Congratulations on your recent engagement! The next few months will be exciting for you as you plan your future lives and the wedding.
However, you should not just focus on planning the details of your wedding in the next few months. Your whole lives will change, including your finances. The following four steps will help you manage the transition better.
Review Each Other’s Credit Reports
You should make it a priority to share your credit report with your partner once everything settles down post the engagement. This is not the most exciting thing, but sharing your credit reports will help you get acquainted to your partner’s financial past.
Discovering that your future partner owes a lot in credit card debt could give anyone cold feet. Even though we hope that there are no surprises, but if you do, at least you can deal with them early on in the engagement.
Plan Future Finances
Now that you know about your partner’s credit, you should begin planning your finances. Will you have joint bank accounts or separate bank accounts? Who will pay the monthly expenses? Setting the ground rules for this will help you prevent any future disagreements.
Update Important Documents and Accounts
You should also use this time to list out the documents and accounts you want to update once you are married.
Updating the beneficiary details in your accounts is important for your loved one to receive the benefits or have access to the accounts in case of any unfortunate event. If you forget to change your beneficiary, your spouse may not have access to those benefits.
Next, update other important documents like your will, living will, power of attorney and insurances to incorporate your spouse’s name.
Lastly, add your spouse to certain accounts you would like them to have access to in case of an emergency. These could include bank accounts, investment accounts or even utility accounts.
Consider Changing Benefits
You can update your benefits at work whenever a qualifying life event occurs. Marriage counts as one of these events. In general, you will have 30 days to update your benefit elections, which include health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance and life insurance just to name a few.
You should use this strategically to evaluate and optimize your insurance options. For example, if your future spouse has low-cost health insurance, you can discontinue your health insurance and join your spouse’s workplace insurance policy as a family member within the thirty-day window after you get married.
Getting these financial to-dos out of the way early in your relationship will make you feel more confident about your marriage.