Money advice for a lasting marriage

Have 'the talk'

If you’re planning to marry, it's time to talk about money — if you haven't already.

The conversation should cover annual income, savings and debts.

Don't forget to talk about credit scores, too. A survey by the credit bureau Experian recently found this was the No. 1 topic couples failed to address prior to marriage.

It's no wonder, though. Your credit score doesn't lie as a measure of fiscal responsibility.

"In a marriage, you need to have full financial disclosure," says Robin Vaccai, a certified financial planner in Poughkeepsie, New York. "If you go into the relationship with clear communication about money, it sets you up to have a healthy financial future."

Financial vow: Make a date to talk about your finances, and "put emotion and lust aside to have a heart-to-heart discussion," Vaccai says.

Celebrate your successes — stashing money in retirement accounts, establishing an emergency fund — and speak honestly about potential financial challenges.