The Importance of Talking About Finances Before Marriage

By Kathleen Nemetz, MBA, CFP®, CDFA™, Certified Financial Planner ™ Practitioner, Stratos Wealth Partners 

Getting married? When planning a legal union, it pays for couples to consider the financial aspects of marriage just as deeply as they do romance.

If you have spent more time shopping for a dress or tux than talking about shared finances, make time now for this discussion. Otherwise, the twists and turns in the financial road ahead may come as a surprise.

Money is a topic often taboo in social conversations. Yet, a decision to team your life with someone else’s entails a necessary discussion about finances. A third-party coach can help couples have this discussion without jeopardizing the relationship.

The reality is that many marriages and romantic partnerships fail. Talking about finances can help a couple avoid money issues causing the relationship’s failure. Here are some sample questions to ask yourselves:

  • Can you talk about money together without one of you shutting down, or becoming embarrassed?
  • Does one of you assume control of financial matters? Or do you both share in paying bills or making financial choices?
  • Do you share views on eventual goals that could include finishing an education, changing jobs, relocating, or having children?
  • Do you both have significant assets, or children from a previous marriage? Have you expressed clarity with each other about priorities going forward?
  • Are both of you ready to disclose your assets and debts, and talk about your plans for financing and managing daily life together?
  • How much can you afford to spend on housing, for example, if your goals include the purchase of a home? Consult with a financial planning professional on household budgets and accounts.
  • How will you manage your credit to qualify for loans? Will you use credit cards? A financial professional can get you on track and help you stay there.
  • How will you manage essential household accounts and retirement accounts? Will you have joint or separate accounts?
  • How will you plan for taxes to avoid potential meltdowns during tax filing season?
  • Will you create spending limits to avoid surprise expenditures or donations?

The answers to these questions can help a couple get on the same page about finances, and avoid unforeseen problems in the future.

Stratos Wealth Partners are professionals with decades of experience in providing financial guidance, and strategies for wealth accumulation and tax management.

Contact us by phone at 928.460.5507, visit, or stop by the office in the Old Santa Fe Train Depot, 100 E. Sheldon Street, Suite 105, Prescott.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.  Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Partners, Ltd., a registered investment advisor and a separate entity from LPL Financial.  Stratos Wealth Partners and LPL Financial do not provide legal advisor or tax services. Please consult your legal advisor or tax advisor regarding your specific situation.