Planning a wedding is a time-consuming yet amazing adventure. Some spend the better part of a year (or more!) budgeting, planning and preparing for their big day and the honeymoon. As the wedding day inches closer on the calendar, couples are inundated with tasks concerning the guest list, vendor payments, floral arrangements, and even a Plan B in the event of uncooperative weather. But once the dust settles after the whirlwind, newlyweds sometimes find settling into the everyday routine of married life overwhelming. Once the wedding is over, it is time to embark on new tasks, including making big decisions on financial matters. To help prepare for life after the wedding and anticipate important post-wedding to-dos, consider the following.
If married couples weren’t living together before their wedding, address changes should be made on all government-issued identification and financial accounts. If spouses choose to change their names or hyphenate their surnames, this name change will need to be updated as well. For example, social security cards and drivers licenses should display a person’s legal name—including any changes after marriage. Beyond the formalities, couples who are adopting a partner’s name should also alert the human resources department at their place of employment and update e-mail and social media accounts, if necessary, to reflect this name change.
Marriage is a union of two people committed to spending their lives together. As unromantic as it sounds, marriage also involves the merging of two people’s finances. Post-wedding life means that a couple will need to determine who is responsible for which bills, debts, and household expenses. For example, student loans and existing mortgages should be factored in when evaluating debts and income. Deciding who is responsible for how much of the financial obligations is a big task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Couples should discuss the breakdown of monthly, quarterly, and yearly budgets along with developing a solid savings plan for unexpected expenses and big purchases in the future. Couples should also consider whether to file a joint tax return and hold joint bank accounts.
Another very important topic to discuss and tackle after marriage is whether one spouse will cover the other on a health insurance plan. Some couples choose to share a health insurance plan while others, if both are insured, choose to maintain coverage separately. Since marriage is a life-changing event, many couples use this opportunity to shop health coverage plans and compare their existing coverage with new plans. Before making their decision, both parties should take into account preexisting health conditions, family medical history, existing relationships with physicians and whether those physicians are in the new plan’s network.
Life is unpredictable but preparedness can help ease the financial and emotional burden of traumatic, life-changing events. Although discussing end-of-life matters is a difficult topic, it is still incredibly important for achieving peace of mind for married couples. Couples should evaluate individual life insurance policies and determine who should be the beneficiary on each policy. Married couples should consider more than just having a policy, though. Not all life insurance policies are created equal, and couples should discuss how much coverage is needed to cover final expenses and ensure financial security in the event of a traumatic life event. If a couple has children or plans to add members to their family in the future, they may want to increase each policy’s payout as well.
If life insurance policies are needed or if coverage or beneficiary information changes are needed, meet with a Trusted Choice® agent. Our independent agents have access to a range of plans from many different carriers so that couples can easily compare their options. Agents can answer questions and help newlyweds make life decisions that meet their unique needs.
After the honeymoon is over, couples begin the new adventure of building a life together, and with this comes the opportunity to consider their joint financial future. While this is certainly not an exhaustive list of post-wedding tasks, it is a good place to start.