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Bringing up the other ‘M’ word: How and why to talk about money in a committed relationship

Provided by RBC Wealth Management
and Dave Dupont

In order to take the next step in a relationship, it’s important to ask the question: How is our financial situation? Many couples find this topic hard to discuss due to the tension that it brings. Studies say the topic of money is the No. 1 source of arguments in a marriage. So, with the potential for negative emotions why is it vital to talk to your significant other about money?

To establish a harmonious financial relationship with your partner, there are four key topics you should address.

Debt: The accumulation of debt, especially student loans, has become an increasingly frustrating problem for some individuals and is something that couples shouldn’t ignore. Since debt becomes communal after tying the knot, it is paramount that both partners are transparent about the amount of debt they bring to the relationship, as well as their debt management and payment plans.

Money-type: People develop a money personality based on their environment and upbringing. It is important to understand your partner’s money views and establish a middle ground for financial issues. Set ground rules for communicating about big purchases and making investment decisions so that conflict does not arise.

Family matters: Outside of knowing about your partner’s financial situation, it is essential to understand potential family obligations. Is your partner putting money into caring for his/her parents or providing a loan to a sibling or relative? Loaning money to family can have an impact on your savings as well as your relationship. Have a discussion now about how this will be handled and communicated so you can manage your finances accordingly and keep peace in the home.

Investments: Investing in your future can be an overlooked part of many financial conversations. Most people realize they need to save for retirement, but how much you save depends on how and when each of you wants to retire. What about saving for college? Do you want your children to attend a private or public college and how much do you intend to pay toward tuition? All of these topics are important players in a fully encompassing financial conversation.

This article is provided by Dave Dupont, a Financial Advisor at RBC Wealth Management. RBC Wealth Management does not endorse this organization or publication.

RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets LLC, Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC

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