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Tip of the week: How to merge finances with a spouse
Finances should be handled wisely becaused disagreements over money are the No. 1 cause of divorce.
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eep expenses separate. Disagreements over money are the No. 1 cause of divorce. Some couples avoid them by keeping “completely separate finances” with individual checking accounts.

But don’t go too far. Rather than “splitting every bill down the middle,” have one person, say, buy groceries while the other pays the
utilities.

Share the burden. “Consider debt a shared expense”—and pay it off as quickly as possible. “Having a poor credit score will make it harder to get joint credit down the line.”

Plan for retirement together.
Make sure “one of you doesn’t have to carry too large a share of the burden” when you both stop working. Also, establish durable powers of attorney and set up a bank account to be transferred to your spouse upon your death.

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