Financial Advice for Engaged Couples and Newlyweds

To help ensure a smooth start to your financial life together, we offer some general tips for newlyweds and engaged couples to help get your finances in order, save money, and build a strong financial future.

Hold an open and honest discussion about your finances before you get married. Talk about your income, your assets, your debts, and your financial obligations, such as financial support for children from an earlier relationship. Talk about your financial goals and dreams. This can help you begin to plan how you will work together toward your shared financial goals.

engagedConsider a prenup. A prenuptial agreement can help protect your financial interests in several ways, such as ensuring that the assets you owned prior to the marriage remain yours after a divorce, protecting the inheritances of your children from prior marriages, and shielding you from responsibility for your spouse’s debts. Please seek advice from your attorney about whether a prenup is right for you.

Consider updating the beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, and life insurance policies. The person you name as the beneficiary on these accounts and policies will inherit them, regardless of any directions to the contrary in your will.

Consider updating your estate planning documents, such as your wills, trusts, and health care proxies, to include your spouse.

If you do not have any estate planning documents, this is a good time to create them – especially if you have children from an earlier marriage to consider.

Let the Social Security Administration and your employer know if you have changed your name. Not only will this help ensure that you receive the correct benefits at retirement, it can also help you avoid problems filing your tax return because the name on your tax return must match the Social security Administration’s records.

Review your homeowners, renters, and car insurance. You may have more of everything – house, furnishings, vehicles – to protect now. Insuring with a single insurer may lower your premiums. Before you combine your car insurance policies, it is a good idea to price it out with your insurance agent first. Although a combined policy has the potential to save you money, in some circumstances, such as if one spouse has a poor driving record, a combined policy may cost you more than two separate policies. Price it out with your agent, however, because just the fact that you are now married may result in a decrease in your rates.

Consider purchasing life insurance. If one spouse would have difficult time maintaining their standard of living without the other spouse’s income, consider purchasing life insurance.

Consider purchasing disability insurance. Long-term disability insurance replaces part of your income if you are too ill or injured to work for a long period of time and can help minimize the financial strain that a long-term illness or injury may place on your marriage.

Review your health insurance. If you and your spouse are covered by separate health insurance plans, review both plans. Perhaps one plan is stronger than the other. Perhaps money can be saved with family coverage under one plan rather than individual coverage under two plans. You can generally add a spouse to your workplace plan within 30 days of your marriage (60 days for a Health Insurance Marketplace plan); miss that window and you’ll likely have to wait until the next open enrollment period to make the change.

With this type of life change it is time to create or update your financial plan. Now is the time to create and implement a plan for pursuing your shared financial goals, such as a new home, college educations for the children, and retirement.

If your name or address changes, update the information for your…

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With offices in Williston and Rutland Vermont, Copper Leaf Financials’ team of experienced financial planners work with clients to assure that all of the vital components of your financial plan are in order – from estate planning to retirement planning. We can help you put all of the legal documents in place to ensure that everything goes according to your plan. For more information call 802.878.2731.