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Congratulations—you’re getting married! There’s so much to do when you’re planning a wedding, it’s hard to think about anything else. But there’s one thing you shouldn’t put off—the money talk.
To make it a little easier, Mountain America Credit Union has put together 16 must-ask questions to help you and your sweetheart develop a financial plan.
Let’s get started!
First, let’s get some basics.
1. How much do you make annually and what benefits do you get through your job? Include insurance, profit-sharing, bonuses and any other additions to your salary.
2. What are your current assets? These are things like property, stocks, life insurance policies, trust funds, collectibles, etc.
3. What’s your credit score? If you don’t know, head over to annualcreditreport.com to order your free report—you’re entitled to one per year.
4. Do you currently have health or life insurance? Discuss combining policies and updating beneficiaries.
5. How would you categorize yourself financially? Saver? Spender? Risk-taker? Security seeker?
6. Do you typically pay with cash or credit?
7. Do you work with a proper budget? Some people don’t bother with a budget as a single person. But, once you become a couple, it can be helpful to have your money strategy spelled out in a spreadsheet.
What about your debt?
8. How much debt do you have and what, specifically, does it consist of? Probably the most important financial question to ask a future spouse. Although it may be difficult, be completely honest.
9. Have you ever declared bankruptcy?
Managing your money together:
10. Who will be in charge of paying the bills and handling your investments? It’s nice when you can have one person handle the bills and the other handle the investments. Of course, there are plenty of ways to divide the responsibilities. Talk about it and find something that works for you.
11. Will you have separate or joint bank accounts? This is a big one. It’s not a given that you and your partner have to get joint bank accounts. Some people like to have their own separate accounts and then open a joint household account. b
Now, let’s take a look at your financial future:
12. Where do you see yourself financially in 5, 10 or 25 years? Setting long-term goals as a couple brings you closer and sets you on the same path—which means you’re more likely to achieve those goals.
13. Do you want children in the future? If so, how many?
14. Do you currently have a retirement plan? If so, how much do you save each month and what is the current balance? If you’re not contributing to your retirement, it’s time to talk about starting that process—no matter how young you are!
15. Do you have an emergency fund? $1000 is a great short-term goal but, eventually, you want to shoot for having 3 months of your total expenses saved.
16. Do you have a will? In addition to ensuring your possessions get to the right people, you can also communicate specific burial wishes or religious ceremonies.
Finding the perfect partner is amazing. But finding a partner you can discuss money with is even better! Mountain America Credit Union has experts to help you through these major life changes. We can explain all your financial options and even see if there are ways to save you money. Contact us today.
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