Client Conversations: 7 Planning Tips for Newlyweds

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Wedding season has officially started, and experts predict that 2022 will be one of the busiest years the industry has ever seen.

If estimates provided by the New York Times are accurate, there will be at least 2.5 million weddings this year—the most since 1984, with many people having pushed out their nuptials due to the COVID pandemic. If your clients or their children are among couples getting married this year, it’s time to remind them to take the time to nail down particular aspects of their estate planning after saying “I do.”

At TIFIN Wealth, we aim to help deliver better financial outcomes and help advisors do the same. Build trust and deepen your client relationships by sharing the following critical financial considerations for newlyweds.

And don’t forget – our AI-driven technology can help you shepherd your clients through critical planning conversations. Book a short demo to learn how.

1. Have an Open Conversation
The first step to any long-term financial strategy starts before any official planning takes place. It is essential for newlyweds to take an unbiased look at where their accounts currently stand, what they prioritize in life, and where they want to be in five or 10 years’ time. One tip shared by CNBC is to consider, individually and jointly, what three to five values—such as community, growth and security– will support the ideal vision for your life. Using these values as a jumping-off point, write down your short-, intermediate- and long-term goals and set a timetable for when you’d like to accomplish them.

2. Review Health Insurance Policies
Getting married is one of the few exceptions that allow you to make changes to your health insurance in the middle of the year, no matter whether you have coverage through work, on your own, or from Healthcare.gov or a state exchange.

Be sure to compare the cost of adding your spouse to your policy, adding yourself to your spouse’s policy, or keeping separate policies. For example, although one employer may offer better coverage than the other, they may charge more for dependents.

Kiplinger also recommends comparing coverage for both your and your spouse’s doctors as well as out-of-pocket costs for your prescription drugs and other expenses. Additionally, if you qualified for a subsidy to help with the costs, let the marketplace where you bought coverage know you are now married—you may be able to get a higher subsidy now that your household size has changed.

Keep in mind that if you have already paid a significant amount toward your deductible, switching midyear may not make the most sense.

3. Review Homeowners or Renters Insurance
Although your health insurance is a key consideration as newlyweds, it is not the only form of coverage you’ll need to update. If you plan to move after getting married, let your insurer know your new address. Depending on the risk, your rate may change. If you do notice a significant increase, now may be the perfect time to shop around for different coverage. For example, by consolidating your auto and home insurance with one company, you may receive a 10% to 15% discount. After you have combined your households and factor in any big-ticket wedding gifts, you may also need to adjust your possessions coverage.

4. Update Your Beneficiaries
After reviewing your joint coverage and updating your beneficiary designation for your life insurance policy, be sure to do the same for the following accounts:
● Military benefits
● Existing checking and/or savings accounts
● Retirement accounts, including your 401(k), IRA or Roth IRA
● Any investments, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds
● Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) or SARSEP plans
● Any property, titles or assets that might currently name someone else as the beneficiary

This is an essential step even if you plan to create a will that names your spouse as the sole beneficiary. If you named your parents or other relatives when you first signed up for your employer-sponsored 401(k), by default, they would receive the money in your account unless you change the beneficiary designation.

5. Establish a Will
It is important to create a will together or update any existing documentation to reflect your recent marriage. During this process, you both will need to decide who should be nominated as a personal representative or executor and how the assets should be distributed. If you have children or plan to in the future, you will also want to make arrangements for their care, such as naming guardians and establishing trusts to delay inheritance until the age of maturity.

Working with an advisor to draft your will can help you to ensure all of the necessary documents are accounted for, and then beneficiaries will receive your estate without facing unnecessary costs or delays.

6. Approach Your Finances as a Team
Remember: as newlyweds, you are in this together. Whether it is paying off pre-existing debt or making plans for the future, going at it independently will only slow your progress. One helpful tip is to set aside a monthly money date. During these periodic 15-minute check-ins, catch up on what the other is doing. This could include transfers between accounts, large purchases or any other important financial decisions. Dedicate these monthly conversations to other important status updates on topics such as:
● Your monthly budget
● The state of your emergency fund
● Any upcoming investments
Taking the time to have these conversations can help you establish transparency around your finances and allow you both to feel more comfortable when it comes to talking about money in general.

7. Work with a Financial Advisor
As newlyweds, your finances are inherently more complex than before. With double the assets and debt as well as new tax implications, creating a strategy and setting long-term goals can easily become overwhelming. However, a financial advisor can help you to have those conversations, become more organized and determine the right path for the lifestyle you have in
mind.

 

References:

Gorce, Tammy La. “It's a Boom Year for Brides and Grooms.” The New York Times, The
New York Times, 4 Feb. 2022,
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/04/fashion/weddings/wedding-boom-year.html.
Lankford, Kimberly. “10 Financial Things Newlyweds Must Do.” Kiplinger, Kiplinger, 2 July
2015, https://www.kiplinger.com/article/saving/t065-c001-s003-financial-to-dos-for-
newlyweds.html.
Nason, Deborah. “These Financial Advisors Give Newlyweds the Ultimate Wedding Gift:
Financial Compatibility.” CNBC, CNBC, 29 Nov. 2021,
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/29/financial-advisors-can-give-newlyweds-financial-

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