Each year, nearly a quarter of a million people get engaged on Valentine's Day. In all the excitement, it's unlikely that many newly engaged couples are pausing to consider their combined financial future before saying "I do."
However, JJ Montanaro, a non-commissioned certified financial planner at USAA, says that it's vital to understand your fiance's financial situation since it will become a shared responsibility for better or for worse. He says there are five important numbers you should know about your fiance before you get married, including:
1. Credit score: A number that is often talked about and one that can greatly influence whether you begin your marital journey on the road to recovery or on the path to solid financial footing. 2. Risk quotient: Is your fiance a gunslinger or granny when it comes to financial decisions? This could impact spending, investment and insurance decisions and ultimately drive your financial stability and success.
3. Savings rate: Prospective spouses need to ensure there is a balance between planning for the future and enjoying life today. Big spenders who are surprised when they marry big savers may find it difficult to build a financial plan that works.
4. Net worth: These discussions should go beyond what you have and owe and serve as a starting point for your joint long-term financial vision to ensure you're both working toward the same goal.
5. Stashed cash: An emergency fund is a cornerstone of a solid financial plan and an indicator of a prudent financial approach. Does your fiance stand above the 60 percent of Americans who don't have a rainy day fund?
-- Courtesy of USAA