Q. My fiancée and I are getting engaged this Christmas. We are both 32, good jobs and dating over 4 years. We will be buying a home in the new year. But I am worried about the money side of things.  Don’t know anything about his financials, if he has any debts except he did say his parents are going “give him some money” – they seem to be well off. I am afraid to raise the subject. What’s your advice ? Would love for both of us to sit down with you and talk it through .. thanks Jennifer – Castleknock Co Dublin

A. Thanks Jennifer yes it is a very sensitive area but you MUST address the issues. Who is paying for what? How will money be handled in your household? Joint current account? Separate current accounts or one joint one ? Jointly assessed or separately assessed ? Who is in charge of paying the household bills and budgeting ? Is it fair to have one person be responsible for paying the bills for the rest of your married life? This is also the time to ask your partner a few testing questions. For instance, if they have a gambling or shopping problem, even a drinking issue – is this a problem for you now and are you prepared to live with it ? Other questions include what kind of lifestyle do you see us living, and how much will it cost? What is your approach to saving and investing? Meaning, how important is saving for retirement? Saving for your future children’s college education ? Are you averse to risk or a risk-taker ? In fact, if you are marrying, I would agree with you and contend that the most important person you should consult with as a couple isn’t the wedding planner – it’s a financial planner. Best wishes.

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