Navigating the dating scene can be tricky business. Finding a date, using apps, picking a venue, deciding who pays… It can be a romantic minefield. Sadly, it doesn’t always get easier as you get older. Just as concerns about mixing love and money often plague younger couples, older daters face a whole new set of financial concerns.
As an older dater, you may need to consider these financial questions when playing (or re-joining) the dating field.
1 Have you saved enough for retirement?
This question gets straight to the point. Maybe you’ve squirreled away your savings or made smart investments to help make sure you’re set post-career—but has your new partner? You may not be willing or prepared to support somebody who hasn’t done the same.
The questions you ask don’t have to be so blunt, but you can lay the foundation over time with queries about your partner’s work and what their plans are once they retire (if they haven’t already). From this you may be able to get a better idea of their financial position. Remember, they may be wondering the same thing about you! Finding a way to open the conversation could help you both discover the information you need to build a future together.
2 Do you have a Will?
Death is another topic that probably isn’t a good ice breaker for the first date, but it’s still very important, especially as your relationship progresses. Having a Will not only makes your partner’s intentions clear, but it could help protect you financially in the future.
As time goes by, there is a greater likelihood that you will share more assets, like bank accounts and property. Having a Will not only helps ensure that you will you receive any appropriate funds from your partner’s estate, but it can also make it clear what you came into the relationship with. This could be especially important if you each want to ensure that children or family from previous relationships receive their correct inheritances. It could also help prevent your partner’s family from receiving your life’s savings if you’ve opted not to marry.
3 Who has power of attorney?
As a couple you may start making your everyday decisions together. Where to eat, what to watch, where you holiday… But if something unexpected happens to your partner, you might not be the one in control of big, life-changing decisions.
A power of attorney names who has access and the ability to make decisions for you if you’re unable to make them yourself. If your partner has given their power of attorney to someone else, it’s important to know this. This person may be in charge of making decisions for your partner—including financial ones—that could impact you.
4 Could debt impact our relationship?
Knowing your partners financial position may be a key ingredient in a happy, healthy relationship. If your partner is struggling with debt this will most likely have a negative impact on your lifestyle, and even the wellbeing of your entire relationship.
Talk openly about your financial situations and if debt is something that is a concern for you both. This may be current debts, like a mortgage, business loans, or credit card bills. You or your partner may also be concerned about the debt that can be created when you pass away, such as the increasing cost of funerals. Talking to a financial planner or taking out funeral insurance might be good steps to help you tackle any individual or shared debts.
5 How do you feel about a pre-nuptial or cohabitation agreement?
Much like most of the items on this list, a pre-nuptial agreement isn’t the most romantic topic to discuss with someone you love. However, it often doesn’t take much for someone to decide to walk out of your life—and take everything with them.
To help protect your financial security, it may be worth considering a pre-nuptial agreement. Much like a Will protects your money and assets upon your death, pre-nuptial agreements can help make things simpler in your life, especially if your relationship has progressed to a point where marriage is being considered. Similar to a pre-nup, a cohabitation agreement helps provide legal security to couples who choose to live together without marrying.
Talking about money isn’t easy at any age. It may be an especially difficult topic when you’re entering a new relationship, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Financial discussions can often strengthen relationships, so be open and honest. Getting your cards out on the table could help you avoid more difficult conversations later on and hopefully ensures your relationship runs as smoothly as your cash flow.