After more than a few decades of advising my clients regarding their financial affairs, it always amazes me how little many couples know about their significant other’s financial position. The reasons are many, ranging from, “we never talk about that sort of stuff” to “my partner went through an expensive divorce, so they just don’t want to talk about it”.

Accepting all of that, the bottom line is this. If you don’t know what your partner is doing, the chances are, you will not be able to fully plan for the future together. My opinion is that a periodic check-in on where you are at, is essential if planning for a comfortable future/retirement is important to you.

So, what is it that couples often don’t talk about.

Here’s my top 12 things that people don’t talk about, but really ought to.

  1. How much their partner earns
  2. How much emergency reserve money they need
  3. How much their partner saves/invests each month
  4. How much money their partner already has saved/invested
  5. How much income they need when they retire
  6. Not talking about their plans for the future
  7. When they do talk about the future they disagree
  8. How long their income will be paid if they become ill and cannot work
  9. Who pays the bills
  10. How much to allocate for fun stuff each month?
  11. Having a joint account just to pay bills
  12. What will happen if one partner dies prematurely

Being on a stable financial footing is most people’s idea of where they would like to be and for most of us, this is where we are right now. But without putting all our cards on the table now, can we be sure that, that will always be the case. The foundations of a solid financial future and a stress/worry free retirement is knowing exactly where you are now, so that you can build on what you already have.

Knowing your current position will certainly help you work out what you need to do going forward and will almost certainly highlight any weaknesses in your current situation, which you could do something about now. Whether that means, investing more into your ISA or into your pension, or whether you have enough life insurance cover in place to repay the mortgage and your family to have enough to live on if you were to die, knowing your total family financial position is essential, not just yours.

So, as we enter a new year, maybe this is the time to sit down with your partner and put all your cards on the table. Scary it may be, but it certainly will help you plan for the future. Of course, just knowing where are now, will not necessary give you the answers to what you need to do next, which is where seeing a good financial adviser can be a great help.

Action call

Planning for a secure financial future can be complex as there are so many options and decisions to be made.

If you or your family would like to talk us about your financial plans for future, please get in touch for a no-obligation meeting. Go to our website www.miadvice.co.uk and contact us via our “Get in touch” form on our home page or Contact Martin Dodd on 01902 742221.

Email us at financialplanning@miadvice.co.uk

It is advisable to take advice from a professional financial adviser when making major financial decisions.

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The contents of this article should not be regarded as specific advice. No responsibility can be accepted by Martin Dodd or Midlands Investment Agency Ltd., for any loss that may occur by a person acting or refraining from acting on the basis of this article.