- Communicate early and often. When it comes to relationships, you’ve probably heard the advice that communication is key. This adage holds true when combining finances as well. Be transparent about your spending habits, goals and feelings about money from the start. Whether you decide to establish joint financial accounts or keep them separate, keeping your partner informed can help you both work better as a team.
- Choose your insurance coverage. Insurance policies can provide a layer of protection over your finances and may help you feel more confident about your ability to handle unexpected events. Make it a priority to review your individual life, disability, health, car and home insurance policies before deciding what coverage you would like as a couple. If either of you receive benefits through an employer, pay attention to the qualifying events and dates for when you can change your elections.
- Update the beneficiaries and will. Thinking about what happens if one of you passes away may not be romantic, but it is an important step to protecting your loved ones financially. Discuss with your partner how you’d like assets to be divided and consider formalizing your wishes in a will. Also, update beneficiaries on your financial accounts (e.g. checking, saving and retirement accounts) and assets if necessary. This is especially important if you were previously married and your former spouse is listed as a beneficiary. In the same vein, if you want your partner to share ownership in any vehicle or property you own update the titles accordingly.
- Set goals together. Now that you’re earning, spending and saving to support your life together, why not formalize the dreams you share for your future? Set aside time to discuss your short- and long-term goals, such as buying a house, pursuing higher education or retiring early. Communicating your top priorities can help you reach compromise and avoid possible financial disputes.
Thomas A. Callaway CRPC®, is a Financial Advisor with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Paris TX. He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 24 years. To contact him you can click here or call (903)785-7000, office located at 2219 Lamar Ave Paris TX 75460.
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