Next Avenue

Feb. 26, 2020, 5:00 a.m. EST

Money mistakes to avoid if you remarry later in life

How to accomplish your goals, and avoid financial infidelity

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Jennifer Nelson


iStock/Getty Images

This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org .

If you’re remarried or living with a significant other at midlife, managing your money together might look different than when you were younger.

When you’re married for the first time and starting out in adult life, the two of you typically grow, and develop, money habits, building wealth through the years. This go-round, however, you’re more likely to be two well-established financial beings merging your moola.

How can you best accomplish your goals and avoid both financial infidelity and fights over money? Here are five mistakes to avoid:

Mistake No. 1: Not sharing your money history with each other

“If we look at midlife individuals, they typically have a long history with their own finances at this point,” says Jamie Hopkins, director of retirement research at Carson Group, a financial services firm based in Omaha, Neb.

So, you each need to know what the other’s financial experience has been. “That is important because if you’re moving forward with a new relationship, you have to understand how you operated previously. Those experiences will color your future experiences,” says Hopkins.

Have a casual conversation where you both share your financial backstory. You might say things like: “This is how I’ve been saving —or not saving.” It’s prudent, too, to discuss how your family handled money when you were a child.

After this conversation, talk about your financial expectations. Explain whether you like or dislike managing the day-to-day bills, investing and insurance. Discuss how you view working with financial advisers and handling estate planning matters.

Then, divvy up the financial chores accordingly or tackle them together, if that makes sense.

Mistake No. 2: Keeping financial secrets

In a February 2020 Creditcards.com survey of 2,501 adults in relationships, 44% of respondents said they are hiding a checking, savings or credit card account from their partner; have secret debt or are spending more than their partner would think is OK. Broken down by generations, 37% of boomers, 45% of Gen Xers and 57% of millennials have deceived their partners financially, the survey found.

You might like: The latest from the Love & Money column on MarketWatch

Once exposed, financial infidelity, says Hopkins, is fodder for fighting and eventual relationship ruin. “It can be harmful to relationships when you find someone had debt they never told you about,” he says.

Make a no-secrets financial pact and stick to it. This doesn’t mean you need to have access to the other’s person’s accounts. Only that you know what accounts and debts he or she has, and a general understanding of where you both are moneywise.

Page 1 Page 2
This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In
Retirement

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »

Partner Center

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.