Nicola Beswick
Nicola Beswick

Senior Financial Adviser


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Money the biggest test of happy relationships

Romance may be in the air, but it’s not all wine and roses when two people combine their finances and aspirations in the name of love. A November 2022 study from NAB research found half of couples don’t regularly talk about their finances and 30% say money is a source of conflict in their relationships. Ouch!

There's no doubt financial intimacy and compatibility are important ingredients for a happy, lasting relationship. Over life’s journey, long-term partners will face many financial decisions and turning points together. If one partner is a saver and the other is prone to spending and running up debt, that’s going to be a problem. Maybe one avoids the topic of money and finds it boring, while the other wants to plan ahead and set goals. One thing is for sure, expect plenty of friction if you’re not on the same financial page as your partner.

The first step in the financial planning process is determining your priorities by setting short and long-term goals. Just having that conversation with a qualified financial adviser there to facilitate can be a real light-bulb moment for couples. On the other hand, failing to get money matters right can be fatal for relationships.

According to Relationships Australia, the management (or mismanagement) of finances is one of the biggest causes of arguments among couples. As an experienced financial adviser that doesn’t surprise me. We see first-hand how a lack of communication about money can become a toxic force that leads to relationship breakdown and all-too-often, a costly divorce.

It’s also common to see relationships where one person has all the financial control and the other party isn’t aware of their true financial situation until the relationship breaks up or they lose their partner unexpectedly. The people left behind are then motivated to seek financial advice, but it’s much better to work with couples earlier, when we can positively influence financial outcomes.

The fact is, money – who earns more of it, how it’s spent, what level of risk is taken to invest it, and it how it facilitates the lifestyle both parties want – has a major impact on both relationship satisfaction and lifetime wealth creation. It’s amazing that for something so central to our daily and future lives, talking about it remains a social taboo and at the very least, it’s considered unromantic.

Couples often commit to spending their lives together without discussing the fact they may have totally different views about money and financial priorities. That’s where seeing a financial adviser can help. We’re like a coach who can guide couples through common financial and legal minefields like budgeting, home-ownership, starting a family, Wills, insurance and investments.

It also helps keep the in-laws out of the equation! Nothing shuts down well-meaning enquiries faster than reassuring both extended families that you’re seeking professional advice and have your financial future under control.

Take the first step and talk to a CFP® qualified financial adviser like me about your financial future today.

General advice disclaimer: This article has been prepared by FMD Financial and is intended to be a general overview of the subject matter. The information in this article is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be relied upon as such. In preparing this article we have not taken into account the individual objectives or circumstances of any person. Legal, financial and other professional advice should be sought prior to applying the information contained on this article to particular circumstances. FMD Financial, its officers and employees will not be liable for any loss or damage sustained by any person acting in reliance on the information contained on this article. FMD Group Pty Ltd ABN 99 103 115 591 trading as FMD Financial is a Corporate Authorised Representative of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977. The FMD advisers are Authorised Representatives of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977. Rev Invest Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977.