If you’re planning to tie the knot later in life, finances should be one of the main items on your checklist. Getting married can come with a lot of benefits and finding love later in life is a beautiful gift.
Financially, it comes with some perks but if you don’t give your finances the consideration it deserves, getting married could also lead to financial stress. Why? Because it involves important decisions concerning finances, children, assets, housing, and retirement. Which is why talking money in relationships is crucial.
We've broken down eight topics to take up with your intended spouse. After all, money matters don't make for a romantic exchange at dinner - better saved for an honest conversation now than surprise expenses after saying "I do"!
1. You may have more debt
If you're getting married later in life, there's a good chance that you have more debt than someone who is getting married for the first time. This is because you may have student loans, credit card debt, and other debts that you've accrued over the years. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's important to be aware of your financial situation before getting married so that you can make informed decisions about your future.
2. You may have different financial goals
Another thing to consider before getting married later in life is that you may have different financial goals than someone who is getting married for the first time. For example, if you're looking to retire soon, you'll need to make sure that your spouse is on board with this plan. Alternatively, if you're hoping to start a family later in life, you'll need to make sure that your spouse is financially stable and able to support a family.
3. You may need to adjust you will
If you have a will, it's important to update it before getting married later in life. This is because your will likely names your parents or other relatives as beneficiaries, and you'll want to change this if you're getting married. Additionally, if you have any specific instructions in your will (such as who should get your pet), you'll need to make sure that your spouse is aware of these instructions. There’s nothing worse than leaving someone in the dark unknowing of where to allocate your life’s possessions!
Give yourself the financial certainty you deserve. Get talking with your partner.
4. You may need to change your insurance policies
Before getting married later in life, you'll also need to take a look at your insurance policies and see if there are any changes that need to be made. For example, if you have health insurance through your employer, you may need to add your spouse to the policy. Additionally, if you have life insurance, you'll need to name your spouse as the beneficiary.
5. You may need to create or update your estate plan
If you don't already have an estate plan, it's important to create one before getting married later in life. An estate plan includes things like a will, trusts, powers of attorney, and advance directives. This is important because it ensures that your wishes are carried out after your death and can help to avoid conflict among your loved ones.
6. You may need to combine your retirement plans
It's also important to think about your retirement plans before getting married. Why? Well if one spouse has a specific retirement plan or another type of retirement account, they may want to keep it separate from their joint accounts so that their spouse doesn't have access to it in the event of a divorce. Also, if one spouse is closer to retirement than the other, they may want to consider how their retirement plans will affect their financial security in the future. And who knows? You might even want to consider investing together to grow your wealth! That's another option worth considering if you want to give yourself the financial freedom you deserve. Because the truth is, it's never too later to start.
7. You may need to review your career plans
Before you get married, it's important to think about your career plans and how they might impact your finances. For example, if one spouse wants to stay home with their children, they may need to rely on the other spouse's income to support the family financially. Additionally, if one spouse plans on going back to school or taking time off from work for any reason, it could impact the family's financial stability. So sit down and work out what your career goals and plans are!
8. Have a look at your credit scores
Before you get married, it's a good idea to check your credit score and your spouse's credit score. It sounds like a dull task, sure. But your credit score is a number that represents your creditworthiness, and it can affect your ability to get loans and credit cards with favourable terms. If one spouse has a poor credit score, it could make it difficult for the other spouse to get approved for loans or lines of credit.