Couple Money

Marriage and Money: Retirement and Credit Cards for Couples

couple money interviews

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This week Couple Money has been featured on two sites with interviews about getting a retirement plan set up as a couple and whether the two of you should open joint credit cards as newlyweds.

I've included excepts below to give you an idea of what was covered.

Discussing Retirement Goals

When should couples sit down to discuss their retirement goals and strategy? How often do you think they should revisit this discussion?

The sooner, the better. If the two of you haven’t already, set aside time this week and have a money chat. You don’t have to do everything in one day.

Start off by talking about what each of you picture for retirement. You may be surprised at what comes out.

From there, figure out about how much you need to have and work backwards.

I think you should check in with one another about your progress at least every few months, even if it’s just to talk out dreams. Those conversations can be great motivation to stay the course and grow closer.

Co-sign on Loans

Mortgages and auto loans are more complicated than credit cards.

For one thing, they’re often for large amounts of money and are paid off over many years.

For another, one spouse with poor credit can derail the chances of getting the best interest rate, resulting in thousands more paid over the loan’s duration.

Just look at the estimated APRs for a 30-year fixed mortgage, based on FICO score range, to the right.

So should the spouse with good credit apply alone?

Martinez says no.

One person carrying entire credit load can lead to resentment, she says. Plus, one spouse’s low credit score should give the couple pause before they embark on huge credit commitments.

“Get both of your credit situations under control before you start talking about loans,” Martinez says. “If you have a partner who has a problem with keeping up with credit obligations, a loan is going to add more headaches. Just the process of going for a mortgage will require both people to be on top of things.”

Thoughts on Managing Finances as a Couple

Please check the posts out and let me know what you think.

How do the two of you handle retirement contributions? If you two use credit cards, how are they set up?

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