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Financial Planning for couples – greater than the sum of two parts

Do you have a partner in life? Are they on the same page as you financially? Do you like having a separate bank account just for you, or does everything go into a big melting pot?

 

Great financial planning should consider the nuance of how money works within different relationships.

 

Many couples have separate finances but still want to plan for a successful financial future together.

 

Couples often come into a relationship with different financial situations. One might have more money, the other a higher income. One solution is to combine everything together in one joint bank account with full disclosure and accountability of spending. This might work for some couples, but every relationship is different.

 

Keeping money separate leads to challenges too. A couple I spoke with recently had met later in life; each having had children in a previous relationship. It made sense to keep things separate. He owned the home but had no super. She had shares and super but no property. It worked fine until he retired and applied for an age pension. She was still working. His Age Pension application was rejected because of her income. As a result, for the first time in his life, he was dependent upon her income. They worked together, compromised, and found a solution that they were both happy with.

 

These challenges eventually arise in every relationship. What happens if one member of a couple receives a substantial inheritance, should this be kept separate to the rest of their joint finances?

 

What if couples have quite different attitudes to how money should be spent? Or if they disagree about how money should be invested?

 

These are all very common occurrences and should not impede couples from planning together and seeking advice together.

 

So, it’s important for me to ask how you’re managing money now? How important is it to keep your financial independence? And, if it happened to make sense financially, would you and your partner be okay with moving assets into the other person’s name? These sorts of questions help to flesh out whether there are any underlying reservations about combing assets or losing individual control.

 

Financial planning is not just about numbers but about understanding your unique situation. It’s a collaborative effort where both partners engage in decision-making, ensuring that individual views are heard and respected. By planning together, couples can create a roadmap that balances shared financial goals with the importance of maintaining individual financial independence.

Author
Director | Certified Financial Planner ® | B.Ec, Grad Dip FP | Authorised Representative No. 227293

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