Throughout the course of our lives, we take on change. Some change is minor, and some will impact our lives forever – marriage being one of those major life events! As you prepare for a safe and successful financial future, part of that involves making sure that you and your spouse are on the same page with finances.
When getting married, it is important to make sure that your finances are in order, and make necessary updates to documentation, insurance, tax filing options, and beneficiary information on any accounts you may have. With that being said, I wanted to point out a few important things you may find on a financial checklist for married couples.
Organize Your Finances:
- Create a budget – With a potential change/added income, as well as newly incurred expenses, it is a great idea to design a budget which considers all your income and monthly expenses.
- Review debt – Whether its credit card debt, loan payments (student, auto, mortgage, etc.), or other debt obligations that you or your spouse have, come to an agreement on how to approach paying off this debt over a period of time.
- Emergency fund – 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses set aside in cash, so that if you have a major bill that needs to be paid, or you and/or your spouse are laid off, you are able to supplement those living expenses with that emergency fund money.
- Joint or separate accounts – Merging finances with a spouse is a common discussion and there are pros and cons to merging all, some, or none of your money. It is important that you and your spouse discuss the way that finances should be handled.
- Saving for the future - Retirement Planning, Education Planning for kids (ex. 529 Plans) should be considered and discussed with a financial advisor.
- Make sure your new name is up to date on all legal documentation (passport, driver’s license, bills, etc.).
- It is important to make sure that your beneficiaries for any policies, accounts, etc. are up to date. Any time there is a major life event, it is always advised to make sure your beneficiaries are up to date.
- What is your current health insurance? Would it make more sense to join your spouse’s insurance or vice versa? Some health insurance benefits are better than others. If you and your spouse are working for separate companies with different health insurance plans, it may be worth sitting down and comparing benefits to see which is the best option for your family (both financially and health wise).
Something to Consider…
- Do you have a will? If so, is it up to date?
- Do you have life insurance and/or disability insurance? If so, do these insurance policies provide the right amount of coverage for you and your family?
Marriage is an exciting time, but sometimes the adjustment may seem overwhelming when it comes to finances, living, etc.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Tycor at 610-251-0670 to speak with one of our advisors.