When stepping into a second marriage, things have likely changed since you first got married – you may earn more income, have more assets, or carry more debt. Because of the complexities involved with blending two financial lives, as with a first marriage, we highly recommend having a conversation (or a few) about your finances before you potentially combine your assets to set yourself up for a smooth transition and life together. Here are a few things we recommend discussing before tying the knot.
• Get on the same page. This may look different to everyone, but generally you should know where your partner stands with their finances. This includes debt levels, income, credit scores, any financial obligations (alimony and child support), as well as the more intangible items such as comfort with risk levels, goals, and aspirations for the future. It is important to understand your partner’s financial values, history, and goals to see how they align with yours. If you have children from a prior marriage or relationship, do you share values in terms of financial contributions to your kids’ future? Is it your intention to leave assets to your children at your death? How do you feel about taking some risk with your investments? By creating a safe space for open and honest conversation about these items, you are setting your relationship up for success down the line.
• Decide how to structure your assets. With second marriages, it is not uncommon to see prenuptial agreements, couples who decide to keep their finances completely separate, as well as those who decide to combine it all. We recommend talking to an attorney to ensure account titling and structure, beneficiary designations, and estate documents including a prenuptial agreement align with your current wishes and future wealth transition goals.
• Review insurance coverage. Once you are married, you will be eligible to go on your spouse’s insurance. Consider reaching out to your insurance agent and/or financial advisor to review coverage options through your employers as well as any discounts you may be eligible for by combining policies. Additionally, coverage needs may have changed due to your marriage and any obligations that you may be assuming (e.g., buying a bigger house or becoming a step-parent).
We know this is an exciting time in life, and there can certainly be lots of work to plan for the wedding day. At JNBA, we work with you to address these financial questions and opportunities to ensure your marriage starts off on the right foot!
Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from JNBA Financial Advisors, LLC.
Please see important disclosures information at www.jnba.com/disclosure.