June is known as the marriage month. Having just gone through my daughter’s wedding, I know how much planning goes into the big event. We spent close to a year planning everything, as is typical for most couples. The question is, how much time does the new couple spend planning their financial future? Because my daughter is my daughter, merging their income and outflows started when they moved in together a good year before they were engaged but this is not the norm. Here are a few topics to discuss as you are merging your new lives:
• Be clear on what each of you bring to the table.
• What debts do you have?
• Do you pay more than the minimums on those debts?
• How much have you saved and how much do your save from each paycheck?
• Be open and honest without judgement when learning how each of you have managed saving and spending prior to your merge.
• What are your financial goals?
• Discuss when you might like to buy a house and how much to save for a down payment as well as how you will pay your monthly household bills.
• Discuss how much you need for an emergency fund – this is an amount of money that will stay in a liquid account for emergencies.
Individual goals are ok too. It is important to be on the same page for the big items, but individual goals are important also. Each person should write a list of “yours,” “mine,” and “ours” goals, then compare the lists so you can focus on the differences.
As I approach my 33rd anniversary, I can say that we came together practicing some of these tips, but were not aware of all of them. We practice all of these tips now and have successfully merged love and marriage.
Nancy Hecht CFP, AIF
Certified Financial Group, Inc.
1111 Douglas Ave, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
407-869-9800 | 800-393-9900 | www.FinancialGroup.com
Certified Financial Planner™ is a federally registered mark of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. This mark is awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. Certified Advisory Corp offers Financial Planning and Asset Management for a fee. Certified Benefits Corp offers Employee Benefits Consulting. Certified Insurance Corp offers Insurance Planning. TransAm Securities, Inc. offers Securities ∑ Member FINRA, SIPC.