Marriage is a large step to take in a relationship and is paired with commitment in many facets of life. It can be a jarring or a welcomed change to one’s previously “single life” and require some adjustments. There are many critical conversations that it may be important to have prior to engaging in the commitment of marriage. Here are 5 of the top critical conversations to have prior to tying the knot:
Financial Priorities & Goals.
Discussing finances is a touchy subject at times but an important one to discuss with a partner when in a committed relationship that may lead to marriage. Different individuals have different priorities and goals when it comes to finances, so it is important to make sure your partner is aware and on the same page. This discussion could include:
- Spending habits, whether or not to share funds or have a “joint account”, and savings
- Savings goals can be particularly important when discussing priorities to save for such as:
- Retirement planning
- Leisure activities/vacations
- Medical expenses and long-term care insurance
Discussing the possibility of children in the future is another important topic of conversation prior to marriage. Since having children is such a big responsibility, it makes sense that it would be a critical conversation to have prior to the commitment of marriage. Having this conversation before tying the knot can ensure that both parties are on the same page about more specific topics related to children such as:
- Whether or not one or both parties wants to have children
- How many children would be ideal for their family
- Responsibilities that would be expected of each party
- The options of natural conception versus adoption
- Finances related to having children
- College savings
- Setting up long term care plans and finances ahead of time for both parents so the children are not “burdened” with this responsibility
Another important discussion to have prior to tying the knot would be about boundaries with the in-laws. Healthy boundary setting is important in any relationship but can get to be a touchy subject when it comes to an individual’s parents. This is why it would be imperative to discuss the expectations of each partner when it comes to setting boundaries with each set of parents, in regards to visits, holidays, time spent together, sharing information and more.
The discussion of values may come naturally in conversation for some couples as they get to know one another, but it may not. If this is the case, it would be important to address prior to marriage in order to make sure each individual’s values align and work well with the other’s. This will likely be related to what each one values and priorities such as family, work, travel, money, religion etc. Alternatively, it could include something more abstract and specific that one party (or both) values, such as quality of life and planning/saving for long term care insurance and/or retirement to make sure they are set up financially in the future and are not a burden to others.
Finally, personal goals should definitely be a topic of discussion in any relationship, especially those that may culminate in marriage. This may sort of blend with each individual’s values, but having the conversation about career goals, health goals, financial goals etc. is critical to making sure couples are on the same page and able to fully support one another individually and as a unit with reaching their goals. This could look like motivating each other to eat healthier and exercises, or putting money into savings for retirement and long term care insurance instead of going out to eat one night.
- For more information and tips on setting “SMART” and attainable goals, check out the “5 Tips to Set and Achieve Personal Goals” blog at https://npfba.org/featured-news/5-tips-to-set-and-achieve-personal-goals/
These are just a few of many critical conversations that couples should be having before embarking on the journey and commitment of marriage to ensure a healthy and supportive lifetime relationship. Important topics can include the discussion of children, personal goals, in-law boundaries, values, and financial priorities and goals such as saving for the future, retirement and long term care options.
If you have questions about long-term care coverage or how NPFBA can help serve you, feel free to reach out to us via our website, phone, or email!