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Financial Checklist For Marriage & Remarriage – Finger Financial Five #161

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound in cure.” – Ben Franklin

One of the most common arguments in relationships is money issues (Marriage.com). 

Taking what Old Ben said to heart, what should someone do when they get married or remarried?

First, be open and honest with communication. From there, discuss the following topics:

  1. How do you feel about saving and spending?
  2. How do you feel about credit cards? 
  3. Do you have any debt? If so, how do you feel about paying it off?
  4. How do you feel about establishing an emergency fund? How much do you think it should be?
  5. How is your credit history? The good and bad.
  6. How are you covered for health insurance? Choose the optimal plan for your family. One spouse’s plan may be better than the other.
  7. Consider life insurance coverage IF NEEDED. This could be a term policy or converting an existing policy to one that suits your goals and needs. 
  8. Property and casualty insurance may be consolidated for cost savings. Check with your providers.
  9. Check your tax filing status. Married Filing Jointly could save you some taxes; however, if a spouse is in a business with considerable risk, Filing Separately could make sense.
  10. Do you have any loss carried forward? If so, consider how to best utilize such carryforwards in the future (pun intended).
  11. How do you feel about home improvements? Renting? Buying? Funding children’s education? 
  12. How do you feel about donating to charity? If so, to which ones?
  13. How do you feel about staying home to raise kids or continuing to work? 
  14. Do you have any family members you support or would like to assist? How will you support children from a previous marriage? 
  15. If you were previously married, be careful when you get married. If you remarry after age 60, you can claim Social Security from your former spouse’s earning record. If you marry before 60, you lose that option.
  16. Revisit your beneficiary information on all accounts. Update those accordingly. 
  17. For second marriages, see a qualified attorney to set up assets to be distributed according to your wishes. For example, if you want your assets to provide income to your widow and the principle to your children from a former marriage, proper documentation would need to be created. These documents would need to be executed, meaning assets must be put in these newly created trusts. I have often seen documents created and attorney bills paid but accounts not funded. 
  18. Have both spouses know where things are and who to ask. I often have seen one spouse know everything and the other in the dark. At Riverbend, we keep almost everything digital in their personal family vault. If a spouse passes away, we can help the survivor seamlessly, considering the situation. 

If you have any questions, email me at [email protected] or call the office at 843-970-1049. 

On the lighter side, our communications coordinator extraordinaire, Kayla Lyons, is going on a ladies spa retreat this weekend with her mom, cousin, aunt, and grandmother. Sounds like a great trip! Enjoy Kayla!

I hope all is well with you and your family,

Jeremy

Finger Financial Five – 5 points in 5 minutes or less – is intended to provide you with a weekly shot of useful financial information.  My intention is to share principles so that you will have more clarity, more peace, and make better financial decisions. 

 Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor.  Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC and Riverbend Wealth Management are separate entities. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. and Stratos Wealth Advisors are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government agency. The information presented is believed to be from reliable sources but no responsibility is accepted for any inaccuracies.

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