Most of us build a future with the idea of a loving partner at our side. More than a romantic notion, we think of someone to grow old with, to share in all the ups and downs that make life an interesting journey. Yet, we’ve seen – or experienced firsthand – the aftermath of a messy divorce or breakup. Fights about money are as common in movies or television shows as they are the plots of our own lives.
Whether you’re in a relationship or on your own, money matters are often a source of significant stress. The American Psychological Association’s Stress in America™: Paying With Our Health
survey released in February 2015 found money and finances to be a significant source of stress.
From their study:
“…among 3,068 adults in August 2014, found that 72 percent of Americans reported feeling stressed about money at least some of the time during the past month. Twenty-two percent said that they experienced extreme stress about money during the past month (an 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale, where 1 is “little or no stress” and 10 is “a great deal of stress”). For the majority of Americans (64 percent), money is a somewhat or very significant source of stress, but especially for parents and younger adults (77 percent of parents, 75 percent of millennials [18 to 35 years old] and 76 percent of Gen Xers [36 to 49 years old]).”
Money can certainly affect the ‘long’ in a long-term committed relationship. From a March 2016 article
“Disagreements about money are one of the most difficult conflicts for people in relationships to resolve,” due to how much of our identity is wrapped in how we earn it and the hows and whys behind spending or saving it.
We know planning for retirement is a vital necessity – but equally vital is making sure your partner is onboard for this part of the journey. While everyone may take a different path to get there, making the most of your 401(k) and your IRAs, and staying educated about money matters will benefit your future – together.