Living happily ever after: Finances after the wedding

Living happily ever after: Finances after the wedding

06.28.2023

Congratulations! You’ve survived the Big Day and the build up to it. So, what comes next? Well, to put it succinctly: now comes the rest of your lives. As you move forward with your spouse, there are numerous financial subjects you should be considering now and through the rest of your life.

Read on for a sampling of the subjects you should discuss with your spouse:

Taxes

For many married couples, the difference between filing separately and jointly can be one of the most impactful changes when your legal status changes from “single.” The way you file can impact the money you end up eventually taking home; there are benefits and drawbacks to each. Consult a tax or financial professional for recommendations or advice.

Read more: What are the tax benefits of marriage?

Insurance

Insurance on its own is an exhaustive topic. When you’re married, it can become overwhelming. The questions are numerous: What type of insurance do you need? How is it secured? How much do you need? Can you self-insure? A lot of this is dependent on the types of insurance available. From health insurance to life insurance, disability insurance and long-term care insurance, there are myriad types of insurance policies that might be beneficial for you and your new family’s needs.

Retirement planning

You should take the time to think through what you want your retirement to look like. Do you want to retire early? What Social Security benefits will be available to you in the future? Will both of you work long-term, or will you be a one-income household at some point? The sooner you talk about this and know your goals, the better off you’ll likely be to reach them.

Read more: Seven essential steps for retirement planning

Estate planning

What will happen to your property when you die? What decisions will be made about children, how will taxes impact what you leave behind, and what decisions should be made on your behalf if you become incapable of making any? This is where estate planning becomes especially important.

Home buying and children

Buying a home and having children are often associated with getting married. Neither is an inexpensive decision. When embarking on the home buying journey, you will want to discuss a budget for the purchase and a savings strategy for the down payment, mortgage, taxes and other associated costs. Thinking about expanding the family with some children? The cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 can grow to $310,00.1 With such a hefty price tag, it’s important to talk about how many kids you can afford.

The bottom line

Living within your means and having a plan can lead to a better quality of life. Remember, these financial conversations are usually not one-and-done. They should be ongoing. Need help getting started? Download our free discussion guide: Financial conversations for couples

1 CBS News, It now costs $310,000 to raise a child, August 2022.

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Jeremiah Forrest, CFP®

Contributor

Jeremiah Forrest is a Senior Finacial Advisor at Empower. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

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