Tying the knot

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You've Just Tied the Knot - Now, Who's Handling Your Finances?

By Brandon Schleter

Last week, we talked about some of the reasons why a recent graduate or young professional just starting out might need a financial planner. Today, I want to talk about why a newly married couple might want to hire a financial planning team.

According to research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, more than half of married couples have not calculated how much they'll actually need to save for retirement in order to achieve their desired goals. In our experience, not knowing where you're headed usually ends up putting people behind. Knowing where you stand at certain life stages is imperative for keeping up with financial progress. While retirement may seem like it's a long way off, starting now with our help can put you on the right track.

But retirement savings isn't the only reason it's a good idea to find a financial planner you trust sooner rather than later. Getting married is one of the most important life stages when it comes to planning your finances, because for the first time, it's no longer just about you. However, it's also one of the life stages when we find people are unlikely to think about money or hiring professional financial help, often because it seems unromantic, or the couple is too focused on wedding planning or setting up that first home.

When two people get married and start a life together, they usually find that it's more complicated than they thought to merge two financial lives. You're now working as a team toward mutual financial goals, and you're depending on each other. Since there's no one right way to merge finances, we see many couples who come to us at this point feeling a lot of stress, even if both spouses are on the same page about spending and saving.

But, if one of you is a spender and the other's a saver, there's no reason you can't both be happy as well. A realistic monthly savings goal based on your individual, unique situation can give the saver peace of mind while allowing the spender to know exactly what's available each month. Our team can act as a neutral party and help you set realistic goals while still enjoying your new life together.

Putting a plan in place now, as a couple and as a team, can help you avoid making emotional financial decisions in the future as well. With mutually agreed upon goals, impulse decisions that could hurt your overall financial picture become less likely. We all know those people who panicked in a market fluctuation, or got underwater on a house they couldn't afford, right? We can help you avoid those traps.

Another topic we always go over with newlyweds is tax implications. Many things change tax-wise when you legally join with another person, and we can help you with all of your questions - and with some questions you probably haven't thought of.

The most important point we drive home with new couples we work with is that you're now a team, with totally different goals and budgets than you had when you were single. Your money needs to work for both of you. What questions do you have about money and marriage? Give us a call at 859.219.1006. We're always here to help.

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