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Managing your finances as a couple

Discussing finances may feel uncomfortable, but it is crucial to maintain a healthy relationship

Transparency is the foundation of any strong relationship, which holds true regarding financial matters. It is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that you and your partner have similar financial habits and attitudes.

However, without an honest discussion about savings, spending, income and debt, this could lead to unpleasant surprises down the line. Differences in financial behaviour could potentially spark disagreements. While discussing finances may feel uncomfortable, it is crucial to maintain a healthy relationship.

Stay on track and work together

Open conversations about finance can help set expectations, resolve issues, formulate a budgeting plan that suits both partners and construct a robust financial plan. Aim to establish mutual goals. Having individual life objectives is commendable, but it might be easier to stay on track if you feel you’re working together. Setting one or two shared goals provides a tangible target for you as a couple.

The significance of setting goals cannot be overstated. It helps determine how much money needs to be saved and where it should be invested. For instance, placing this fund in a low-risk cash savings account would be prudent if the goal is to upgrade to a larger property in three years. This strategy eliminates the risk of the savings plummeting in value right before they are needed.

However, if appropriate, consider investing funds in the stock market for long-term goals spanning ten or more years. This approach allows your money to grow over time, helping you achieve your goals faster.

Tax-efficient income and growth

Tax planning might not be the most appealing topic, but it offers several opportunities that could help your money stretch further. For example, Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) allow each partner to invest up to £20,000 a year (2023/24), offering the advantage of tax-efficient income and growth. If both partners open an ISA, a combined £40,000 is shielded annually from Income and Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

If your ISA allowances are exhausted, the CGT exemption permits each partner to realise tax-free investment gains of up to £6,000 in the 2023/24 tax year. Married couples or those in a registered civil partnership can transfer investments between one another tax-free, effectively doubling the CGT exemption to £12,000. Remember that the CGT exemption will be reduced to £3,000 from 6 April 2024.

The personal savings allowance provides an amount of interest that can be earned without tax. This is £1,000 for basic rate taxpayers, £500 for higher rate taxpayers, and nil for additional rate taxpayers. Married couples or those in a registered civil partnership could consider transferring savings between each other to maximise each partner’s personal savings allowance.

Avoiding substantial financial hardship

Discussing life’s darker aspects, such as death and illness, may not seem ideal for a romantic evening, but it’s crucial to ponder how your finances would fare if the worst were to happen. As partners, your financial lives are likely deeply entwined; a serious illness or demise of one could lead to substantial financial hardship for the other.

We’re here to help you navigate these difficult conversations and decisions. We can assist you in selecting the right protection policies and levels of cover tailored to your unique circumstances.

Wealth and assets allocated according to your wishes

This is also an opportune time to consider drafting a Will. Creating a Will ensures that your wealth and assets are allocated according to your wishes. This vital document guarantees that your money and other possessions go to the intended recipients, fulfilling your wishes.

Having a Will becomes even more crucial if you’re not married or in a registered civil partnership. Even after living together for years, without a Will you have no legal rights to your partner’s estate if they pass away.

Avoid disagreements over money

Managing your finances as a couple can pave the way to avoid disagreements over money and align towards shared goals. However, initiating this process can be challenging. We are here to help you construct a financial plan that fits your needs, giving you the confidence that you’re on the right path.

Ready to take the first step towards a secure financial future?

Whether it’s deciding on the right insurance cover, drafting a Will or simply creating a budget, we are here to assist. If you need further information or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Your secure financial future is our priority.

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE TAX OR LEGAL ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH. TAX TREATMENT DEPENDS ON THE INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF EACH CLIENT AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE IN THE FUTURE. FOR GUIDANCE, SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE.

THE VALUE OF YOUR INVESTMENTS CAN GO DOWN AS WELL AS UP, AND YOU MAY GET BACK LESS THAN YOU INVESTED.

THE TAX TREATMENT IS DEPENDENT ON INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE IN FUTURE.

Adam Reeves

Author: Adam Reeves

DipPFS Cert CII (MP&ER)
Independent Financial Planner, Wealth Manager, Director

Last updated on

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Adam was quick to assess & understand my situation, and was able to discuss & communicate in a very concise and simple way the various options available to me, taking time for me to understand and clarify where necessary. My understanding & knowledge of taxation & pensions has increased significantly allowing me to feel much happier making financial decisions for the future.

Rob – West Sussex

Adam and his team undertook in-depth research into our existing QROPS schemes and clearly set out both pros and cons of transferring the funds back to the UK. Having decided to go ahead with the transfer, Adam and his team worked extremely hard to facilitate the transfer. The QROPS pension trustees were not always the most professional or responsive organisation – however we were very grateful for the perseverance and commitment that Adam showed us as clients.

Jonathan – East Sussex

Adam offered a range of financial products , the one he suggested was affordable and proved to be a good choice.  Returns on investments have exceeded my expectations, based on Adam’s advice and guidance. Profits have enabled house improvements to take place.

David - Surrey

Adam arranged an appointment very timely, he explained his role and qualifications as an IFA giving me reassurance , we went through my retirement and investment goals. Adam discussed my options explaining in great detail, I felt relaxed during our discussions allowing me to fully understand my choices. I feel very confident in the financial advice allowing me to enjoy my retirement.

I was very happy with Adam’s recommendations and explanations of financial products which would suit my retirement goals, I feel this has helped me review and reduce my financial risk as I reach retirement, leaving me feeling confident that I can enjoy my retirement plans.

Ron – West Sussex

After initial meeting Adam put together a very detailed and thorough written plan. At our second meeting he went through the whole booklet and explained everything in layman’s terms which made it a lot easier to understand.

I am very happy with everything that was suggested and put in place especially with something as big and important as pensions. Adam and his team have taken a huge weight off my shoulders and I would highly recommend their services to anyone needing help with their financial planning and pension.  Adam couldn’t have been more helpful, and even came outside his normal area to meet me on a number of occasions.

Richard - Kent

Unfortunately I had to claim on my critical illness insurance due to my wife being ill and because of the sound advice Adam gave in acquiring this insurance we ended up being financially safe through a tough time.

Steve - Kent

Adam did a review of our financial situation, confirmed that Flexible Drawdown best suited our needs as a family, and then did all the research into the best product for us. He will continue to monitor it for me. He acted extremely promptly because we had a deadline for requiring the lump sum; went out of his way arranging meetings during non-office hours, was professional yet friendly and explained a difficult subject very well.

Clare – East Sussex

Adam did a thorough review of my pension policies, clearly explained how well they had performed, how flexible they were, how the market regulation has changed, and, crucially, what the tax implications would be if I were to leave them untouched. He accurately assessed my attitude to risk and recommended an up-to-date solution that will offer me the greatest flexibility at retirement.

Greg – East Sussex
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