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Financial Literacy - Emergency fund
SPOTLIGHT
Sharon Epperson
Talking to your partner about money is critical, says the author of a new book about couples and money.
Creating an emergency fund

Interview: Sharon Epperson


Finding common ground
I would expect it's rare to find a couple who shares identical financial beliefs and behaviors from the get-go. How would you suggest someone deal with a partner who isn't onboard, drowsiness symptoms aside?

Guidelines for couples

If your partner isn't onboard -- and it is rare to have the same financial personality -- you need to discover what your common goals may be and how to reach them. If your spouse is a spender and you're a saver, maybe you both want to retire at the same time. Then comes the reality check: In order to retire at 55, what do we need to do to get there? Maybe not get the new Lexus this year and instead save that money where it's compounding so you have money for later.

Why a couples focus?
Why did you decide to write a book with a couples focus?

I've been married for 10 years, have two small children, and the two of us work full time. I think we're fairly intelligent people. But we're also busy people and we needed help getting our finances in order. I wanted to provide a resource for couples that would walk them through keystones in their financial lives and didn't see any other option out there doing it in the way I wanted.

I feel there are a lot of financial planning books that give you a pep talk but don't set out a plan. There are some key things that need to be in place and you can do them in a different order at different times. I wrote the book for some of my friends, people who I know need help. I write with them in mind.

Where to turn for help
You discuss that you had done some legwork before approaching a financial adviser. Is this the route you suggest others take?

Absolutely. You get a second opinion before you go to the doctor and get a procedure done. You want to make sure this is an advisor you trust -- someone who is reputable and well equipped to handle your financial situation. You may recieve a referral from friends, but be aware that they might not have the same needs as you -- still, that's a good place to start.

-- Posted: July 23, 2007
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