Experts say financial planning helps forge stronger relationships

Before tying knot, make sure finances in order

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With Valentine’s Day and tax day both approaching, it brings up an issue many couples aren’t eager to talk about -- finances.

News4Jax spoke with a financial planner about what you can do to keep the relationship strong, even when talking about finances.

While it may be hard for couples to talk about, finances are important. In fact, some studies show financial reasons are cited in 90 percent of divorces. So as we prepare for Valentine’s Day, the strongest couples appear to be ready to talk money.

Even when relationships are at their strongest, finances can be a sensitive topic of conversation.

The national foundation for credit counseling shows that 68 percent of engaged couples have negative attitudes toward discussing money with their fiancés.

One couple News4Jax spoke to reflect that figure and said they are not fond of financial talk.

“He hates it,” the wife said. “It’s not fun,” the husband said, agreeing. “It’s stressful.” 

Randi Guthard, with First Tennessee Bank, said it’s important for couples to do one thing first before tying the knot.

“That (should) start with a financial assessment,” Guthard said. “Individuals should do a financial assessment and take a look at where their finances sit. Then they can go to next step of working on a budget -- that means looking at finances for expenses each month.”

Guthard said it’s important for couples to work on a financial safety net, suggesting that couples have three to six months of savings for any unexpected emergencies.

Guthard added that couples should talk to a financial planner each year -- not just once.

“You want to bring in a financial planner,” Guthard said. “You want to look at short-term goals as well as long-term goals. And that financial planner will help you decide where you should be spending and saving."

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