and wanted to share it with you.
Tying the Financial Knot
Wedding season is right around the corner, and if your summer plans include exchanging vows with the love of your life - or celebrating with a child or grandchild who's getting married - it probably comes with a hefty price tag. The average cost of a wedding in 2014 was $31,213, an all-time high recorded by The Knot's annual Real Weddings Study. And that's not including the honeymoon!
But there is much more to consider beyond just the costs of the ceremony, reception and honeymoon. Once the wedding to-do list wraps up, couples need to turn to getting their house - especially their financial house - in order. Even if you said "I do" years ago, the following checklist can help couples work through the financial red tape of a marriage to ensure their lives together are in financial unison.
- Check the withholding on your paychecks. You may need to adjust one or both.
- Consider the impact of your combined income on contribution limits for your IRAs.
- Change the beneficiary on your IRA, 401(k), bank accounts and insurance policies. Putting your spouse's name on the forms helps ensure assets transfer directly rather than going through probate.
- Make a will. No, it's not romantic, but it's necessary.
- Evaluate life and disability insurance amounts, particularly if you own or will be purchasing a home, so mortgage payments can be made if one of you dies or can't work.
- Compare health care insurance to determine who has the most complete and cost-effective coverage.
- Consider changing auto insurance to a single underwriter, which may qualify you for a multi-car discount. You may get even greater discounts if the same company underwrites your life, disability, homeowners and/or renters insurance.
- Request and compare your credit scores. If one is significantly lower, that may impact how you title accounts and property.
- Keep one credit card in your name only for emergencies. Otherwise, if you or your spouse has additional accounts, consider closing accounts or combining balances to reduce fees.
If you or someone you know has recently become engaged or married, give a gift that's not on the department store registry - a financial consultation. Or even if you've been married for a long time now, we'd still love to help you or a loved one renew your financial plans together. Call our office to schedule an appointment.
Michael Primerano, CFP