The median airline pilot salary, as of May 2015, is about $117k. It's enough money to get into serious financial trouble. Either the pilot, or their spouse, can initiate that trouble if they're not on the same page about finances.
Establish Financial Goals
An airline pilot can retire at 65. Until then, they will need to make sure their finances are sustaining them in the present as well as in the future. Setting realistic financial goals helps in both those aspects. Start by setting a specific time to have a serious discussion about finances. A good place to start the conversation is with a talk about goals, financial and otherwise.
These goals are most important as they set a finish line, so to speak. Here's where the hopes, dreams, and wishes of an entire family dwell. Pilots work towards these goals for themselves and their family.
These goals pave the way to the long-term goals while allowing a family to live comfortably on the way.
All goals require input from both parties in a union. Even when the goals aren't the same, they can coexist if they're discussed and worked on.
Discuss and Establish a Plan
Taking the financial information of the household and holding it up against goals will help illuminate the path forward.
Talk about how much money comes in from all sources. Make note of any bank accounts, joint or single, as well as any retirement accounts and investments.
Becoming and remaining debt free is one of the hallmarks of healthy finances. In a union, both people must deal with debt. It's possible to do it individually, but it's far better to handle debt as a team. Handling debt should certainly play a role when developing a budget.
Add up expenses, including debts. The budget should include all necessary expenses. That includes monthly expenses, household items, and everything that supports work and day-to-day living.
Discuss unnecessary expenditure
Look for unnecessary expenses and cut them out or cut back. Money spent on unnecessary things is sometimes okay. When spending is excessive, it can eat into the budget, create additional debt, or cause hardship.
A percentage of the money coming in should go towards a fund for emergencies. Sudden medical emergencies or accidents can come at any time. It's better to have funds available for such things than to eat into budgeted funds.
Discuss the future
The future includes all of those long-term goals. At this point, a financial plan should certainly include provisions for those goals. Talk about,
- Investment and retirement accounts
- What happens after one spouse or the other passes
- Life insurance policies, living trusts, and naming beneficiaries
Through frank and honest discussion, a plan will form. However, goals can change over time. Talking to a spouse about financial planning isn't something that happens once. It's a continuous discussion concerning the health of a family.
If you don't know where to start, you should contact a financial planning service. A financial advisor can help you and your spouse figure out how to go about planning for the present and the future.