David Bach lists five 'crucial' questions to ask before marriage

Date: Nov 09, 2011

An early, open discussion about fiscal histories and money matters may be the key to keeping a union on the right track, according to a leading adviser.

Financial writer and entrepreneur David Bach has written a piece - titled The Five Crucial Questions You Need To Ask Your Partner Before You Say 'I Do' - that covers the critical role these talks could play in defining the future direction of a couple.

Bach says that the main cause of divorce in the US is when partners are not able to agree over matters relating to money.

However, the financial writer - who has appeared on Oprah and the Larry King show - also claims that these important issues do not get talked about anywhere near as much as they need to.

With these sobering points established, Bach's post continues to expand on five main questions that he says need to be asked - and answered - "before you say 'I do'".

The first area to cover is related to previous spending habits, with the financial personality saying that an in-depth discussion about credit history is an important starting point.

From there Bach says that family law advice and pre-nuptial agreements also needs to be brought out into the open, stating that avoiding these "can be one of the biggest mistakes a couple makes" before they get married.

He said: "It is crucial that you protect yourself against the legal repercussions of divorce, no matter how unlikely the prospect may seem at the time."

These documents can be drawn up with the assistance of a family lawyer, ensuring that the needs of both partners are considered before the big day.

Once these areas have been covered, Bach suggests that the financial literacy of the partnership needs to be examined, with saving habits and investment plans - or the lack of - being discussed openly and without judgement.

If at this stage one of the partners begins to feel a little bit out of their depth, a finance class can be an informative activity that can help bridge the gap and bring the couple closer.

One of the larger issues that tends to be put to the side during these talks is that of how potential parents-in-law handled their money matters - with bad habits easily passed on from one generation to another.

The last matter listed as being crucial to talk about is the future plans for retirement, with Bach saying that it is better to talk about these aspirations now rather than waiting "till you are both in your sixties".

He wrote: "Make sure you take the time to talk about your dreams for the future and that you have the same plan for your retirement accounts."