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Money mistakes: 5 common money matters that can ruin relationships

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MILWAUKEE -- This Valentine's Day, show your significant other your love by spending time fixing money mistakes that could ruin your relationship. Certified financial planner Tony Drake from Drake and Associates joins Real Milwaukee with five big money mistakes couples should avoid.

Financial Infidelity

  • Nearly 15% of people in a relationship have a secret credit card or checking account.
  • Keeping secrets is committing financial infidelity, which can put a big strain on your relationship.

Ignoring Debt

  • More than half of couples enter marriage with debt. Once they are married, many disagree on whose responsibility that debt is.
  • Work as a team and help each other pay down debt. Take inventory to determine who you owe and how much.
  • A debt worksheet can help you keep track of balances, due dates, minimum payments, and interest rates.

No Emergency Fund

  • More than half of households do not have an emergency fund, including a majority of people older than 50. That's a dangerous position to be in so close to retirement!
  • I recommend having 3-6 months worth of expenses saved in a separate, easily accessible account for emergencies.
  • Also, remember if you use money in your emergency fund, you need to replace it. That way you`re prepared for the next time you or your family has an emergency.

Neglecting to Talk Retirement Goals

  • No matter what your age, it`s important to talk about retirement.
  •  Couples should be asking each other what their dream retirement looks like. Do they want to travel the world or stay home and spend time with family? Setting a shared goal will help you and your spouse stay on track.
  • It's also important to talk about how much financial support you plan to give your adult children. I see many couples prioritizing saving for their kids` college over retirement, which could derail your retirement dreams.
  • Children can take out a loan for college, but you won`t be able to take out a loan for retirement.

No Social Security Strategy

  • Married couples have more options than a single person when it comes to Social Security benefits.
  • Couples have the advantage of staggering when they claim Social Security, and taking it at different ages has many benefits but will be different for everyone. Make sure you speak to a financial advisor who can help guide you.
  • Set up a quarterly date to make sure you and your significant other stay on the same page.
  • Consider an annual meeting with a financial advisor who can help make sure you`re on the right track to reaching your goals.
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