Five Financial Topics to Consider When Getting Married

Overview:

Marriage is an exciting milestone in life (at any age), but it also brings about a few financial topics to consider that can significantly impact your future together. Ensuring a strong financial foundation is crucial for a successful and harmonious marriage. So, we compiled a list of ‘Five Financial Topics to Consider When Getting Married.’

 

1. Marriage Requires Open and Honest Financial Communication:

Financial communication is the bedrock of any healthy relationship. Before getting married, it is essential to have candid discussions about your financial situation, including emergency savings, budget, debt, insurance, investments, and spending habits. Understanding each other’s financial background and expectations can prevent misunderstandings and conflicts down the road.

Tips for Effective Financial Communication: 

  • Schedule regular financial check-ins to discuss your financial goals and progress. Asset Strategy is happy to assist with financial check-ins.
  • Be transparent about your financial history, including any outstanding debts or credit issues.
  • Discuss your financial goals, both short-term (e.g., buying a house) and long-term (e.g., retirement planning).
  • Agree on a budget and decide how you will manage day-to-day expenses and larger financial decisions.

 

2. Establishing an Emergency Savings Account & Joint Budget:

Emergency Savings Account (ESA):

An Emergency Savings Account is a financial strategy that involves setting aside a specific amount of money in a separate account, typically in a liquid form, such as a savings account, for unexpected expenses or financial emergencies. The purpose of emergency savings is to have a financial cushion in place that can help individuals avoid the negative consequences of unexpected expenses and events. Emergency savings are important for several reasons:

  • Setting up an ESA can provide individuals with peace of mind, knowing that they have a financial cushion to fall back on in the event of an emergency.
  • ESAs can help individuals avoid the negative consequences of unexpected expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and groceries, until they are able to secure a new source of income.
  • ESAs can help individuals achieve their long-term financial goals. By having an ESA established, individuals are less likely to dip into their long-term savings, such as retirement accounts or investment portfolios.
  • We advise having 3-6 months of essential expenses in a safe, separate, liquid account. (3 months is the recommended minimum, and 6 months is the long-term goal.)

Visit https://assetstrategy.com/emergency-savings-account/ for more information.

Joint Budget: 

Creating a joint budget is crucial for managing your finances effectively as a couple. A budget helps you track your income and expenses, ensuring that you live within your means and work towards your financial goals together. It also provides a clear picture of your financial situation, making it easier to make informed decisions.

  • List all sources of income, including salaries, bonuses, and any other earnings.
  • Identify all expenses, categorizing them into fixed (e.g., rent/mortgage, utilities) and variable (e.g., entertainment, dining out).
  • Allocate a portion of your income to savings and investments.
  • Set aside funds for emergencies and unexpected expenses.
  • Regularly review and adjust your budget as needed to reflect changes in your financial situation or goals.

Visit https://assetstrategy.com/budget/ for more information.

 

3. Managing Debt Together:

Debt management is a critical aspect of marital finances. Whether it is student loans, credit card debt, or a mortgage, understanding and addressing debt is essential for financial stability. Discussing your debt and creating a plan to manage it can help you avoid financial strain and achieve your goals more effectively.

Debt: 

  • List all debts, including the amount owed, interest rates, and repayment terms.
  • Prioritize high-interest debt for repayment to minimize interest costs.
  • Consider consolidating debt to simplify payments and potentially secure lower interest rates.
  • Develop a debt repayment plan that fits within your joint budget.
  • Avoid taking on new debt unless necessary and always discuss major financial decisions together.

Visit https://assetstrategy.com/debt for more information.

 

4. Insurance & Saving and Investing for the Future:

Insurance:

Insurance serves as a safety net, offering financial compensation in the event of accidents, illnesses, property damage, or other covered perils. Whether it’s health insurance safeguarding against medical expenses, auto insurance covering vehicle repairs, or life insurance providing for loved ones in the event of untimely demise, insurance policies provide a layer of financial protection that complements individual efforts.

Visit https://assetstrategy.com/insurance/ for more information. Speak to our Insurance Manager with any questions!

  • LIFE INSURANCE: Most of us need 5 to 10 times our income plus an additional $100K per dependent child. If you are the major bread winner in the family and you carry a significant debt load, aim toward the high end of the recommended range.
  • DISABILITY: Evaluate your risk of disability and consider insuring against this risk.
  • LONG TERM CARE: Start the evaluation of this coverage at mid-life, not late in life when it will be too expensive.  Consider leveraging hybrid coverage where LTC or critical illness coverage is part of a life insurance foundation.
  • PROPERTY / CASUALTY: Maintain adequate levels of protection, including Personal Umbrella coverage.  Use higher deductible limits (Self-insured retention) to keep costs down.
  • HEALTH COVERAGE: Consider a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) in combination with funding your HSA, and let the HSA build up.

Saving and Investing: 

Saving and investing are key components of a healthy financial plan. As a married couple, it is important to work together to build a financial cushion and invest for the future. This includes creating an emergency fund, saving for major life events, and planning for retirement.

  • Establish an emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of living expenses.
  • Open joint savings accounts for specific goals, such as buying a home or starting a family.
  • Take advantage of employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as a 401(k), and consider contributing to IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts).
  • Diversify your investments to manage risk and optimize returns.
  • Consult with a financial advisor to develop a comprehensive investment strategy tailored to your goals and risk tolerance.

Visit https://assetstrategy.com/my-wealth-account/ for more information, and set up a call with us to discuss more on retirement investments.

 

5. Legal and Financial Protections:

Marriage has legal and financial implications that require careful consideration. Protecting your assets and ensuring that your wishes are honored in the event of unforeseen circumstances is vital. This includes understanding the legal aspects of marriage, such as property rights, and taking steps to safeguard your financial future.

Important Legal and Financial Protections:

  • Consider drafting a prenuptial agreement to clarify the division of assets and liabilities in the event of divorce.
  • Update or create wills and estate plans to reflect your marital status and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
  • Review and update beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other financial accounts.
  • Understand the implications of joint accounts and jointly owned property and decide what works best for your situation.
  • Discuss and decide on the health and financial power of attorney designations to ensure that trusted individuals can make decisions on your behalf if necessary.

 

Conclusion:

Getting married is a significant life event that requires thoughtful financial planning and open communication. By addressing these five financial topics, you can build a strong financial foundation for your marriage. Working together as a team, you can navigate the financial challenges of married life and achieve your shared goals, ensuring a prosperous and harmonious future together.

Remember, financial planning is an ongoing process that requires regular review and adjustment. As your circumstances and goals evolve, continue to communicate, and collaborate with your partner to maintain a healthy financial relationship. With mutual trust, transparency, and a commitment to your financial well-being, you can enjoy a successful and fulfilling marriage.

 


Are you getting married, or know someone who is, and want to talk about the financial aspect?

Call us at 781-235-4426.

Or, schedule a meeting with one of our Advisors by clicking HEREfor a 15-minute discovery call!

 

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Because investor situations and objectives vary this information is not intended to indicate suitability for any individual investor. 

This is for informational purposes only, does not represent legal or tax advice does not indicate suitability for any particular investor, and does not constitute an offer to purchase or sell investments.  

Please consult the appropriate professional regarding your individual circumstance. 

Advisory services are offered through Asset Strategy Advisors, LLC (ASA). Securities are offered through representatives licensed with either Concorde Investment Services, LLC (CIS), member FINRA/SIPC. 

 

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