You and your mate may squabble over plenty of financial decisions, but there’s one financial move you absolutely, 100 percent, hands-down, must agree on: your retirement strategy. Yet 73 percent of couples don’t. That’s bad because everything—your budget, your everyday shopping habits—should derive from that shared vision of the future. So stop fighting about who’s spending more at Costco and focus on the bigger picture:
- Meet with an independent financial planner together. Advice from an unbiased pro is often easier to digest. You’ll be able to express how you envision retirement—and then work toward a plan. If you and your mate have too much tension around money, consider meeting with a financial therapist—a growing field of counselors who are certified to work with couples around the emotional side of their money conflicts.
- Find your type. Take a quiz to determine your money type. (Are you a hoarder or a spender?) You’ll be more in sync with your mate if you understand each other’s financial point of view. Or try taking a quiz (separately) about your financial health. Viewing the results of an independent test can help you focus on challenges, not pointing fingers.
- Shop for investments together. You somehow managed to pick out a car and a place to live. Shouldn’t you be as dedicated to your future? Start by buying a mutual fund as a couple. Look deep into his eyes and…then check out these funds (with minimums of only $1,000): Vanguard STAR Investment VGSTX; Permanent Portfolio PRPFX. Then both of you can monitor its performance. (Bookmark Morningstar.com or download the app.)