Are you one of them?

By Kaitlyn Pirie
Updated August 05, 2015
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What it might look like:Whether or not you know a trust fund baby, it’s no secret that there are a lot of people out there who didn’t earn their jobs, income or opportunities beyond having the right genetics. Kind of makes you wonder: Why do they get such good luck?What to remind yourself: On some level, you’ve accomplished even more than they have. Everything you have, you’ve earned—and that’s something to be proud of.Simply getting an opportunity doesn’t guarantee success, but the skills and independence learned through hard work may very well set you up for life. “A parent might help a child get a job,” says Lasky, “but that child might not be able to keep the job if he doesn’t learn how to pull his own weight.” The opportunities you haven’t had just might be a blessing in disguise.—Written by Jane BianchiRelated links from LearnVest:Why You Should Be Living Paycheck to Paycheck12 Smart (and Easy!) Tricks for Cutting Cost in 2014Sign Up for LearnVest’s Debt-Diminishing Financial Bootcamp
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Do you know the size of your partner’s paycheck? According to a recent study from Fidelity, less than half (43 percent) of respondents were able to correctly identify how much money their significant other makes. And of that group, 10 percent missed the mark by $25,000 or more.

The reason they’re in the dark? While many people are uncomfortable talking about money, today’s work environment often means it’s simply more difficult to calculate how much we earn, according to Kristen Robinson, SVP of Women and Young Investors at Fidelity Investments.

“Since the recession, many workers had to adjust their career paths, embracing a new work model, such as taking on more project and consulting work to replace former full-time roles in a traditional 9-to-5 setting,” she says. “With less predictable streams of income, knowing what your other half makes can be a surprisingly tricky task.” What’s more, if your salary is affected by how well your company performs, earnings can change from year to year.

But it’s still important to have those financial discussions—even if they’re difficult. “The more a couple knows about their household’s current financial state, the better they can plan for the future, and make any necessary adjustments along the way to meet important financial milestones, like saving for a home, saving for a child’s college education or down the road—where and how they want to live in retirement,” Robinson says. In fact, when the study participants were asked how much they’ll need to save to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement, almost half had “no idea”—and 47 percent disagreed with their partners about how much they would need.

Not sure how to start the conversation? Ken Weber, the president of Weber Asset Management and author of Dear Investor, What the Hell are You Doing?, who wasn’t affiliated with the study, suggests something like this: “I think this is a good time for us to sit down and put things on paper so we can understand our full financial picture.” He says meeting together with a financial professional who is held to a fiduciary standard (meaning he or she must do what is in the best interest of the client) can also be helpful.

All the hard work will be worth it: The Fidelity research found that couples who have a retirement plan in place are more aligned and feel better prepared for what’s ahead, so a tough conversation now could save you a lot of anxiety in the long run. “Many people are simply uncomfortable talking about money and don’t make it a priority,” Robinson says. “Knowing where you stand financially today allows you to make informed decisions as a couple when adjustments are needed.”