Factors Affecting How Couples Make Life Decisions

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  • 0:01 Making Decisions Together
  • 0:22 Factors Affecting Life…
  • 1:42 Buying a Home
  • 3:03 Having Kids
  • 5:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Couples need to answer a lot of hard questions before making major life decisions. This lesson will look into some of these factors, specifically regarding decisions like buying a home together and having kids.

Making Decisions Together

When you are in a relationship you have to make a lot of decisions. What to wear, where to go, and who pays for dinner are just a few of them. But these tidbits barely compare to the major life decisions couples face. There are lots of these, but I'll stick to the two big ones we commonly hear about: buying a home and having kids.

Factors Affecting Life Decisions

Before we get into the details of the factors that affect buying one type of home or another or whether a couple should have children, let's first discuss the overarching considerations of major life decisions couples face:

  • Goals, end results for which time and resources are aimed. Maybe you don't want to buy a home or have kids, or maybe you really want to have a big family in a big house. Everyone's goals are different.
  • Finances, or monetary resources, are another consideration. Do you have a job? Does your partner? Does it pay well enough to let you afford your chosen or desired lifestyle? Do you have credit card debt? How about student loans?
  • We also must consider careers, a lifelong profession. A career is much more than a job, and it's way more than just how much you make. As an example, you might earn enough in order to buy a dream ranch. But because your partner works in a downtown office, living in the middle of nowhere may not be feasible if their career is important to both of you.
  • This brings me to compatibility, how good a match you are with someone else. Do you trust your partner? Do both of you have some of the same major life goals? Does the direction you want to go in match up with that of your partner's? A lack of compatibility would be one big reason not to have kids and not to buy a home together.

Buying a Home

Buying a home is one of life's important major steps for couples. It's not just how the home looks and if both of you like it that matters; it's also about things like:

  • Location: Is this in a crime-ridden area or one patrolled constantly by a private security force? Is this place going to cause a two-hour commute every day to work?
  • Price: Can you afford to pay a million in cash or are you going to take out a mortgage for 30 years on a $100,000 home?
  • Taxes: Paying a price for a home isn't the only thing to look out for in terms of greenbacks. Uncle Sam will gleefully charge you property taxes every year. You might be able to afford a home for $500,000, but if it's in an expensive neighborhood, can you afford $20,000 a year in taxes as well?
  • You also have to consider age: If the home is quite old, you are less likely to pay as much for it upfront as you would for a new home, but you may end up spending more in the long run fixing all the things that are falling apart.
  • And finally, let's not forget schools: Kids need a place to learn! You were a kid once, remember? Like restaurants, some schools are simply better than others. And if you want your child to get the best education possible, then this may be a big factor in considering where you live.

Having Kids

Some of the concerns about buying a home are, of course, based on if you're even going to have kids! There are couples who want anything but kids in life. Let's assume, however, that you do want to have children. There's quite a bit to factor in with such a big choice.

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