Personal Finance

You, Me & Our Money – Financial Fundamentals for Relationships

by Jessica Keus Investment Advisor - Wellington-Altus Private Wealth

Summary: How to Talk Money

While in a relationship and on the road to financial success, keep these points in mind to learn how to talk money so you, your partner and your money stay in the same lane.

Communicating with your partner about most things in life is relatively easy and enjoyable.  You may agree on where to take a trip, how to enjoy time off and even the bigger items like buying a new home; however, we don’t always agree on the path of how to get there.  Here are a few key tips on how to talk money with your partner to enjoy your wealth build-up journey, while enjoying each other along the way.

Talk Money to Me

Communication is key when it comes to your money.  That means the good, the bad, and the past. In a recent study put out by RBC titled “2020 Relationships and Money Insights Poll”, 85% of Canadians with partners agreed that, for a relationship to last long-term, both parties must have similar financial goals and habits.

Taking the time to discuss your feelings and values towards money is of the utmost importance for your financial health.  Set aside uninterrupted time where you and your partner can be open about what topics are top-of-mind, and perhaps some others that have possibly been tucked away under the rug.

Unlocking Goals

Prepare individually, then bring it all together on a money date night. Prepare your individual and professional goals, along with your overall financial vision for your partnership.  Assign a timeline for each goal and prioritize what matters to you most.

Life is busy, and often, couples divide and conquer activities to ensure they can spend valuable time together.  You likely won’t see me cleaning out the pool filter nor my husband cleaning out the fridge, and this works for our partnership; however, your finances are not a place for individual activities.  Being financially informed within your relationship provides security, confidence and a true partnership when it comes to your money.

So, what if your partner wants nothing to do with the moola?  Here’s what I recommend to my clients in this situation on how to talk money.  If a client has attended a financial planning meeting alone, but has a partner at home, I always ask these questions: ”What are three things you would like to take away from this meeting that will ensure you and your partner have financial peace of mind?” “What is the plan?” “Are we on track?” “Are we ok?”.  The answers are always intriguing.  The next time you go to meet with your financial advisor, either alone or with your partner, I challenge you to know the three questions that will provide both of you financial comfort going forward.

Does it Always Have to be About Retirement?

Often when we meet with advisors, we are targeted with the question “When do you want to retire?”.  Retirement and eventual estate planning are the “end game goal”, but your short-term targets can be just as important and should assist in facilitating your overall plan.  A well-balanced plan will include the excitement and anticipation of achieving short-term goals, in addition to providing the comfort of long-term planning.

Stats Canada has found that “2/3rds of Canadian’s are planning for some type of major purchase or expenditure within the next 3 years”, yet “anxiety about retirement is heavily concentrated among those who do not yet have a plan to save for retirement”.  The lesson – plan for both equally, and don’t spend more time planning for an upcoming trip than you do for your retirement.

I Can See Clearly. How do I Enjoy My Money?

A recent client of mine shared a common goal she came across with her partner.  It was not for financial freedom but was a monetary goal that would provide peace of mind.  They felt if they were able to save a certain amount in a five-year timeframe, they would feel comfortable allowing themselves to purchase a cottage. Once they worked out the goal, they came to me to put it together financially.  According to a study conducted by IFIC Advisor Insights, investors who get professional advice have 3.9 times more assets than investors without advice after 15 years. The takeaway is twofold: they are now on track to build a solid financial foundation that will lead them to a comfortable retirement and they are also on a five-year countdown celebration of possibly getting the cottage they have both dreamed about.  

Where to Start

Make it easy.  Go back to basics.  Pay yourself first.  Set a goal and a timeframe.

If you are just entering the savings portion of your financial life, my recommendation would be to start with debt repayment and establishing an Emergency Fund. Once you have completed these goals, it’s time to sit down with an advisor that you trust.  Finding someone who will keep you informed and that you feel comfortable with is key and remember, asking questions and open communication is number one!

Social media is a great place to start and I find the financial sources I follow help me stay current and connected.  Putting out content of my own that is relatable and timely functions as a daily newsletter to my clients and followers – especially in times like these.

The Big Picture

Be intentional and get advice.  Your advisor should be the facilitator of your goals and it all starts with you!

The information contained herein has been provided for information purposes only. The information does not provide financial, legal, tax or investment advice. This does not constitute a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell securities of any kind. Market conditions may change which may impact the information contained in this document. Wellington-Altus Private Wealth Inc. (WAPW) does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, nor does WAPW assume any liability for any loss that may result from the reliance by any person upon any such information or opinions. WAPW is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.

Jessica Keus
About Jessica Keus

Jessica is an Investment Advisor with Wellington-Altus Private Wealth in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was recently named one of Wealth Professional Magazine’s Rising Stars of 2020, the 24 next big names in Canada’s wealth management industry. With clients across the country, Jessica places a focus on relatable wealth advice and client choice. To connect, e-mail Jessica at [email protected] or by social media on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

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