Dear Janice, I proposed to my girlfriend on Valentine’s Day and she said yes, but I now wonder if it’s time to talk about a pre-nuptial agreement.

She doesn’t have a lot of money, and her income is far less than mine, whereas I will inherit a sizable sum from my parents, and I already have some shares.

I don’t want to seem cold and calculated but I want to make sure I am okay financially should the worst happen. Alan.

Dear Alan, the ink on your fiancee’s Valentine’s card is barely dry, and you want to affirm details of what will happen to your finances if your marriage fails!

Couples rarely have the same financial backgrounds, but marriage should mean you pull your resources together to make the union of two people living as one as fair as it can be.

Reading your concerns, it sounds like you are only looking out for yourself, but this is about the future financial wellbeing of you, your wife and any children.

That said, pre-nuptial agreements are on the rise, but they should be seen as a contract which mutually suits both parties.

You should at some point have a transparent conversation with your fiancee about long term financial planning, but as her engagement ring is just out of its box and she’ll be on a bride-to-be high, if you raise this matter now I doubt it will go down well.

Dear Janice, I feel so sad for my elderly neighbour.

She has lived alone since her husband died years ago, and although she does have family, they rarely visit.

She doesn’t drive but is able to walk to the local shops, weather permitting.

I work full-time, have teenagers and a wee dog to look after, so I don’t have a lot of spare time to spend with her.

I feel so guilty when she waves to me from her front window as I leave for work because I know that chances are she won’t speak to another person all day.

What can I do to help? Sharon.

Dear Sharon, despite being busy, you recognise your neighbour’s lonely life which is heartwarming.

Pop into your local church and ask if they do home visits.

Many churchgoers are happy to pick up and drop off elderly people for church or social activities.

I’m sure she would be delighted if your kids took it in turns to nip in with your wee dog for a quick visit now and then.

And remember, people living alone also dine alone, so once in a while offer her a place at your table. I’m sure she’ll be delighted, and you’ll feel much better.

It’s worth checking out Age UK as it covers every aspect of care and advice for the elderly.

But bear in mind, our older generation are proud and private people so she might resist your help, but if she does, you know you have done your best.

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