It’s no secret that getting married changes your financial life in more ways than one. Not only will you be sharing all finances with your partner, but your legal and tax statuses will also change. It’s important to get a full understanding of the long-term financial commitment in marriage before you say I do, and here we explain everything you need to know.
Before the Wedding
You owe it to yourself and your partner to sit down before your wedding and have an honest conversation about finances. You need to disclose your full financial circumstances with each other; everything from how many student loans you have, your credit score, and all assets and liabilities. Remember, marriage is a legal commitment and you need to be upfront and share everything about each of your financial lives before you legally tie yourself to each other.
Once you know what you’re dealing with, discuss any problems and concerns you have with your partner’s financial health. Come to a conclusion on how you will work through any problems, both now and in the future. Then transition into a conversation about how you will budget and deal with financial crises once you are married.
Set Joint Marriage Financial Goals
It may be hard to look as far into the future as retirement, but you need to think far out when creating your marriage financial goals. Ask yourselves the following questions, and use your answers to create a financial goal that works both for you.
- What are your long-term prospects and career goals?
- Will either of you plan on returning to school and need financial support to do so?
- If children are in your future, will one partner be a stay-at-home parent?
- At what age do you want to retire, and how can you work together to make this goal a reality?
Understand That Your Investing Habits Don’t Have to Be the Same
While yes, you will want to ensure you are both on the same page when it comes to saving for long-term goals, this doesn’t mean that you have to change how you save money and choose to invest.
For example, you might not feel totally confident taking risks in the stock market as your partner does. That’s totally fine! If you choose to have a more conservative approach to investing and they are a bit risky, this might actually complement each other in the long run.
Talk to a Financial Advisor to Get Your Ducks in a Row
Filing your taxes jointly can affect your finances, but just because you’re married, doesn’t mean this is the right option for you. Speaking to a financial advisor can help you make the necessary updates needed for all legal documents, like your will, life insurance beneficiary, and so on.
It can be overwhelming to know exactly how your finances merge when you are married, so our team at Second Opinion Partners is here to help. We are here to help you with your holistic financial planning at any step in your life, and can absolutely plan you and your partner’s finances in preparation for marriage.
Give us a call today, and let’s get started on setting your marriage up for financial success!