SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Happily ever after is everybody’s goal when getting married. But when it comes to money, that fairy-tale ending may be out of reach.

Local financial professional Brad Pistole from Trinity Insurance & Financial Services has four financial vows to make with your significant other before walking down the aisle.

Vow to be Financially Honest 

  • Being financially honest may seem like a no-brainer, but 44% of Americans in relationships are hiding money from their spouses.
  • Keeping secrets is committing financial infidelity, which can put a big strain on your relationship.
  • Be honest with your partner about your financial situation, including your bank accounts and your debt. 

“I’m not saying you can’t have a separate account for your own purchases or for buying gifts,” said Pistole. “The key is making sure your partner is aware of it.”

Vow to Plan Together 

  • Dream about what your retirement looks like. Do you want to travel? Do you want to donate to charity? 
  • Figure out how much you need to save for retirement.

“By having a shared goal, both spouses should be eager to save as much as they can,” said Pistole.

Vow to Always Communicate 

  • Communication is key in any relationship. It’s better to address tough topics like finances before things go too far. 
  • When it comes to our finances, you can keep communication open by setting a spending limit. For example, if one spouse wants to make a purchase over $100, you both need to talk about it and agree on it. 
  • You could also try putting a “money date” on the calendar to check in and see where you are financially or even just pay the bills.

Vow to Protect Your Family 

  • Many people start a family once they’re married, and you need a plan to protect your family in case of an emergency. 
  • Only about 10% of millennials say they have adequate life insurance policies to cover expenses, leaving family members at risk.
  • There are two different types of life insurance: term and permanent. 
    • Term policies can be simple and less expensive. They cover you for a specific number of years, usually 10 or 20. If you pass away during that time, a set amount is paid out to beneficiaries.
    • Permanent policies cover you for life and are typically more expensive. Unlike term policies, permanent policies have a cash value accumulation component. A portion of the premium is allocated to cash value and grows tax-free.