What changes should I make to my financial plan now that I'm married?

February 1, 2013

Advisor answers

James Dowd

James Dowd

CPA, CFA

Any major life change --- changing jobs, moving, getting married, having a child --- is a good reason to update your financial plan, or to create a plan if you do not have one. A number of factors that affect your plan are likely to change after marriage, such as your household expenses, savings rate, tax bracket, and cash flow, not to mention your investment goals. You may experience the so-called “marriage penalty,” a term used to describe U.S. income tax rules that adversely affect married couples compared to individua...

There are a few major changes in your plan to consider when merging your finances after marriage.

1) Assets: Your partner’s assets need to be a part of the plan. If they do not have assets then yours are going to be split leading to a longer career and possibly more risk taken in your portfolio.

2) Cash Flow: Are you able to save more or less overall after the marriage? This depends on both lifestyle and savings. WIll you be spending less or more? If your partner can contribute to retirem...

Jeff Vistica

Jeff Vistica

CFP®, AIF®

Congratulations on your marriage! I’ll offer some thoughts being both an advisor and ‘newlywed’ myself.

You’re right in taking a pro-active approach to find out what you may want to consider changing. Finances are certainly not a topic to brush under the rug at any time and especially in a new marriage. Many aspects should be addressed in your financial planning, here are 5 items to start with:

  • Budgeting – as tedious as it sometimes can seem, spending a few minutes now to create a budget and reviewing it periodically ...
  • John Rossitto

    John Rossitto

    CFP®, CDFA, CCPS, ChFC

    If you have a financial plan before you were married, congratulations!! You are more prepared than many singles. Tying this incredible knot brings two life plans together in different ways, some wonderful and personal, others financial and perhaps technical.

    The wonderful and personal parts are more fun to talk about. So let’s do that for a minute (or two!).

    I would have you consider taking time with your spouse to first WRITE down the life values that are most important. For some, this will be time of reviewing some of th...

    First congratulations! The previous answers have suggested some valuable changes. One thing that doesn't change is that your financial future is still impacted by how much you make, how much you earn and how well your investments do. You have the most control over your expenses and in most marriages the major causes of stress are money, sex and children. One way to get onto the same page and start off with shared goals is to agree on a plan to handle money and money issues.

    First b...

    John Buerger

    John Buerger

    MSFS, CFP®

    First off, I'll echo the other planners here - congrats on (a) already having a plan and (b) getting married.

    There are so many aspects of your personal financial life that change when you get married, I'd have to think that every aspect of your plan should at least be reviewed (for compatibility with your spouse's goals and values if nothing else).

    Other aspects of your life are likely to change, too, including kids, education, housing, life insurance, health, asset protection ... and ... the big one ... how you BOTH approach financial...