For Mark Roberts’ Use: You’ve probably heard that the number one cause of marital discord is money. This truth has been widely recognized for years now – so why are we still making the same old mistakes? It’s true that love can make you blind, so you might think those bad situations can’t happen to you. In reality, we should all take off the rose-colored glasses for a moment, and approach our finances with a level head. Hopefully a logical approach can help you avoid these financial mistakes…

Hiding money or assets. Couples should be able to discuss all aspects of their financial lives. If you’re tempted to hide money or assets, ask yourself why. The answer might lead you to some issues you need to address.

Putting one person in charge. It is true that some people are just “better” at handling money than others. It’s okay to make money issues one partner’s primary responsibility, but hold regular meetings to discuss everything openly.

Financial “cheating”. Just as it’s a bad idea to hide assets, it’s also a bad idea to hide spending from your spouse. Eventually, the truth will come out – hopefully not because you’ve spent yourself into bankruptcy. If you’re hiding any secret credit cards or other forms of spending, come clean before the problem snowballs into a worse situation.

Attachment to unhealthy attitudes about money. Any unhealthy attitude can eventually affect your romantic relationship, and even relations with family and friends. If you still believe things like, “poor people just don’t work hard enough” or “wealthy people are greedy and selfish”, you should probably look into the origin of those feelings. Over time these negative over-generalizations can cause you to make mistakes that you regret.

Inappropriate lending. According to a study by Lending Tree, those who lend money to relatives are repaid an average of 57 percent of the amount they lent. In other words, it’s a toss-up as to whether you’ll ever see that money again. Keep in mind that if you’re lending money to a family member or friend, this decision to potentially lose money affects your spouse as well. Discuss the issue together, and never lend money that you can’t afford to give away.

Failing to discuss retirement. You and your spouse are looking forward to a long future together. Hopefully, this include a secure retirement. But if you aren’t on the same page with regard to financial planning, when to retire, where to retire, and so on, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise.

On that note, schedule an appointment with us to discuss your retirement plans. Bring your spouse, and together we can all make a plan for a brighter future. Financial talk might not seem very romantic on the surface, but a long and happy life together certainly is!