ago. We had no discussion of money what so ever. We didn't know if we were financially compatible or not.

The goal here is to not breakup a relationship because we find any incompatibility. It's to have the couple be aware of it and work toward solutions of agreement before, rather than later.

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