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Fund Library Q&A
Your questions about financial planning, investments, and portfolio management answered by an industry expert

By Robyn K. Thompson  | Friday, July 21, 2017

Q – My fiancé and I are getting married later this summer. With all the wedding planning taking up our time, we haven’t really been able to discuss our financial situation in any great detail. Do you have any financial planning advice for newlywed couples? – Brenda T., Toronto, Ontario

A – 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.

1. Goals

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.

2. Assets

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 knot.

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 discuss how.

4. Insurance

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 premiums.

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

© 2017 by the Fund Library. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part by any means without prior written permission is prohibited.

The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion of the writer. Securities mentioned are illustrative only and carry risk of loss. No guarantee of investment performance is made or implied. It is not 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.

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