You’re getting married. Terrific. In addition to all of the plans and preparations for the big day, take some time to review and discuss your finances. Here’s some tips to lead the way:
• Take an interest in your finances. Now, not later. Make sure both of you are involved in the financial planning and investments. Plan to set aside an hour each month to talk about your money goals. Never, ever, assume that your partner will take care of “things.”
• Develop a spending plan. You’ve probably developed a spending plan (budget) for the big day, but take some time to develop a monthly/yearly budget for your overall finances. Better now than later.
• Maximize your retirement plan/IRA/401(k) contributions.
• This is a good time to talk with a Certified Financial Planner and make sure you are declaring the correct tax withholding allowances.
• Make sure you have your own credit history. Having credit cards in your name is valuable. Get your annual free report at www.annualcreditreport.com. Print each out and challenge immediately if there are mistakes. Almost half have them.
• Review your insurance options. Will his/her medical policy cover you? Should you keep separate policies? Consolidating or eliminating one usually makes money sense. Also, take time to look at other insurance including: life, disability, etc. If either of you has life insurance, will you change the beneficiary? Do you need additional coverage?
• If you’re changing your name, get all of the paperwork in order. You’ll need to notify Social Security, get new credit cards, and change any other assets/documents.
• Take time to make a will. Now.