- Financial planning
- 3 minute read
Getting married is the time in your life where you become officially partnered to your significant other as you embark on the next stage of life together. As you enter this exciting time, decisions will need to be made on how you plan to live as a couple. Your plans to manage your finances as a married couple should be discussed early on, as you will likely have a different history and outlook on money, that should be considered jointly.
Attitudes to finance can differ vastly among people. When it comes to long-term saving and investing, it’s good to understand your other half’s position on these key areas of financial planning. Simply having honest conversations about money is the place to start and can mitigate surprises further down the line.
Here are a few practical considerations for successful financial planning as a married couple.
1. Discuss your long-term financial goals
You may already feel like you know your partner’s goals for the future but it’s important to take the time to connect on the topic and potentially discuss your financial objectives with a professional adviser. Some of your aspirations may be different to your partners’, so now is the time to fuse the two and create a plan for any shared goals, such as buying a home or retiring. By calculating your finances and creating a shared budget, it will be easier to manage how you spend as a couple which plays a key part in your wider financial planning. The next step would be to work towards saving for a shared goal, whilst continuing to save separately.
2. Open shared accounts
If you prefer to take a more autonomous approach and retain your bank accounts and investments separately, it may be worthwhile to still open a joint bank account for household expenses. This will simplify how you pay for things as a couple and you could decide to split expenses, based upon income level. Taking it a step further, a joint savings account and/or having shared investments will help you work towards your long-term goals together.
3. Risk protection
Another aspect that newly married couples should consider is planning for the unexpected. As you are now partners, you should think about setting up insurance policies that can help protect you in the case of something unexpected happening. Protection policies can assist if you get sick and cannot work, yet require your income to be maintained, for example. Protecting your family from a range of risks should be discussed openly, so as to ensure you take out the right policies for both of you.
4. Financial planning for retirement
How people choose to retire has changed and with so many choices at your disposal, discussing how you would like to retire, is a good idea. Even if retirement is a while off, as a couple it will be helpful to talk through what your plans are and where you see yourself in retirement so that you are aligned. Pension freedoms have increased the number of ways people can take pension benefits, bringing about more options to choose from. Therefore, decisions about retirement should be made carefully, and in tandem with one another so you can ensure you make the right choices and consider any risks. Seeking out a professional financial adviser who can provide you with tailored financial planning will help greatly as they can look at your pension and its current performance, tax rules and provide advice on the best way to plan for retirement.
5. Estate planning and inheritance tax planning
Looking ahead at how you wish to leave your estate behind, when you pass away is not always an easy topic. However it’s wise to address it when you get married so that your other half is clear on how you would like to leave behind your assets. Some people name their children as beneficiaries and other couples prefer to name each other. Once you have spoken openly about estate planning, you may decide to get professional advice from a specialist you can help you with wealth legacy planning. IHT (inheritance tax) planning is a complex part of holistic financial planning that can be used to help optimise your tax position. Joint discussions and early planning will enable you to make the most of your estate.
Money can be a difficult but important topic to discuss for many people. When you are getting married, you’re creating a partnership in life so you should feel comfortable being open about your approach to financial planning. Whilst you will inevitably both have your own financial philosophies, by using open communication, you should find common ground. Financial planning is a lifelong topic that makes a difference to how you live. Talking about your financial objectives frequently ultimately means you can ensure you’re working towards common goals – together.
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