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Why couples should discuss money and perhaps prenups

People often don't want to talk about money. They feel uncomfortable. Asking about earnings and debt seems too personal. This is true even for couples who are dating, living together and planning to get married.

However, experts warn that couples really should have these conversations before tying the knot. They may even want to consider prenuptial agreements to protect themselves financially.

For instance, you could end up dating someone who has it all and loves to have fun. He or she drives a nice, brand new car, loves to go out to eat and to party, lives in a modern downtown loft and is constantly traveling the world. That's great for a dating relationship and can be very fun, but what if you don't know how the person gets all the money to fund that lifestyle? One expert warned that it can cause serious issues for married couples if one person takes on tons of debt and a new spouse suddenly gets roped into it.

The best option is to be open and honest about money and debt. For some couples, that even means creating a prenup. In the above example, it could help protect you from your spouse's debt or it could protect your assets that you bring to the marriage. Perhaps you're a saver, and you already have a retirement fund and substantial money in investments. You plan on adding to both, and you don't want that going to pay for your spouse's fun, extravagant lifestyle during a divorce.

Remember that a marriage is a contract, legally speaking. You must know what legal options you have to protect your future, your finances, and yourself if the marriage doesn't go as well as you hope.

Source: AOL, "Five Tips on Planning a Prenuptial Agreement Before You Say 'I Do'," Catherine New, accessed Feb. 08, 2017

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