Monetary advisors may give newlyweds monetary compatibility as reward
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Before starting any money planning, newlyweds should take a close look at who they are and what they want in life, say financial advisors.
“It’s important that you sit down and discuss your values - both as individuals and as a couple,” said certified financial planner Eric Roberge. Founder of Beyond Your Hammock in Boston.
Roberge refers couples to an online list of values and asks them to individually and collectively consider which three to five values - such as community, growth, security – support the ideal vision for their life. They can then use their shared values to make mutual financial decisions.
“Your values can and should influence your financial decisions,” said Roberge. “[If] Their actions and financial decisions do not align with this value, people are in a cycle in which, no matter how much their financial situation improves, they never feel they have “made it” or always feel they have to miss something. “
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For Zak Bouck, executive director of Denver Wealth Management in Greenwood Village, Colorado, “The three most important things in marriage are: communication, communication, communication.”
“I often see couples come up with conflicting preconceptions about any financial decision,” he said.
Bouck facilitates couple conversations with a game of cards representing different priorities and asks the spouses to choose their individual top 5. If you ask each spouse individually, they feel “heard,” he said.
Build up financial awareness together
Brian Mercado, a CFP at JSF Financial in Los Angeles, is also focused on helping spouses understand themselves better. He has couples fill out a detailed worksheet showing what they think they are spending on their budget. Then he creates reports on the actual numbers, which often paint a very different picture.
“Usually it’s the little things that add up,” said Mercado. “It’s an awareness campaign.”
Relevant topics for newlyweds are how or whether their finances should be merged, tax returns (jointly or separately) and employee benefits (e.g. which are more suitable for which situations).
Mercado is also running a joint training session – designed to bring both partners up to date – on the importance of saving and investing (informed by the previously completed budget worksheet), investment principles (why invest, time horizons, allocation, inflation protection, etc.). ) and the meanings of financial terms like “stocks” and “bonds”.
Marriage is also a good time to look into life insurance, said Luis Rosa, a CFP and founder of Build a Better Financial Future, in Pasadena, California. “Do you need more than what you get at work when buying a house, for example?” he said.
Rosa also advises spouses to protect each other, for example by updating beneficiary names for retirement accounts and life insurance policies; sharing of passwords and policy numbers; and execution of estate documents such as powers of attorney and health policies, particularly in light of HIPAA restrictions.
“It’s not just about money – you want your spouse to be involved in the event of a medical emergency,” he said.
Bouck, for his part, provides young married couples with a “Life as a bride and groom” checklist and creates a comprehensive financial plan that explains the basics such as the savings rate (what percentage or how much income you save) and various investment options.
To work in a team
In addition to self-reflection and planning, the counselors emphasize the need for both spouses to work and think in a team.
Rosa recommends paying off debts as a couple by worrying about whose debts to pay off first, rather than continuing to pay off their individual debts at their previous pace. He also suggests that spouses have money appointments – regular 15-minute check-ins to keep everyone informed of each other’s activities (ex.
It is important that both partners always know their overall financial situation.
“Imagine a personal financial management system that involves both of you,” said Roberge. “You don’t have to split the work of managing your personal finances 50/50, but you should sit down and discuss how you will function as a team so that you both participate in some way – and you both have at least a general understanding of yours financial picture and the main parts of it. “