Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!
Your bridal registry details are all done. Bridal party gifts are all selected and being engraved. The plans for your dream honeymoon have all been secured well in advance of the big day and you have even made plans for the bad weather possibilities that may happen on your special day.
Is there anything you might have forgotten to take the time to sit down and talk over - more than once - with your soon to be spouse?
How about working the financial facts of your soon to launch lifetime together.
"Financially speaking, getting married can have both financial benefits and pitfalls," offered local Certified Financial Planner Russell Dunkin, a financial advisor with the new firm of Fort Henry Capital at 48 - 14th Street in Wheeling.
"On one hand, by combining incomes and residences you'll improve your budget over both paying a mortgage and utilities. On the other hand, if one spouse brings debt or poor credit to the marriage, that can eventually impact the other spouse if debts become an issue for the new couple," offered Dunkin.
Everyone's financials are unique to them, but by the nature of today's financial options there are some things than can be anticipated as largely standardized items likely to need some direct attention from you both - and soon. If you haven't accomplished this task yet, everyone from your religious counselor to your financial advisor will suggest you both make the time for these very important discussions, and will likely underscore the importance of having these matters discussed at the start of your marriage.
Financial disagreements and frustrations are among the most serious threats to marriages in general today, and yet can be very preventable as are some of the potentially costly mistakes that can come from not talking about your respective personal debt, credit report standing, income, financial resources, as well as spending and savings habits and practices.
Make it a point to do some research - you can even do it together.
If you both own property and are planning to sell one and keep the other make sure to check into consequences of how to choose which to keep and which to put on the market.
Compare mortgages, potential penalties, tax structures of each community, resale value short and longterm.
Now may be a good time to secure the services of a tax preparation specialist, and a certified financial advisor courtesy of your employer, your local bank, credit union, or by contacting a professional in private practice.
If you think the list of to dos for this life changing event - getting married - is almost all checked off as done, experts in the financial circles recommend it is a good time to sit down and get well acquainted with the personal views, habits and opinions your soon to be official better half and you are collectively bringing to this upcoming nuptual.
Communicating about any (and all) debt each of you may be bringing into the marriage can help ward off the "shock and awe" experience when those bills start flowing in. It'll also give you the opportunity to develop a plan for how you'll deal with that debt. Knowing each other's credit scores will help you with that and help you as you make other important financial decisions.
Work together to create a budget and on learning to live well within it.
When you both understand and agree on a budget, it may help you both stick to it, thereby avoiding the financial frenzy that can come from couples simply ignoring their differences.
If you want to keep a little independence when it comes to your finances, that can be done.
Depending on the wealth, a couple is combining keeping assets separate can help reduce tax exposure risks.
For those couples coming into a marriage bringing children and grandchildren's future interests, which are tied to your earlier relationship, some experts will recommend keeping assets separate making it easier to transfer assets to your children while your spouse's assets can go to his or her children.
Estate attorneys can be contacted without obligation when you are considering initial input for planning.
A tax advisor can provide guidance when it comes time to decide if you will plan to file income tax jointly or separately, as such a decision can provide you access to or prevent you from connecting to certain deductions or credits. Things like whether one of you is eligible for deductions based on things like non-refundable medical expenses can be determined with the help of a professional planner.
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