When you have a major life event such as getting married, having a child, or buying a home, your financial situation and priorities may change. As your life changes, your financial decisions must stay in line with your goals, values, and needs. When these situations come up, it’s always a good idea to conduct a financial review. Evaluate your current situation, habits, and any additional needs to account for so you can be prepared.
Marriage. Splitting costs will likely save money in the long run for shared expenses. Still, you may have to adjust your budget to account for new expenses that come along with getting hitched. Moreover, agreement on financial priorities is essential for household harmony.
New baby. Time to adjust the budget for new expenses (additional health insurance, child care, etc.) and potentially lower income (either temporary or long-term) if you or your spouse will take unpaid leave. It’s also not too early to start setting money aside for college!
Buying a home. Your new mortgage payment will likely be your largest expense, requiring a top-to-bottom budget review.
For all three major events listed above, you’ll want to evaluate any additional financial or legal needs. Be sure to review the following:
Insurance. Between you and your new spouse, who has better health insurance? Can one of you be added to the other’s policy? Once you become a parent, you’ll probably want life insurance to protect your family if something happens to you. Need homeowner’s insurance? Be sure to get multiple quotes and compare.
Beneficiaries. Review all your financial accounts (checking, savings, retirement, investment) and insurance policies to ensure beneficiary information is up to date and accurate.
Wills and trusts. These legal documents become essential once you have a family or own an asset like a home. Wills and trusts are legally binding documents that clearly state your wishes regarding your assets’ distribution.
As our lives change, we need to have the discipline to stay on the path we’ve set, as well as the flexibility to deviate when circumstances demand. Let’s control what we can and then prepare for whatever else life throws our way. If you have a major life event on the horizon, contact our office to schedule some time for a review! We’re here to help!