posted on December 21st 2015 in Fort Worth CFP Team Posts & Your Financial Advisor with 0 Comments /

Once the wedding is over and you’re back from your honeymoon, reality settles in; your life is going to be different. Here are the crucial things you must take care of immediately to get your new marriage in order from a financial perspective, and a few extras if you’re not satisfied with the minimum.

The Must Haves

No one knows what the future will bring, but there are ways to be better prepared for whatever transpires:

  • Durable power of attorney. Having the authority to act on behalf of your spouse should an unfortunate event occur is not automatic with marriage.
  • Living will. Make sure you and your spouse understand each other’s wishes in certain health-related situations.
  • Health care surrogate. In case you or your spouse are unable to make decisions that aren’t covered in the living will, this facilitates the decision-making process.
  • Update beneficiaries. This includes investments and life insurance as well as 401k plans and life insurance through work.
  • Emergency fund. Set up automatic transfers into this account every Friday or every other Friday. Smaller and more frequent is better than larger and less frequent. Aim for 3-6 months of living expenses.

If Applicable

Here are a few things you should consider if your situation makes them relevant:

  • Will and revocable living trust. These are applicable if the two of you have investments or properties; it avoids lengthy and expensive probate and instead gets the assets directly to beneficiaries.
  • Account titling. This is applicable especially if credit is an issue. Tenants by the Entirety accounts shield the assets of one spouse from the creditors of the other. (Unfortunately, they’re only available in about half the states.)
  • Guardian for minors. This is usually only an issue if one of you has a child from a prior marriage whose other parent is not in the child’s life. Trustees can also manage the finances of the child until he or she comes of age.

Be Careful

Combining all accounts isn’t always wise, especially if one of you has lots of debt and the other has lots of assets. Professional advice is often warranted to ensure assets are protected from creditors.

For High Performers

Set up a separate savings account for any big purchase you’re working toward and auto-save into it frequently, just like your emergency fund.

The Bottom Line

The best thing you can do as your marriage begins is to talk to a qualified financial planner who has experience working with your demographic. This professional can help you define your goals and devise strategies to get there.

Having someone help with your investments is great, but if you’re just starting out, the biggest value a financial planner adds is making sure you don’t procrastinate and miss anything because your interest in your finances is often cyclical. You want someone who will grow with you, so make sure the planner a good fit.

One of the most important things to talk about with a prospective financial planner is communication. For example, if you use your smartphone for everything and hate mounds of paper, make sure your planner already works with clients just like you and tailors his or her communication to fit your needs.

about the author: Joshua I. Wilson CMT

Josh-Wilson CMTJoshua I. Wilson, CMT®, AIF® is a partner and wealth manager who has managed over $2B for TD Ameritrade. Joshua led the national training and development program for all of TDA’s new advisors and managers, won a national coaching award. Joshua gave his graduation speech at Brown University. Joshua is a Chartered Market Technician® (CMT®) and a Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®).

Learn more and/or Contact Joshua

Continue Reading

Other articles filed under Fort Worth CFP Team Posts

Joshua to Speak at New Beginnings Church

August 1, 2017 - Joshua Wilson, Chief Investment Officer at WorthPointe, will speak at New Beginnings Church’s Wednesday Night Service on August 2nd. Joshua will blend practical advice and biblical principles with his own inspiring story of hope and determination. The talk will be...
Continue Reading

5 Ways Rising Interest Rates Matter to You

July 18, 2017 - Higher interest rates typically strengthen the U.S. dollar versus other currencies. That tends to make commodities that are dollar-denominated (e.g., crude oil and most global commodities) more expensive to foreign purchasers. “Dollar-denominated” means these commodities are priced in U.S. dollars...
Continue Reading

VIDEO: Should I Buy a House?

July 15, 2017 - [embed][/embed] Is it time to buy a house? This is a very common question that clients  ask their professional financial advisor. Dallas financial planner and Chief Investment Officer, Joshua Wilson, CMT®, AIF®, discusses how to assess whether it’s the right...
Continue Reading

Joshua Wilson is a Featured Speaker at Global Private Wealth Forum

June 12, 2017 - WorthPointe Chief Investment Officer Joshua I. Wilson, CMT®, AIF® has been named a featured speaker at the Global Private Wealth Dallas Forum. Global Private Wealth Dallas Forum 2017 is a gathering for Ultra High Net Worth Investors and Family Offices...
Continue Reading

What’s the Deal with Trump’s Tax Plan?

May 17, 2017 - The questions about Trump’s tax plan are already coming in. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know. It’s not actually a plan at all — more like a very big picture wish list. It’s a couple of...
Continue Reading

Return to Blog Home