Books/Resources for Couples' Financial Conversations?

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Books/Resources for Couples' Financial Conversations?

Post by OregonGal »

Hi all--I saw a few threads that touched on the importance of premarital counseling/financial conversations, but didn't see much in the way of specific resources so I figured I would ask. Hopefully keeping this targeted on financial conversations keeps it in line with the forum guidelines.

My SO and I are actively discussing purchasing a house, and along with that whether it will affect timing of when we marry (i.e. marriage before/after house purchase, and the practical/legal/financial/tax implications of that timing).

We've already discussed that if we are serious about either marrying or buying a home in the next year or two, one of my priorities is to make sure we have in-depth discussions regarding finances, budgeting/spending philosophies, etc to hash out how we want to approach finances as partners--especially as we are figuring out how to purchase/split paying for a home. We've previously talked finances to where I think we each have a good sense of each other's philosophies/spending habits and that they are complementary, but we haven't sat down and had those specific, in-depth, lay it all out on the table conversations. In addition we've discussed consulting a financial planner and estate/tax attorney; while neither of us have previous marriages/children we are coming to this partnership as adults with our own pensions, retirement funds, student loans, etc.

What resources have you used to facilitate these conversations regarding finances? Neither of us belong to a faith community, which is what I associate most with premarital counseling or classes. Any books or online guides to recommend? Discussion points you are happy you had/wish you had had with your partner before making such a significant financial/legal step? Financial friction points/disagreements you had to work through in your partnership/marriage? For example, one thing I need to keep in mind is that I am more comfortable with having frank financial discussions and disclosing specific numbers, which will affect how we approach these conversations (if it were up to me I'd show up with my spreadsheets and have my SO fill out a similar one).

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Re: Books/Resources for Couples' Financial Conversations?

Post by tonyclifton »

Is one of you more interested in this topic than the other? If yes, then it might be an uphill battle to get the less interested person onboard.

If no, could you both read a Boglehead book (or any financial planning book) and have a book club type discussion? The wiki has the various Boglehead investing books.
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Re: Books/Resources for Couples' Financial Conversations?

Post by VoiceOfReason »

I don’t have specific couples finance resources to recommend.

My suggestion is to start a series of regular, hour long conversations specifically about this topic. Start with the big, long term, life goals that $ plays a factor in. When do you want to retire? What kind of retirement do you want? Having kids? How many? Paying for college? Then work backwards to achieving those goals. Get into current debts, savings rates, budgets necessary to set you on that course.

If you can both agree on the big stuff, you will be more willing to compromise on the smaller stuff.

Early on, one of the best ways I was able to get my spouse “bought in” on a frugal/FI pursuit was to setup the 401k, savings, and budget. Then every 6 months give her an update about how much bigger the # got. She quickly realized that if she were running the finances that it would be a fraction of what it was.
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Re: Books/Resources for Couples' Financial Conversations?

Post by Nate7out » ... c4778a0964

Here's a book. Haven't read it, but heard the author (Erin Lowry) on a podcast speaking on this topic, it was decent advice. I believe she was on Choose Fi and Bigger Pockets Money podcasts.
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