– Young couples getting ready to tie the knot this summer typically have a
lot to talk about – guest lists, invitations, venues, honeymoon, and all
the details that go into planning a wedding. Money often isn’t part of the
conversation. But it should be. After you’re married, you take up life as
an economic unit, and a number of important things will change. Here’s a
list of what couples should talk about before they exchange vows.
It’s important to talk about your longer-term goals. For example, whether
you intend to have children, basic childcare options, where you will live,
how spending and income patterns will be affected.
Once you have a broad idea of goals and planning, you’ll want to lay out
what each of you is bringing to the marriage. What does each of you own,
and perhaps more importantly, what does each of you owe? Are there assets
with specified individual ownership and beneficiaries, such as RRSPs or
trusts? Once you’re married, assets and liabilities are shared. Make sure
everything is on the table now to avoid surprises after you’ve tied the
3. Investing styles
You may both be active investors with aggressive styles. Often one partner
will be aggressive and the other more conservative. Work with a financial
planner to come up with a plan that encompasses all your combined assets
and satisfies both of your investing styles. Yes, it can be done, and I can
Newlyweds without life insurance should consider some form of term life
insurance, because it’s the most economical and provides a good level of
protection. Ten-year term life insurance is the most common, and may be
made even more economical for a couple with joint first-to-die policy.
Couples with existing insurance coverage will probably want to change the
beneficiary of their respective life insurance policies to each other.
Couples may also want to raise coverage. They should also look at existing
extended health insurance and disability to see if one or the other’s
policy offers spousal coverage. That could add up to big savings on
5. Consult a financial planner
A good financial planner will help couples identify and deal with these and
many other financial matters before marriage, so they don’t become
problematic afterwards. They’ll work closely with you to set up a plan and
build an investment portfolio to meet both your short-term and longer-term
financial goals. – Robyn
Robyn Thompson, CFP, CIM, FCSI, is the founder of
Castlemark Wealth Management, a boutique financial advisory firm specializing in wealth management
for high net worth individuals and families. Contact her directly by
phone at 416-828-7159, or by email at
for a confidential planning consultation.
Notes and Disclaimer
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The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion
of the writer. Securities mentioned are illustrative only and carry risk of
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intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without
limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice. Please
contact the author to discuss your particular circumstances.