Getting married can be a blissful but often stressful time in your life. We’re sure that you have plenty of planning already on your plate for the rehearsal, ceremony, reception, and honeymoon, but have you started thinking about your personal finances after the big day? We’ve put together this checklist of items to discuss with your new mate to help you get started on the right path together towards financial independence as a couple.
Share Personal Financial Situations
If you haven’t done so already, both of you should share the state of your personal finances. Since one of the foundations of a strong relationship is honesty, it’s important to be aware of any potential debt you’re inheriting from your new partner, as well as providing insights into your partner’s savings habits.
Discuss Long-Term Goals
Knowing what your partner wants out of life makes it much easier when making financial decisions. Wanting to retire at a certain age, travel extensively, or purchase something like a vacation home or boat can more easily be achieved when planned for, so your saving and spending habits can coincide with achieving those goals.
Jointly determine a budget that properly balances meeting your current lifestyle needs while also saving to reach your long-term goals. Make saving a priority before determining how much you can spend on discretionary things like entertainment, travel, and dining out.
Consider Joint Accounts
Discuss whether to keep finances separately versus thinking about everything as pooled money. This will help you decide whether to continue with individual bank accounts and credit cards or have them jointly. There is no right method, so find the one that works best for your relationship and goals.
Determine Desires to Have Children
Make sure that you and your spouse agree on whether you’d like to have children and how many you’d like to have. Providing for them is not cheap, and the process can infuse financial and emotional stress into a relationship.
For any existing investment accounts and insurance policies, review and consider updating the listed beneficiaries. They might currently list your parents, siblings, or children from a previous marriage, but if you want your new spouse to receive the life insurance proceeds or inherit your investment accounts, then it would be wise to change the listed beneficiary.
Review Insurance Needs
Speaking of insurance, now is a good time to determine each of your life insurance needs. Determine what coverage you might already have, if any, and compare against how much you might want to leave for your spouse in the event of your death to cover funeral costs and ease their financial burden once you are no longer around to financially provide.
Draft an Estate Plan
Meeting with an estate planning attorney to draft wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives helps take some of the burden off your spouse and other loved ones if you are unable to make your own decisions or pass away. If children are involved, this is of even greater importance to ensure their custody and care is spelled out in writing.
Determine Risk Tolerance
It is not necessary to both have the exact same inclination to invest the same way. Rather, it is important to be aware of your partner’s willingness to take on risk in exchange for potentially higher returns.
Submit a contact form or Call 864-288-2849 to schedule a consultation with a FinTrust Investment Advisor, where we can help you and your partner discuss these topics as you begin your new life together.