FINANCIAL alignment is an essential aspect of any successful relationship, whether it be a romantic partnership, a family, or a group of friends. It involves setting and working towards shared financial goals, openly communicating about money, and finding ways to manage and distribute resources in a way that is fair and sustainable for all parties involved.
For couples, financial alignment can be especially important as it can have a significant impact on the overall health and happiness of the relationship. When both partners are on the same page financially, they are better able to make informed decisions about their future and handle any financial challenges that may arise.
Anna-Joy Tibby, assistant vice-president of personal financial planning at Sterling Asset Management, is a seasoned investment advisor who works with her clients to provide solutions for them to accumulate, protect and preserve their wealth.
She shares steps on how you build financial alignment with your spouse or potential partner.
"One of the first steps towards financial alignment is to have an open and honest conversation about your financial goals and priorities. This should involve discussing your long-term plans, such as saving for retirement or buying a house, as well as your short-term goals, such as paying off debt or building an emergency fund," she said.
Whether you are in a long-term relationship, engaged or married, she stresses the importance of discussing any financial concerns or fears you might have, as these can have a big impact on your financial decisions. She adds, "For example, one partner may be worried about job security, while the other might be concerned about not having enough savings to cover unexpected expenses. By acknowledging these concerns and finding ways to address them, couples can work towards financial alignment and build a solid foundation for their future."
Once you have a clear understanding of each other's financial goals and priorities, the next step is to start making a plan to achieve them. "This will involve setting a budget and finding ways to cut expenses and/or increase income through additional work or investments. It's also important to discuss how you will handle any financial challenges that may arise, such as unexpected expenses or changes in income," she adds.
In addition to setting and working towards shared financial goals, it's also important to find ways to manage and distribute resources in a way that is fair and sustainable for both partners. This might involve setting up a joint bank account, dividing expenses based on income, or finding other ways to share financial responsibilities.
It is not enough to have a plan and set a budget. It is recommended that the couple regularly review and update their financial plan. This might involve scheduling periodic meetings to discuss your financial progress, reviewing your budget, and making any necessary adjustments. It's also important to be open and honest with each other about any financial changes or challenges that may arise.
Financial alignment is not always easy, and it's natural for couples to have different financial priorities and goals. However, by being open and honest with each other and working towards shared financial goals, couples can build a strong foundation for their future and navigate financial challenges that may come their way. Being financially aligned will help you and your partner to have a healthy and successful relationship.
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