Five money chats you must have with your partner
What is your attitude to debt?
Some people are happy to live off their overdrafts, support large mortgages, or take out loans for a new kitchen. Others consider it the worst type of financial risk-taking. It doesn’t really matter which you are, but you need to agree or form a compromise.
What is in your will?
Again, it doesn’t matter if you have chosen to leave all your worldly belongings to the local cat’s home, but your spouse should probably know, however tempting it is to leave the argument until after you are dead. This is particularly important if you have dependents.
Are retirement plans clear?
This is crucial for non-working spouses, who may be reliant on their partner to ensure that national insurance contributions are made so that they are fully entitled to the state pension. They are also likely to need some form of alternative personal pension provision to support them in their old age.
Do you have life insurance?
It is tempting to believe that this is only an issue for a working spouse. However, childcare costs money. If one half of the partnership is staying home and looking after children, there needs to be some provision if they are unable to do so for any reason.
Where are you invested?
People make bad financial decisions. They may also try to cover up bad financial decisions with even worse financial decisions. Do not make the mistake of deferring all financial decision making to one or other party. One side maybe better at it, but it doesn’t mean they are always right. Checks and balances are useful.
If there is an overall rule, it is that no-one should defer all financial decision-making to someone else, no matter how little they understand money. It is important to get to grips with the long-term state of your finances and if your spouse refuses to tell you, you might want to put the Asti Spumante down and ask why.