Couples Must Say 'I Do' to Financial Marriage First
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Marriage joins people in more ways than one, but nobody should tie any matrimonial knots until they have worked out the financial side of their marriage arrangement. Like it or not, there is a "business" side to any marriage commitment, and in the interest of a long-lasting life together those issues should be front and center before a wedding.
After all, the last thing any spouse wants after the rings are on fingers is a financial surprise that adds debt and anxiety to a new marriage.
To nip any such problems in the bud, the California Society of CPAs offers a list of tips and strategies newlyweds need to work out before the wedding:
Talk it out. The CSCPA strongly advises mapping out your money life together. You can that process by establishing some short-term goals, especially in paying off any debt coming into the marriage, then segue into long-term goals such as starting a family, starting a college savings program and buying a home. Agree beforehand how these expenses will be met and how much each spouse will be contributing.
- Wages and salary
- Bonuses and commissions, interest, dividends and rental income
- Unemployment insurance
- Income from investments and retirement accounts
- Any inheritance money on the table
- Mortgage or rent
- Insurance premiums
- Child care and utilities
- So-called "intermittent expenses" including food, clothing, dental bills, gifts and car repairs
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