Financial Preparedness Marriage Checklist
January 28, 2012
(BNN) For couples embarking on a marital commitment, becoming engaged and planning their wedding is a truly exhilarating time. Surrounded by loving families and friends, the happy pair is apt to be swept up in a whirlwind of parties and the myriad details of the wedding celebration and honeymoon trip. With all of the excitement and festivities, it is also important to be concerned with preparations of a more serious natu
re: insurance and financial preparation. While it may not be at the top of the list, it’s certainly something that needs consideration.
It is no secret that many couples are marrying later in life. While the average age of marriage four decades ago was 20 for females and 22 for males, it is now five years older for both. Today’s couples are more educated, more established, and therefore have more complex financial and insurance needs. They are finding that insurance and financial preparation must go hand in hand with starting a new life together. Since the average length of an engagement is about eighteen months, couples have ample time to consider such important dollar-and-cents details concerning their future.
Couples should review the following before-and-after wedding checklist:
• Insure the Engagement Ring—Ask your insurance agent whether your current renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy, carried by either or both parties, covers the loss or theft of the engagement ring. If not, additional coverage may be needed.
• Review Coverage for the Place you Live—This is a good time for you to review the combined value of your possessions to help you determine whether the assessed value of your total property is up-to-date. It is important that your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy provide a sufficient amount of protection for the increase in your belongings when you combine households.
• Automobile Coverage—An engaged couple can find out whether they qualify for discounts as a result of being married. Many find that being covered under one policy is less expensive. Check out possible safe-driver discounts as well as multi-line discounts, which often apply when you have more than one insurance product with a company. For instance, you may qualify for a discount by insuring your cars and residence with the same company.
After the wedding festivities, ongoing financial and insurance requirements will continue to change. As a newlywed couple you should talk to an insurance agent or financial professional about your overall situation and as circumstances change in your life. Examples include:
• Life Insurance Needs—While it is difficult to think about even as wedding bells are still jingling in their heads, newlyweds would do well to consider how to provide for each other and any additional dependents in the event of the unexpected death of either partner.
• Saving for Retirement—Early planning can help make sure you will have adequate resources for your golden years together, and possibly even the retirement of your dreams. Spouses should work jointly and with a financial professional to establish retirement savings tools that fit their needs, such as employer sponsored 401(k) plans, IRAs, and annuities.
• College Savings—While it may seem like eons before you both have children, it’s important to continue saving when they arrive – particularly for their education. Once you have children, consider setting up a Qualified Tuition Program, often referred to as Section “529 plans” to begin preparing for the cost of higher education.
Arranging for adequate insurance and constructing a financial road map as couples plan to wed may seem like a daunting task, but it can help you to understand how to help protect yourself with insurance and financial savings tools and ensure they keep up with your changing lives. An established and reputable company can help identify and set priorities for any newly engaged, or newly married, couple’s insurance and financial needs. Partnering with a financial professional can help you better protect what you have as a couple and prepare for the future.