A financial discussion with your spouse can feel like a minefield of emotional surprises. Financial planner Carl Richards advises you to first have "the conversation before the decision gets made," which "can make a huge difference" in your relationship, he writes in the New York Times Bucks blog. Also:
- Limit your spending. "Often our biggest arguments come from surprises," so set a threshold for surprise purchases.
- Discuss education. Parents often disagree on how to pay for the children's education, so have the conversation soon—"preferably before the first child is a senior in high school and sending out applications."
- Talk about where to live. Some spouses like renting, others owning. But whatever you do, "don’t view your home as an investment. Buy a house for reasons that aren’t connected to selling it again in a year."
- Go over retirement expectations. You may want to hit the links, while your spouse starts a new, satisfying project. "Talk it through and be clear about what’s important to you."
Click for more from Richards, including his "no shame, no blame" rule
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