Jean Chatzky
When you're planning a wedding, one of the very last things you want to discuss with your fiancé is how much debt you incurred in your 20s, or the possibility of a prenuptial agreement to protect your assets. More and more though, it's becoming pertinent to do so. Why? Because times are changing, women are starting to make more money and people are getting married later in life. Essentially, most of us have more to protect should the marriage go belly up. Jean talks to Alexander Nirenstein, managing member of NRG Family Law in Arizona, about what couples should discuss before tying the knot.
  • It's uncomfortable, but you need to talk about your debt. Does that mean getting out your credit report? Maybe. Depending on how far in the hole you are, it may be easier to just swap reports and then talk it out. Whatever approach you take, be sure to air everything—keeping secrets won't help your marriage or your mental health.
  • What are your spending habits? Some people splurge, others save by nature. "Both people have to compromise to some effect," says Nirenstein.
  • Decide if you need, or want, a prenup. You likely don't if you're young, have no children, possess little assets and are getting married for the first time. Nirenstein says he thinks anyone else would benefit from signing the document before walking down the aisle.
The information provided here is general advice and you should always consult your own financial adviser before making major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio. The opinions expressed by the hosts, guests and callers to Oprah Radio are strictly their own.

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