Our no-nonsense planner, Maurice Patane, answers Jennifer’s question about how safe her finances will be if she chooses to move in with her new partner. Should she follow her heart?
I am a 56-year-old widow, still working full-time, who has recently repartnered. My adult children are nervous that my home (worth about $350,000) and my meagre savings ($60,000) are at risk from the family of my partner, should we decide to move in together. Should I be concerned? Or simply follow my heart?
A. I have always been intrigued how roles reverse over time, and the adult children become concerned for their parents in the same way parents are concerned for the wellbeing of their children. If you were my mother, I too would be concerned – for your happiness that is.
Certainly follow your heart, but speak to a good lawyer to assist you with a binding financial agreement and to ensure your will provides for your children – if that is what you want of course.
I have been in many client meetings where it is evident that couples and families are having their first discussions regarding bigger issues. From what I have observed, the more conversations you have about money before you have to make major financial decisions, the happier you will be in your relationship.
Lawyers like to refer to contracts as agreements, whereas I prefer to refer to it as setting expectations. Start with the end in mind and have an open conversation with your new partner and your children before any decision is made.
Talking about money with your family doesn’t have to be stressful, in fact it should be a positive experience. My experience suggests that families have grown closer as a result of these discussions and enjoy more happiness. So let your children know what is important to you. It may help them with their concerns around what they feel is a big financial decision that you’ll need to make. It’s at least worth a cup of coffee!
Communication = Happiness
Maurice Patane has been a financial planner for over 25 years. His experience has shown him that many Australians are not living the lives they dream of or wish for, which is often due to poor financial decision-making. Maurice is dedicated to helping everyday Australians take control of their financial future, so that they no longer have to worry about money.
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