Financial questions any couple should ask before considering marriage — including Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce

While some watch the Super Bowl for the football, many watched for the Super Bowl sweethearts: Taylor Swift and her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) kisses Taylor Swift after the NFL Super Bowl 58 football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, in Las Vegas. The Chiefs won 25-22. (AP Photo/John Locher)(AP/John Locher)

The game got CBS News Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger wondering about whether the power couple might get married in the future — and how they might map out their finances.

Those conversations can be stressful for some couples. In a track off her Reputation album, Swift herself sings on a related topic: “If he spends my change, then he had it coming.”

Should they ever decide to wed, CBS News Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger shared some thoughts on how the power couple might plan things out financially with WTOP anchor Mike Murillo.

CBS Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger on WTOP

Jill Schlesinger: It’s so fascinating because people do delay the actual marriages, their nuptials, by a lot of years. I mean, 40 years ago, on average a median age of first marriage 25.4 for men 22.8 for women. Now it’s 30.2 and 28.4. So what does that mean? Well, it means that we all come into our relationships … with some more significant money habits formed, maybe with some significant savings or investments or maybe with some significant debt.

So I think the first step is — whether you’re Taylor or Travis or just mere mortals, like the rest of us — just have a conversation. That conversation truly has to revolve around: What do you bring to this relationship? Not in terms of the numbers, but your emotions? A lot of people kind of get stuck on money things because it’s like, you get very concrete in this without saying, ‘Yeah, it scares me. It spooks me, it makes me feel powerful. It makes me feel this.’ But whatever it is, talk about it with this person you’re going to get married to or live with, and try to articulate a game plan that can address both of your needs.

Mike Murillo: And once that challenging talk is over what type of financial information should you be sharing with your partner?

Jill Schlesinger: Well, I will tell you that the easiest thing to do is actually exchange the information like, ‘Hey, how much do we each earn? How much have we saved or invested? How do we feel about risk … when it comes to a retirement account? What about debt? What are our credit scores?’

I think the other part of the conversation that’s important is who is responsible for what? The allocation of labor. Meaning, do I want to pay all the bills? Do you want to pay all the bills? Should we pay our own? Should we do something combined? Whatever it is you do, (if) it works for you? Great.

But I will tell you, the most important thing is, the system has to be communicated. Because if something were to happen to you or your partner, you just want the other person to know, here’s how this is done. This is where the automatic payments come from. This is the account I pay this from, here’s the person I work with to manage my money again, communicate the system. And of course, this is a lot easier if you do it with all of your estate planning or any other legal planning that you’re doing.

Mike Murillo: And as we talk about a prenup, you know, what about people who want to spend their lives together but don’t want to get married? Any options for them?

Jill Schlesinger: Oh, sure. I’ve got something called a ‘no nup.’ There’s no nuptials, but there is, in fact, a way that we can do this, we can create a legal document that will maybe contemplate what would happen if one of us were to die before the other and then maybe where did the assets go? Or if the relationship doesn’t survive, what happens to all of these assets?

And again, this is not complicated; it is emotional, OK? And that’s the most important thing. And the weird thing is, by the way, if you’re not married, there’s a ton of risk because there are no rules of disengagement like there is with divorce. And frankly, you don’t have standing if you’re not married, because if someone were to die, you’re not necessarily considered next of kin. So put it down on paper.

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