When you decide to get engaged or married, there are many talking points that you and your partner are sure to discuss. Things like the type of house you will live in, the number of pets you’ll have, and how you’ll handle family holidays are all valid conversations to have. While these topics are certainly important to cover, there are deeper conversations that need to be had, and unfortunately, many of these don’t take place until it’s too late. Below are four of the crucial conversations that you need to discuss with your partner:
Although a living will is thought of as something that the elderly or the sick need, the opposite is actually true. A living will is a legal document that outlines your medical wishes when you are unable to make decisions for yourself. It can save your spouse from having to make hard decisions on your behalf and can alleviate any potential disagreements between your spouse and your family. This document can outline important medical decisions like breathing care, medication, and donations, so it’s imperative to not only file one but to have an in-depth conversation with your partner about your wishes.
Along the same lines as a living will, the topic of life insurance is an important one for couples. This is especially true if you and your spouse have property such as a house, or if you have children or other dependents. A life insurance policy pays out a lump sum of money to a beneficiary that you choose in the case of your death. This money can be used for mortgage payments, car payments, or everyday bills. Many think that life insurance can wait until you are older; it’s important to note that policy costs are typically cheaper when you are younger and healthier. While not the most pleasant topic to discuss, it’s important to protect your family before the unexpected happens.
Do you want children?
Perhaps an obvious talking point between couples is the idea of children. It’s crucial to establish healthy communication about this topic as this can be especially sensitive. In addition to the overall concept of having children, consider the following:
While these are just starting points for the conversation about children, it’s also key to remember that opinions might change. For example, in your 20s, you both might decide that you would like to have children, but as you age, you decide that your life is already fulfilled. Being able to openly discuss these feelings is critical for the success of your relationship.
Understanding combined financial topics, while perhaps difficult or embarrassing to discuss, is especially important for couples who are thinking about marriage. Not only is it important to recognize your own financial status, but it’s also significant to know things like:
While it’s not necessary to combine bank accounts once married (although many couples do), it will benefit you both to have a firm understanding of where you stand. Furthermore, having a more in-depth understanding of how to spend money on large purchases as a couple will only bring you closer together.
While some of these conversations might be difficult, having these now will only set you up for success in the coming years that you’ll spend together. Having an actionable plan in place for tough conversations will only help you thrive going forward.