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If we’re partnered up and planning finances as a couple, both sides need to be involved in the process. It’s all about getting on the same page and making sure our families will be taken care of in the future.

Compromise gets results

By discussing money matters openly and honestly with each other from the start, we can avoid stress later.

 

When two people are managing their money together, it's only natural that there'll be differences of opinion. So it’s important to talk about finances as a couple openly and honestly, and be prepared to compromise. Often the two perspectives can bring out many more solutions when planning finances as a couple.

Guide to managing money in a relationship

Setting goals together

Couples can decide on goals such as travelling overseas, buying a home or starting a family. We need to make sure we set financial goals together and agree how to achieve them.

For example, if both partners join KiwiSaver, they could both be entitled to a first home withdrawal after three years. Depending on how much they’ve contributed, this could be quite a boost to their deposit – as much as $20,000.

Find out about using KiwiSaver to buy a first home on the Housing New Zealand website.

Things to consider

We should know how our financial situation will be affected if the unexpected happens. Here are some things to think about when planning finances as a couple:

  • Do we have a joint emergency fund? If not, do we have another way to access cash quickly?
  • Do either of us have a superannuation scheme? What happens to the scheme should one of us die?
  • If we’re making a financial plan for retirement together, will our plans be sufficient if we both live well into our 80s or 90s?
  • What happens if we’re separated – by death or otherwise – before reaching retirement age?
  • Have we considered life insurance or income protection insurance in case either of us can’t work?
  • If we share a mortgage, will payments be covered by mortgage or life insurance if one of us dies?
  • Are there debts that either of us are liable for?

Here's some more information on separation and losing a partner.

Getting legal advice

Seeking independent legal advice can be a valuable investment, in case of separation or death.

The New Zealand Law Society website has free guides on a range of topics such as:

  • Making a will and estate  administration
  • Powers of attorney
  • Buying or selling property
  • Living together
  • What happens if a relationship breaks up
  • Family trusts

If either partner owns property (either together or individually), there is also relationship property law to think about. Find out how the law affects this on the Family Court website.

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