Love and money: three things you need to know

By MAS Team | 9 September 2019

Love is blind but that doesn’t mean your money should be. When you’re getting into a long-term relationship, you need to make sure you’re protected, no matter what happens.

Let's talk money

Kiwis can get a bit squeamish when it comes to talking about money, and many of us get into long term relationships without having had the money talk with their partner.

You don’t need to have identical attitudes toward money but you do need to be on the same page in terms of the lifestyle you want now and in the future.

It starts with being completely open with how much you earn, how much you save, what you like to spend on, and what you’re happy to sacrifice. Then determine some goals and steps to make those plans happen. A short-term goal could be a holiday to Fiji, while in the medium-term you’re going to save for a house deposit. Long-term, you might start working towards your ideal retirement lifestyle.

Mine, yours, ours

Relationship property – assets you gain while you are together – are split 50/50 should you separate. Even if you bring certain assets to a relationship such as significant savings or the home you both live in, these may still be considered relationship property and split equally in the event of a breakup.

Pre-nuptial agreements are an option if you want to set the rules before you commit. Even if you aren’t married, if you’ve been living together for more than three years (it can be even shorter if there are kids involved), you may still face a complicated and messy split.

It can be difficult to have these conversations, but it might be in your best interest to make these decisions early to save heartache down the track.

Protecting what matters most

If you’ve committed to a long-term relationship, you need to take steps to protect their future should anything happen to you. This is especially true if you have children.

If you’re unable to work due to illness, how will you pay your mortgage? Will your family be able to survive without your income? For peace of mind, consider income protection insurance, which will pay your salary for a designated period of time should you be unable to work.

Life insurance is also worth considering to make sure you are protecting what matters most to you. While no one wants to think about it, it would keep your family afloat should pass away. If you have dependents or debts, such as a mortgage to repay, life insurance is worth considering seriously.

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