How to create a shared financial vision with your partner

Key Points

  • Couples may not always see eye to eye about money, but those who maintain good communication are more likely to feel they have saved enough for retirement.
  • Four habits can help you and your partner successfully manage your money and maintain financial harmony.
  • Your advisor can help you both work toward a shared financial vision.

Open communication is vital when you and your partner talk about current and future financial goals. Your financial advisor is a neutral guide who can help you work together to bring your shared vision to life. 

Top habits for financial harmony

Couples who successfully manage their money together may not always see eye to eye, but they maintain good communication. According to the Ameriprise Couples and Money study,1 these couples have developed habits that help keep them on track together.  

  1. They make money a priority. Half of those surveyed believe that money is an important factor in their relationship and feel their relationship has made them more financially responsible. Couples who have been together longer tend to agree more often.
  2. Most talk about and agree on financial goals and shared responsibilities. As a result, both members say they are confident about managing their money. Among couples who have discussed retirement, 82% have similar views on how to approach it.
  3. They set a designated spending limit. About three in 10 couples disagree on finances at least once a month, most commonly about major purchases or spending habits. On average, couples said a purchase over $400 should trigger a discussion.
  4. They share the responsibility for retirement planning and investment decisions. It’s almost an even split on who initiates money discussions. Couples report they aren’t just talking about their current financial situation; 92% agree on their target retirement savings goals.

“Couples who are financially in tune discuss money, spending limits, and roles and responsibilities regularly. They also tend to have joint accounts and are more likely to feel that they have enough saved for retirement.”
Marcy Keckler, CRPC®, CFP®, Vice President, Financial Advice Strategy, Ameriprise Financial

 

Meet with your financial advisor together

What age would like to retire? Do you want to continue working in retirement? Do you want to live in a smaller home? How much investment risk are you comfortable with?

These are good questions to talk about with your partner — and together with your financial advisor.

“Couples who see the same advisor report that it’s helped them improve both their communication and their understanding about financial matters,” Keckler says. “It has also helped many of them defuse potential conflicts. About 40% of couples who describe themselves as not ‘on the same page’ financially say that advisors have helped them negotiate money issues that might otherwise have caused tension.”

 

Set up a meeting with your advisor today so you and your partner can work together toward a shared financial vision.