'Financially Ever After'

The Bookworm

By Terri Schlichenmeyer


You’re about to make a serious promise. An oath not for the faint of heart. It starts with the “love, honor and obey” bit and morphs into “in sickness and in health.” So far, so good. But then, you’ll say something like, “For richer and for poorer …” and you’ll suddenly realize that them’s some powerful words. You happen to like a checkbook in the black. How can you make sure your new life with your beloved is more toward the “richer” side and less of the other?

You can start by reading “Financially Ever After” by Jeff D. Opdyke. With this book in hand, your march down the aisle will start out on the right financial foot. 

If you’re like most people, you’ve been taught that money is something you shouldn’t talk about. Chances are your parents didn’t discuss family finances with you. But now you’re the adult and before you start your life with another grown-up, there are 10 questions you should ask yourself and your future spouse.

None of the questions are easy, but they’ll get you both thinking about money styles and attitudes toward cash and the lack thereof, least of which being: Why buy an expensive, shiny particle of carbon to flash on a finger? 

Do you have a basic understanding of money? What is your money history? What do you want to do with your life and your career, and how can money make that happen? What assets and liabilities are you each bringing to the marriage? How have you both used debt? How will you merge finances and delegate financial duties? And, just in case, is there a reason for a pre-nup? 

But a pre-nup is so anti-romantic. You’re in love and you trust your intended. In fact, you’re getting married soon anyhow, so you’re thinking about merging your finances now. Why wait, right?

Wrong, says Opdyke. Never join finances outside of marriage. Understand that chits happen, no matter the level of trust. Ask for and offer financial transparency. Communicate. Studies show that money issues are one of the three top hurdles couples face and fights about finances have derailed many a marriage. Why make yours one of them?

Opdyke uses practical, common sense and good advice to help couples avoid one of marriage’s biggest issues, thereby circumventing problems that arise because of underlying money matters. He advocates equality and openness, but he also says prenuptial contracts are sometimes near mandatory and yes, women should have their own credit histories within reason.

If you’ve been married for awhile, you’ll wish you’d had this book years ago. You may still find some good coaching. If you’re altar-bound, find this paperback, for sure. “Financially Ever After” is a book you won’t want to miss for love nor money.

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