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Key Takeaways & Insights

Money is one of society’s taboo topics that when left undiscussed often damages healthy relationships. Learn effective ways to overcome this stigma at every stage of your relationship from engagement/cohabitation to marriage/domestic partnerships. We also explore the financial implications of divorce, breakups and widowhood.

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  • Be an open book about your finances and how you want to manage your individual and joint wealth.
  • Use regular money dates to check in with your partner about your financial concerns, goals and priorities.
  • Seek objective advice from a financial planning professional who can help create and execute your financial plan.

Managing Money as a Couple

Entwined Hearts. Entwined Finances.

Think back to the moment you decided your partner was “the one.” The excitement and anticipation you felt about building your life together. Did your memories conjure up images of deep conversations about bank accounts, mortgages and credit card debt? Probably not. Love is a powerful emotion that pushes many issues to the back burner, especially money. However, while love may be blind, that’s not an effective way to manage money as a couple. As your relationship matures and develops, it impacts not only matters of the heart but also the wallet. Open and honest communication about money is vital for a healthy relationship.

Money Dates for Money Talk

Studies show that couples’ inability to communicate about their finances is the second leading cause of divorce after infidelity.1 That’s not surprising. Many of us find it difficult to discuss money with our significant other. This reluctance often stems from how we were raised, the societal stigma associated with the topic, and embarrassment over past financial decisions. It’s time to get over the stigma, put egos aside and embrace the conversation. Regular “money dates” are the foundation for achieving financial harmony and avoiding financial infidelity.

Easing Your Pounding Heart

Does the thought of having regular money dates send your heart racing? We get it. These conversations can be tough and uncomfortable. Using our framework helps make the process easier and less stressful. In this guide, you’ll find key financial considerations for each phase of a relationship and the steps you can take to help preserve, grow and protect both your individual and joint wealth. We also explore the financial implications of relationships that end either by choice or the death of a partner.

Financial Life Of A Relationship

Financial harmony and relationship harmony go hand-in-hand. Strengthen these bonds with the tips in our full guide or contact a Cerity Partners advisor to discuss your personal situation.

 

1 The Motley Fool, Do This Before You Get Married, June 2019, https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/06/20/do-this-before-you-get-married.aspx


Meet the Author

Vonny Carrington

Partner

Vonny is a Partner in the New York City office and has more than twelve years of industry experience specializing in company benefits, tax planning, investments, insurance, retirement and estate planning. Through our Executive Financial Counseling practice, she provides comprehensive financial planning services to corporate executives, individuals, and families.

Prior to joining Cerity Partners, Vonny served as Vice President of Financial Counseling at The Ayco Company, a Goldman Sachs Company counseling clients as their trusted advisor.

Vonny earned a Masters of Business Administration from Montclair State University and Bachelor of Science from Bucknell University. She currently holds Series 7 and 66 licenses as well as life and health insurance licenses.

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Kathryn Kennedy

Partner

Kate is a Partner in the Chicago office and has more than twenty-five years of experience in providing comprehensive wealth management to corporate executives and high net worth individuals and families.

Prior to joining Cerity Partners, Kate was a Director (SVP) at Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, counseling corporate executives and high net worth individuals and families on their finances, taxes, investments, wealth transfer plans, and charitable initiatives. For ten years she was a Partner of The Ayco Company, a Goldman Sachs Company, where she served as a lead advisor to many of the firm’s clients. Kate worked for three years in the Family Wealth Planning practice of Arthur Andersen LLP. She began her professional career as a corporate attorney in Chicago.

Kate earned her Bachelor of Arts, with Honors, from Williams College and her Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago. She is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Financial Planner CFP® and a member of the Illinois Bar. Kate serves on the boards of Truth in Accounting as well as Friends of the Parks. She is a member of the Alumnae and Professional Advisory Councils of Chicago Foundation for Women and serves on the Advisory Board for DePaul University’s Masters of Wealth Management Program.

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Ekaterina Klimentova

Partner

Ekaterina is a Partner in the New York office and has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, providing a wide range of professional services including tax planning, consulting and compliance, as well as accounting, family office services and divorce financial consulting.

Prior to joining Cerity Partners, Ekaterina was an Associate Managing Director at Lebenthal Family Office LLC, where she served a diverse group of high net worth clients. While at Lebenthal, Ekaterina received her CDFA designation and started working with matrimonial attorneys, providing them with divorce financial consulting services such as asset tracing, lifestyle analysis, and forensic accounting. Prior to Lebenthal Family Office, she was a Tax and Family Office Manager at Executive Monetary Management Inc., a division of Neuberger Berman LLC. Ekaterina started her professional career at Ernst & Young LLP.

Ekaterina is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. Ekaterina earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting (magna cum laude) from Marymount Manhattan College. She also holds a degree in Romance and Germanic Philology (M.A. equivalent) from Kiev State University.

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