In an effort to engage a more diverse demographic, we introduce a new semi-annual blog series specifically for our younger clients and readers.
First up, here’s a list of the most important things we think newlyweds should prioritize to set a healthy financial foundation for their marriage (and lives). We have not ranked these in order of importance, but we recommend them all. You may decide to tackle them in whatever order your situation calls for. If you want to reference the list in the future, click the image to download a copy and keep it handy.
- Documentation changes: Change names on official forms: licenses, loans, social security cards, titles, credit or debit cards, and bank or investment accounts.
- Make a will or update an existing will: If you don’t already have a will, now is a good time to make one
- Update beneficiaries: Update beneficiaries on investments and insurance to include spouse
- Develop joint budget and establish a plan to review: Find a budgeting method that meets your needs and realistically reflects actual expenses
- Delegate budget-related tasks: Decide how tasks like tracking expenses and paying bills will be delegated in your household
- Set goals and schedule times to reevaluate: Make financial goals, like paying off debts or saving up for something, and make a plan to meet them
- Review insurance plans and compare to find the best option: Compare plans and consider adding your spouse to your plan and buy life insurance if you did not already have it
- Manage or evaluate credit: Evaluate credit reports and set goals for improving scores if necessary
- Discuss how to maximize retirement plans: Talk about making maximum contributions to a 401(k), IRA, or a Roth IRA plan
- Discuss switching individually-held accounts to joint ones: One of the important decisions you’ll make is whether to switch to joint accounts. Consider the pros and cons.
If you feel overwhelmed by financial questions and want to make sure you don’t miss important steps, check out the document to the left for a list of topics that will clarify the process and ensure you are on the same page with your spouse-to-be.