My mother got married the week after she graduated from high school. World War II had started and it must have been an odd time.
My dad had joined the Navy and youthful marriages were quite common. These days couples are waiting longer to marry.
Would the financial advice be different for today’s newlyweds than those of yesteryear?
Some factors have changed and some remain the same.
The older newlyweds of today may have finished their college education, but they may be strapped with college loans.
It is not uncommon to see this debt run into six-figures. Debt may change the planning for newlyweds. Payback can be stressful.
Some older newlyweds have been working for a while and they may bring substantial assets to the marriage alter.
Ownership of real estate, retirement accounts and other assets may be part of the balance sheet for the not-so-young newlyweds.
One member of this blissful couple may bring substantial assets to the marriage, in the form of company stock or 401(k) accounts while the other may bring large amounts of debt.
It is better to get these facts out on the table sooner than later. Creating a debt repayment strategy could be a marriage saver.
Similar variances may exist on the income picture. One spouse may have substantial income while the other may not.
Better to start out with the facts known rather than be surprised at income tax time.
Coming to an understanding of how to handle spending and budgeting is crucial.
Each newlywed will bring a personal pattern of spending with them. Getting on the same page now may prevent heartache later and marriage threatening frustration.
It does not matter if you are 25 or 55 when you marry, you need to be adequately insured.
Medical, disability or life insurance may be required from the start of the marriage. Determining how much coverage may require some professional help, but it is necessary. Waiting may be a costly mistake.
When should newlyweds start planning for retirement? The best answer is the sooner the better.
There are always demands on a family budget. Children are more than a little expensive. Nearly every newlywed couple’s budget is stretched.
Better start socking funds away for retirement from the beginning than waiting until everything else is completed. Discuss it early and often.
No one expects to die when their marriage has just started, but it happens. Set up a plan for it.
Hopefully death does not happen for decades, but it could. If children, assets and unique issues are involved, get your wishes documented. You just never know when you might need this plan.
This marriage stuff sounds serious. It is serious.
You may get lucky and never need this advice, but relying on luck is not a plan.