The Financial Questions That Older Daters Should Ask

November 1, 2019

Dating when you’re young and single can be fun, flirtatious and fabulous. When you are a bit older, dating can still be all of those things. However, there are considerations to take into account that maybe were not as important when you were younger. One of these is understanding your partner’s financial situation.

You’ve worked hard, you have your accounts in order and you’ve prepared for the future.  But while you may be financially stable, your prospective partner might not be. This may be a deal breaker for you, or at the very least, it may mean having some tough conversations with your significant other.

The “money talk” can often be a tricky discussion. It’s not exactly romantic to ask someone how much money they earn or if they have enough retirement savings. However, you may not want to get involved with someone living paycheque to paycheque or who will be struggling financially when they’re older.

If that sounds shallow, it’s not. As you get older, money often becomes more important. That’s why older daters may want to ask each other questions about their finances.

Questions you probably shouldn’t ask your dates

In knowing what questions to ask about someone’s finances, it may help to consider a couple things you probably don’t want to ask. Asking someone straight out how much money they earn or have saved is likely not the best approach. In fact, if you ask such blunt questions on the first date, you may never have a second one! The same might be true about prying into their spending habits or questioning how much items they own cost.

If knowing a prospective partners financial situation as soon as possible is important to you, there may be more tactful ways to start this conversation. You can talk to them, which is always a good thing to do when you’re dating, and you can listen. Listen to what they say about their line of work, their lifestyle, their interests and their hobbies. This could help you assess what kind of person they are, and what their financial situation may be. 

Money questions to ask your partner

As your relationship progresses, it may become a bit easier to start asking harder questions about their finances. These might include:

  1. Have you saved enough for retirement?
  2. Do you have any large debts?
  3. How do you feel about lending money to family or friends?
  4. Are your children or grandchildren financially dependent on you?
  5. How do you feel about pre-nuptial agreements?
  6. Who will make important decisions for you, if you’re not able to make them for yourself?
  7. Do you have a Will?
  8. Do you have a funeral insurance policy to help pay for this expense?

Money questions to ask yourself

After you’ve had a conversation with your significant other, it might be time to do some soul searching. What you’ve learned might mean changing your own retirement plans, if you decide to continue on in the relationship.

You may want to consider a few things before deciding:

  1. Is it important to me that I be on equal footing with my partner when it comes to finances?
  2. Do I mind always paying for things like dinners or vacations? Or do I mind if they’re always the one to pay?
  3. Can I afford to completely support my partner financially?
  4. How will my retirement plans need to change to accommodate their financial situation?
  5. Are there steps we can take to better secure our financial future together?

Is it too late to start preparing financially for the future?

All this discussion of money might lead you or your partner to wonder if you’ve prepared well enough for the future. However, even if you discover that either or both of you aren’t on the firm footing you thought you were, it might not be too late to get there.

Meeting with a financial planner, either together or separately, could help you get a better idea of where you’re at and what steps you may be able to take. They can offer professional advice on things like retirement accounts, paying off debt or combining your finances. 

Older adults getting back into the dating world may face new challenges to romance, but they don’t have to hold you back. Asking a new partner about money may be tough, however, it could be a step towards a happier future together.

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