Five Money Issues to Talk About Before the Wedding

If you are engaged to be married, or expect to be soon, it’s important to consider how this change in the relationship (and legal status) will affect your finances. Discussing the following topics well in advance may keep surprises and disagreements from disrupting your newlywed bliss.

Share debt stories. Many Americans bring college debt into their marriages, and some individuals have had severe credit challenges. Taking a close look at both credit reports may help resolve debt and credit issues before they spiral out of control.

Discuss banking and bill paying. Working together to prepare a preliminary household budget may help you start off on the right foot. If you decide not to pool all your income and assets, make sure you clearly define what belongs to each of you separately and what responsibilities you will share. Some married couples use a joint account for living expenses and separate accounts for personal spending.

Wedding season chart of top 3 months for weddings: October, September and June. Bride and groom surrounded by fall foliage.

Look closely at company health plans. You may need to coordinate two sets of workplace benefits, so keep in mind that many companies apply a surcharge to encourage a worker’s spouse to use other available coverage. Compare the costs and benefits of having both of you on the same plan versus keeping your individual coverage with each employer.

Anticipate joint income taxes. Most married couples pay more total tax when they file separately than when they file jointly. But there are rare occasions when filing separate returns could result in a lower combined tax liability or provide another benefit. For example, if you or your fiancé have federal student loans, filing separately might help you qualify for a lower monthly payment under an income-based repayment plan.

Combining your incomes could land you in a higher (or lower) tax bracket, so you may want to check and adjust your employer withholding to avoid owing money at tax time. If you expect a larger refund, you might reduce your withholding and put that money to better use (such as paying off debt or boosting savings).

Consider a prenuptial agreement. A prenup is a written contract that states how assets will be owned during the marriage and divided in the event of divorce. A prenup may be unnecessary if the engaged couple are both young and have comparable wealth levels. But if either partner owns (or expects to inherit) substantial assets — or has significant debts — crafting a premarital agreement may be worthwhile.

Prenups are commonly used to help protect the financial interests of children from a previous marriage or to account for other special circumstances. If a couple intends to pay off one partner’s student loans together early in the marriage, an agreement might credit the other spouse for that help in the event of a divorce. Similarly, if one partner expects to support a spouse through professional school (law or medical), an agreement may stipulate how he or she will share fairly in the professional’s future income.

 

24 YEARS AS A FIRM


One central tenet of Barons Financial is that financial stability truly adds to quality of life. Barons Financial founder, Brian Farkas, found this out at the young age of sixteen when his father passed away leaving the family on shaky ground. The solid financial ground and quality of life that Brian eventually found for his family is what Barons Financial strives to accomplish for you and all clients.

OVER 60 PLUS YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

The “plus” being what our clients bring to the table. Our clients’ experience factors greatly into our financial planning process. It is your money, your call. And it is our 60 years of experience that will help us guide on your journey to reach your financial goals. It is all about YOU.

OVER 190 MILLION IN ASSETS UNDER MANAGEMENT

Each dollar is a testament to the trust that our clients have in us, which we do not take lightly. We continually look to keep that trust by truly knowing our clients – their needs, goals, and risk tolerance.

Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck
Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck