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The "Money Talk"



It is important to set up a time to discuss finances with your partner. The more honest the financial conversations you have with each other now, the better your chances of avoiding misunderstandings now and down the road.


This conversation checklist can help you get started:

  • Start discussions sooner. Set aside time for regular conversations to help you stay on the same page financially as your priorities and life circumstances evolve.

    • Talk about family finances before you get married and before a major life event occurs, such as buying a new house or having a child.

    • Include how you will continue to communicate about your finances along the way. 

  • Create shared goals and priorities.

    • Keep a journal. Talk about your vision of the future.

    • What’s important to you now, and what do you want to achieve in 5 - 10 years

    • What are your goals for retirement?

    • Set an agenda to help stay focused. Be realistic about what you can cover in each session, and plan for complex topics to take a few meetings. (try doing your goals individually and bring them to the tale to see how you match up - this scan be an enlightening moment and conversation starter).

  • Keep communication open. Speak up, be frank, stay open-minded, and keep past conflicts out of the talks. 

  • Talk less, listen more.

    • Boost your chances for a productive conversation by actively listening to one another, seeking to understand, and respectfully acknowledging each other’s points of view.

  • Discuss financial mistakes openly.

    • If either of you has made financial mistakes in the past, talk about it openly with your partner without pointing the finger.

  • Work with a Money Management Counselor. A counselor can help guide money conversations and provide guidance for the long term. They’ll take the time to understand what’s truly important to you and your spouse and provide the tools to reach your goals and needs as a couple.


"Many of our conversational barriers are self-imposed because kicking off a talk might seem intimidating. If you approach it in the right way, the talk can turn into a positive, constructive experience."

Marcy Keckler, CRPC®, CFP®, vice president, Financial Advice Strategy at Ameriprise Financial.

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