Courtiers Wealth Management
Courtiers Wealth Management

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The price of love; being on the same financial page as a couple

When Courtiers work with you to create a lifetime cashflow model and develop a financial plan as a couple, they expect to hear different long-term objectives and goals from both of you. Our Advisers work with you to bring both your attitudes to risk, finances and biases to the forefront. But there are steps you can take to prepare for this before you come to meet us.

Grab your favourite beverage, some tasty treats and get ready to be honest with each other about the following questions:

Question 1:

What are your financial attitudes?

Have an open and honest conversation with your spouse or partner about how you manage your finances. Whether you like to stay in control over your spending or are happier to delegate this to someone else is likely to be a key topic – and would be helpful for us to learn too. Having this conversation early on means that you as a couple can hopefully see areas for compromise and understand the level of lifestyle you want to have – now and in the future.

Question 2:

When you get money, are you likely to save it or spend it?

A common issue can be one of you likes to save money while the other has specific lifestyle items they splurge on. This can be extravagant – but could also mean a Starbucks coffee in the morning. Listening and expressing why saving or spending is important to understand everyone feels heard and their needs are seen as central, even if, ultimately, they may need to be compromised for a longer- or shorter-term goal.

Question 3:

How would you react if you lost 50% of your savings?

Did that question scare you? Did it scare your significant other? Making sure both of you are clear about the level of risk you’re willing to take on investment will inform strategy. But it’s also important to understand what level of wealth makes you feel safe. If you’re quite financially conservative, you’ll likely have a higher need for savings, while if you’re more free-thinking, you could find you have a high propensity for chance. It’s worth confirming that both opinions are as valid as each other, as long as they align with your needs.

Question 4:

What are your short-term money goals?

Expensive holidays, a new car, or just the day-to-day? Knowing what you want to focus on in the short term will help you determine where you and your partner can stand for longer-term financial decisions. It also helps to discuss any high-interest debts here, as they will impact longer-term.

Question 5:

What long-term money goals or plans do you have?

Talking of longer-term, do you both have ideas on what you may want to spend on in the future? For example, would you want to plan for a big holiday to celebrate a (specific) wedding anniversary or birthday, or are you hoping to help your (future) children buy a house or get married? Knowing where you expect to spend will help you understand what you’re saving for.

Question 6:

How do you handle income disparity?

Even if one of you has a higher pay check, it may not mean that person has more of a disposable income. Making sure you both understand where you stand will be important in knowing how this income disparity may shape up. Then you can look at any joint priorities and use this insight to understand not only how you may approach future decisions, but also how you wish to split expenditures.

Question 7:

Would you prefer to split the bill or pay for yourself?

Talking of splitting expenditures, once you have an idea on how to approach disparate pay, you’ll have an idea of what to do with your joint bills, and your household income overall. While many choose to combine incomes into one pot, you may find it better for your mental health to have your own accounts and a joint account for bills.

Question 8:

What would you expect to happen if/when your incomes change (planned or unplanned)?

This can also help when looking at longer-term decisions. If one of you decides to – or must – go part-time, or stop working completely (whether short-term or long-term), how will this affect the money you both bring in? Are you prepared to cover your significant other, or are you happy to be covered for that time? Would this have an impact on how you want to handle risk, finances, and opportunities? Ensuring you’re on the same page means you can approach milestones or tackle financial obstacles together.

Summing it all up

At Courtiers, your Adviser knows when they talk to you about your finances, they’re not just talking to you about money; they’re talking to you about your emotions, goals and attitudes. They are prepared to discuss with both of you the best financial plan that covers both your needs. While spending on day-to-day items is inevitable, it’s by being open, talking and listening to one another that your overall financial planning or lifetime cashflow modelling plan takes shape in a robust way, preparing you for the long term.

Important information

The views expressed by Courtiers in this summary are reached from our own research. Courtiers cannot accept responsibility for any decisions taken as a result of reading this article. Investors are recommended to take independent professional advice before effecting transactions and the prices of stocks, shares and funds, and the income from them can fall. Past performance is not a guide to future returns. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in future. We do not endorse or accept responsibility for website content on any websites other than those operated by Courtiers, which may be accessible via links in this article.

 

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