According to Wedding Bells reader survey 67% of all Canadian weddings occur between June and September. If you’re planning a summer wedding, you have a lot to think about right now – going to parties, meeting new family and friends and sometimes combining existing households. With so much going on, it's easy to lose sight of your financial goals. Here are 6 financial strategies to help you stay on track as your plan your new life together.
Determine Short and Long Term Goals
Everyone has a different investment personality and approach. But no matter how much you want to be involved with making financial decisions, it's important you are both on the same page when it comes to your short- and long-term goals. Work with your financial advisor to identify your retirement goals, and establish investment strategies to help you achieve them together. Figure out how much you need to save and invest each month and set up a monthly budget and emergency savings plan to help you stay on track. When you start out, you may have short-term goals, such as saving enough for a down payment on a house. As you move through the years, your goals will become longer-term in nature. For example, if you have children, you might set a goal of paying for their post-secondary education. Your first step toward achieving your goals is identifying them.
Commit to Regular Investing
When you begin your careers, you and your spouse may not have a lot of disposable income, but you still need to commit yourselves to putting aside some money each month – even if it’s only a small amount – for investment purposes. Time is money. This isn't just a saying. The sooner you start saving and investing, the greater the benefit can be, because your savings have the potential to earn interest and grow over the long term.
Reconcile Your Investment Styles
You and your future spouse may have different orientations toward investing. By nature, you might be an aggressive investor, while your future spouse could be more conservative, or vice versa. This divergence does not have to be a problem, but you should communicate your preferences clearly to each other when choosing investments together. If you and your future spouse each compromise a bit, you can come up with a joint portfolio that works for both of you.
You probably know many married couples in which one spouse handles all the finances and investments. This isn’t necessarily a good model to follow. You and your future spouse will benefit if you both are familiar with your investment situation and capable of making decisions. Nobody knows what the future will hold, and if one spouse suddenly finds himself or herself in charge of the family finances, with no preparation, it can lead to troubles.
Get Covered for Life's 'What Ifs'
Work with a lawyer to determine which of the following documents are appropriate: will, living will, power of attorney, health care power of attorney or trust. Update titles and re-register accounts and property to include rights of survivorship. Review life insurance policies and update beneficiaries and coverage to make sure you have an adequate amount. Discuss whether or not you want a prenuptial agreement, especially if either of you are bringing substantial assets or debts to the marriage or expecting a large inheritance.
Review, Adjust When Necessary, Repeat
Meet with your financial advisor annually, or more often, to review your strategy to make sure you're still on track to meet goals, and readjust if necessary. This includes reviewing beneficiaries of your RRSPs, life insurance, annuities and other accounts. If you have younger children, discuss and update plans for their education.
By following these suggestions, you can make long-term investing a rewarding part of your marriage. And the sooner you get started, the greater those potential rewards can be.
At Edward Jones, we can help you achieve your financial goals. Contact your local Edward Jones advisor about a financial strategy that makes sense for you.
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