SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Saying “I do” can be a risky investment: nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, and statistics show that the biggest source of breakup stress is money. Couples fight more about finances than fidelity.
To improve the odds of matrimonial success, a successful financial planner with twenty years of expertise working with married couples has developed a list of guidelines. Erik Davis, co-founder of The Navigation Group is clearly on the right track— among the hundreds of families he’s served since 1992, only one of his planning clients has filed for divorce.
“New couples will freely discuss how many kids they want, or how they wish their lives to look—but they don’t necessarily discuss money,” says Davis. “But honest communication about finances is crucial to any healthy relationship, and the earlier the better.”
To help them, Davis proposes Six Steps for a Richer Marriage:
Look in the Mirror
Separately prepare a complete inventory of your individual finances, warts and all, including debts, trust funds or looming lawsuits. By knowing your own situation, you’ll bring a more informed point of view to the discussion.
When you’re both ready, put your cards on the table in an open and non-judgmental discussion. Establishing trust is important to any relationship, so be honest about what you’re bringing financially (good or bad) to the marriage.
Share Your Past
Each of us has our own personal relationship (positive or negative) with money, often resulting from our upbringing or childhood experiences. Sharing memories and stories helps your partner understand what makes you tick money-wise.
What do you want your financial future to look like? Establishing shared goals can deepen your bond, but every goal involves some sacrifices. Having a clear understanding of what you’re both working towards makes those sacrifices easier to bear.
Making It Happen
Goals without actions are merely dreams. Set a plan with specific action items and timeframes, including milestones and dates, to evaluate your progress.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
The process is much easier with the help of a professional. Certified Financial Planners can provide the objectivity, clarity, and tools necessary for couples seeking a richer, happier married life.