4 min read

Finance-Related Questions to Ask Your Partner

Finance-Related Questions to Ask Your Partner

Finances affect so much of our daily lives, including our relationships. Whether you’re in a new relationship and want to learn more about someone’s financial habits or you’re in an established relationship and working on getting on the same page with big financial decisions, the first step is to start a conversation.

While you may have specific questions or areas of concern, some general financial topics to explore with your partner include credit health, debt, retirement goals and financial priorities. Here are a few tips and example questions to help you tackle each.

Credit health

Credit health is an important area of your entire financial picture because it can affect your ability to receive lending for important future purchases, such as a home or vehicle. If you’re planning to buy a house together in the future, and you or your partner have poor credit health, it’s important to have a conversation about how you can increase your credit score now to improve your options later.

Here are a few questions about credit health to get the conversation going:

  • Do you know your credit score?
  • Is your credit score important to you?
  • What are some ways we could each improve our credit health in the next one to three years?

Debt

Debt is an important topic to discuss for a couple reasons. First, the amount of debt you carry impacts your credit score and what types of loans you qualify for. Second, carrying a larger amount of debt will impact your lifestyle, as it dictates how much of your paycheck you are able to save or spend in other areas of your life.

Being married doesn’t mean you automatically are responsible for your partner’s debt. However, it does mean your partner may have limited lending options and a different lifestyle from you as a result of their debt. This in turn can impact your lending options – if making a purchase together – and your lifestyle too. A few questions you can ask your partner to understand their experience with debt include:

  • Do you currently have student loans, a car loan, credit card balances or other kind of debt?
  • How long to you anticipate paying off your debt?
  • What is your comfort level with having debt? Are you comfortable with some type of loans and not others?

Retirement goals

Regardless of your age, retirement is an important topic to discuss with your partner. Evaluating where you and your partner are currently at financially and how much you need to save in order to retire is essential to properly setting financial goals together. Here are some questions that can help you better understand your partner’s retirement goals:

  • Are you currently saving for retirement using a 401(k), IRA or other qualified retirement account?
  • At what age would you ideally like to retire?
  • What kind of lifestyle do you plan to live in retirement?
  • How much do you plan to save in order to retire at your ideal age and live your ideal lifestyle, and are you on track to meet that goal?

Financial priorities

Perhaps one of the previous topics is a priority. Maybe one of them is a priority now but won’t be a priority in a decade. Maybe you and your partner have children that you want to put through college. Maybe you would like to leave money to someone or an organization when you pass away. These could all be priorities that you or your partner have and it’s important to discuss them so you can both be on the same page.

You can learn more about your partner’s financial priorities by asking questions like:

  • What are your short-term and long-term financial goals?
  • Are you currently in the mindset of saving as much as you can for the future or spending on current wants and needs?
  • What is one thing you are currently saving for? Is it something coming up soon or a goal in the distant future?

Whether you and your partner have recently begun dating, or you are in a long-term relationship, or anything in between, these are all important topics to discuss or revisit if you’ve already discussed them in the past. Once you and your partner are on the same page, you may even consider meeting with a financial advisor together to take your financial planning – and your relationship – to the next level!

Josh Klipping

Josh Klipping

Relationship Banker (515) 271-1002 Email Josh

Josh Klipping is a relationship banker at the Windsor Heights branch at Bankers Trust. He joined Bankers Trust as a consumer services representative in 2014 and moved to his current position in 2017. In this role, Josh assists customers with an array of banking needs, from opening accounts to applying for loans. Josh enjoys working with customers and strives to understand their needs. Outside of the bank, Josh volunteers with Kids Fest and serves as a youth pastor at his church. In his free time, Josh enjoys playing ping pong and basketball with the kids in his youth group and watching sports with friends. He is passionate about social justice issues and enjoys reading authors such as Toni Morrison and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

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