MADISON (WKOW) --
Wedding season is here! Many couples about to walk down the aisle and those who've just done so all face similar questions when the wedding is over. How can we handle our finances together and what steps should we make for our financial future?
On Wednesday, financial advisor Brent Lindell joined the Wake Up Wisconsin crew to talk about financial planning for newly married couples. While every couple is unique, there are some basic steps that most people can take to ensure a healthy and happy financial future together and avoid some of the stress.
Some ideas to think about include:
1) Debt Reduction
Set goals to reduce high interest debt, like credit cards
Explore setting up a joint checking and savings account.
Put some of your wedding cash towards paying down debt may put a good size dent in those post-wedding
2) Establish Your Emergency Fund
Use some of that wedding moolah to kick-start your emergency fund
Emergency funds should have six months of household income
Your emergency fund should be safe and liquid, so keep it in a high interest savings account, separate from more risky retirement investments
3) Save for Retirement
Consider an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Roth RA
Consider starting with "target retirement funds" which automatically adjust your allocation to equities as you get closer to your target retirement date
Set-up your IRA to systematically pull cash out of your checking account every month
4) Protect Yourself with Life Insurance
If something should happen to your spouse, it is important your family has liquidity to pay off debts, the mortgage, final expenses, medical bills, college for your future or current children, and more. To determine how much life insurance you may need, start by finding one of the many online calculators
Find a trusted professional that provides life insurance products to find out what will work best for you and your family
5) Draft a Will
Invest in a blueprint for the distribution of your assets if something should happen to you
Find an attorney that specializes in drafting wills and legal documents
Get ahead of the game and put a will in place
Don't forget to invest a little of that wedding money in something that you and your spouse will enjoy!
Create a list of things that you need around the house - slowly purchase one item at a time to keep your new home fresh and fun
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