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Getting Married

Lay the foundation for a lifetime of financial security.

Getting Married

If you're about to be married or are newly married, you probably have big hopes and dreams for your future together. Make sure you're financially prepared—as a couple—to make your dreams a reality.

Financially successful couples often begin their life together by taking three steps, which you may want to consider as you begin your journey together:

  • Step #1: Assess your financial situation and individual behaviors. Talk openly about what you have, what you owe, and your approach to saving and spending. Decide how many accounts you'll have, who will pay which bills and how much you'll commit to saving for your future.
  • See an example of a financial plan
  • Step #2: Create a vision for your future together. As individuals, you may have ideas about where you want to be or what you want to be doing in 10 or 20 years. But what about your shared future? Are you on the same page about your goals?
  • Step #3: Develop a financial plan to achieve your shared vision. It's never too early to start working with a professional to make sure you're on the path that's right for you. Some couples think they need to be older or wealthy for a financial professional to help them, and that's not the case. Establish a relationship with a financial professional early.

Want more details? Watch our free webcast, Marriage and Money: 3 Steps for Building Your Future Together.

Setting Financial Planning Priorities as a New Couple

While your goals for the future will be unique to you and your new spouse, the two of you will lay the foundation for a lifetime of financial security when you:

  • Protect your income. Your ability to earn an income is your greatest asset. Protect it. If disability income insurance is offered through your employer, take advantage of the opportunity and the group rate that may be offered. However, group plans usually have some sort of cap—typically about 60 percent of your income. So to fully protect yourself, you may want to consider a supplemental individual policy. An individual policy can also be a great way to protect your income if you're self-employed. Learn More.

    If one of you should develop a chronic illness or disabling condition, long-term care services can help you get through your daily routines. Extended long-term care is not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or health insurance plans, which is why any plan to protect your income should include consideration of long-term care. Learn More.

    And, to protect the financial future of your loved ones, consider purchasing a life insurance policy to make sure they're taken care of after you're gone. Both term and permanent life insurance provide benefits to your loved ones—to pay bills or take care of other financial obligations in the event of your death. As part of a couple, both of you should be insured. Learn More.
    60 percent say their financial planning could use improvement
  • Pay down debt. For some, the concept of being debt free is hard to imagine, particularly if you're a young couple paying off student loans on entry-level salaries. Instead of feeling buried under debt, you can feel good about managing it by setting a realistic budget. Learn More.
  • Establish an emergency fund. Include in your monthly budget a contribution toward your emergency fund, because no matter how carefully you may plan your finances, there will always be unexpected expenses like car repairs or veterinarian bills. Aim for a total of three to six months of living expenses. Learn More
  • Ensure your wishes are known and honored. If you were to become incapacitated or die as the result of an accident or illness, would your new spouse know your intentions? Estate planning  helps ensure your wishes are known and honored when you're no longer able to articulate them. It also gives your family peace of mind; you don’t want to burden them with having to make important decisions at the spur of the moment, when they are already dealing with your death or illness. Learn More.

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