After the confetti has settled and the white gown is given to the cleaners, it’s time to come face to face with the facts: you are married now!
It’s great that you are in love and all, and have showed your commitment with this special union, but there’s also some work that comes with it. In addition to investing in your relationship in order to nurture your love, there are some hard financials to look at as well.
If you are hoping to grow old together and retire in a beachfront condo, the work has to start now! Along with retirement planning, there are other moves that you should make so that you can comfortably enjoy the day to day while preparing for every situation which may arise.
Create a Joint Account
This might even be a mandatory thing for you to address depending on how some of your guests wrote out their wedding gift cheques. Regardless of whether you have to or not, opening a joint account is something that you should do. As a couple, there are things that you should share, and this includes the financial burden of running a household, eating, and any lifestyle choices you choose to make, like annual tropical vacations or purchasing a new car. It’s also an act of trust and honesty, something on which every solid marriage should be built on. Another bonus is that it makes your financial situation as a family clearer as it is visible at a glance.
Unless you are one of those couples getting married in the autumn years of life, a will is probably one of the last things on your mind. However, don’t let the newlywed bliss cloud the importance of writing out a joint will. In doing so, you get full control of what happens if the worst was to happen. Some geographical areas give everything to the surviving spouse, while others only a percentage. This becomes even more complicated if both were to pass away, leaving two families questioning about what comes next. Post-marriage is a good time to discuss such matters, and this should be done regularly, especially as new assets, or family members, are acquired. Wills and final testaments should be updated often and reflect the current state of affairs.
Losing a family member can be extremely traumatic for those who remain, and often means a significant loss of income. By purchasing and paying into life insurance, you protect your spouse and future family members from financial difficulty on top of emotional distress. Their current standard of living will be continued and there will be no need to make difficult or traumatic moves, such as selling your home, in order to stay afloat. This might seem like an unnecessary expense at the time, but it’s important that you explore the benefits of permanent life insurance and contact a broker to get the best quote.
Retirement may seem like a lifetime away, however, if you want to be able to retire in style and stress-free, the time to start saving is now. Set some goals for the next 5, 10, 25, and 50 years and talk to your financial advisor on what is needed to get there. In many jurisdictions, such proactive measures are rewarded with tax breaks and exemptions, so this might even be in your current best interest.
Finances are a sore point for many couples, so the sooner you two get on the same page, the better. Talk about your priorities, your undisputed expenses, and plans for your disposable income. Discuss your financial goals and what you will need to do on a monthly basis in order to achieve them, integrating any investments or savings plans you have. There are many templates online as well as apps in which you can track your expenses and compare them to the goals you have set out.
In addition to date night, you might want to instate “checkpoint night” during which you can discuss your budget, how close you are to it, and adjust it as necessary. This is also the time to talk about upcoming expenses like car repairs, home maintenance, and more. Once you get in the habit of discussing these things in an open and honest environment, the less likely that there will be an issue related to it down the road.