The Keys to Having Successful Financial Conversations Before wedding planning kicks into high gear, make conversations about your finances a priority. Taking the time now to speak through money things can create a good foundation for your future. Use the following six principles to guide your money conversations: Open-minded. Take turns sharing your vision for money management as a married couple. Listen carefully to what your prospective spouse says is important to them. Acknowledge your differences and build on your strengths. If your expectations do not match up, try to find a compromise. Some couples sidestep conversations about money to prevent feelings of hurt, fear, anger or guilt. Creating a habit of frequent communication might help you avoid heated arguments, and will help ensure you are on the same page financially before you walk down the aisle. Honesty. Financial secrets can destroy trust. Share the particulars of your financial history and current situation in case you haven’t already done so. Disclose the fantastic news, too. Divulge details about savings you have tucked away or a family trust which will help supplement your income so you know the sum of where you stand. Forward-thinking. Once you’ve shared your present situation and history, discuss your goals for the future. Be open about what your dreams are, but you should be ready to compromise. While you don’t have to agree about everything, having shared goals (buying a house, saving for college if you choose to have kids, retirement, etc.) lets you combine forces on savings and gives you a road map for spending. Cooperation. To avoid any miscommunications as newlyweds, discuss and assign responsibility for financial functions. Is one of you at monitoring online accounts and paying bills? Are you enrolled in a retirement accounts and taking maximum advantage of employer contributions? Who will be the primary contact for your financial adviser, tax professional or estate planner? Two is better than one when you are able to divide and conquer financial jobs, but make sure that you’re both in the loop on key decisions and money matters. Diligence. It takes discipline, but taking good care of these housekeeping tasks right away protects you in case something unexpected happens. Several steps to consider: • Consider combining your bank accounts if it makes sense for your circumstances. • Amend your tax withholdings, to ensure the perfect amount is withheld from your paycheck now that you are married. Consult your tax professional before making modifications. • Choose your wellbeing insurance. If both of your companies offer health insurance, carefully assess your coverage options and premiums for the ideal fit. Like most things worth achieving, preparing for a lifetime of financial compatibility takes work. If you and your future spouse can commit to the same money values, it might help you create a solid financial foundation.