Financial Conversation Tips for Military Couples
Military couples understand the importance of communication. For years, you’ve communicated as a team during PCS moves, promotions, and deployments. Conversations on finances are no different, and an open line of communication can help you and your spouse work as a team toward common financial goals.
Researchers at Cornell combined data from six studies, polling 38,000 people, and discovered benefits to fusing finances in marriage. They concluded that those who combined finances experienced “higher levels of satisfaction, harmony and commitment” in marriages, per EurekAlert.
How you discuss finances and which topics you focus on will evolve as you grow together and enter new life stages. Here’s how to start honest talks about money with your partner and how to keep the conversation going.
For Richer, Poorer, and Through Retirement
As a married military couple, you’ve experienced a range of life changes. Take a moment to applaud all you’ve accomplished throughout the years — even when you were geographically dislocated from each other. Whether you’re active duty, a Veteran in your second career, or fully retired, ongoing conversations about money are critical.
Here are some ideas to help facilitate financial discussions with your partner:
- Set financial priorities together and work as a team to put them into practice.
- Compare your personal finance strategies with your partner’s and decide how to create new ways to manage your money together while playing to each other’s strengths.
- Be honest about your credit history and how much debt you’re carrying, if any.
- Track your spending and be honest about your purchases to hold each other accountable to the goals you’ve set together.
- Make a list of both long- and short-term financial goals and decide together how and when to tackle them.
- Evaluate shared priorities regarding retirement, home ownership, and travel desires.
- Discuss your legacy — what do you hope to leave to family members, and are there any charitable organizations you wish to contribute to?
- Consider establishing trust funds for young grandchildren that can be accessed when they come of age.
Your financial goals may change as your lives evolve, so it’s important to check in regularly with each other. Set aside time each month or quarter to review your finances and budget, making any necessary changes to ensure your financial plan continues to align with your goals.
Our Military Money Experts Are Here for You
Openly discussing finances is a skill that takes practice, but the more you do it, the stronger your relationship and financial future will be. These conversations can be difficult, but making sure you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to money can strengthen your marriage. Connect with an AAFMAA Wealth Management & Trust Relationship Manager today to assist your military family with financial planning, investment management, and trust services.