If you're planning on getting married, before you even think about saying "I do," you better start thinking about due diligence. When two companies announce a corporate merger, the event is often likened to a marriage between two people. And just as two merging companies conduct fiduciary due diligence in preparation of the union, so too must couples as they prepare a lifetime together. OK, so maybe you won't find that kind of marital advice in a Lord Byron love poem, but if you don't think being financially responsible is one of the most important aspects of a happy marriage, think again. According to The Heart/Credit Connection, a 2006 study conducted by Opinion Research and Fair Isaac ( FIC), a lack of financial responsibility is a greater cause of martial stress than infidelity. So to make sure your love union doesn't become the next AOL-Time Warner or Quaker Oats-Snapple, here are five financial planning tips for newlyweds:
1. Discuss Financial Goals and Attitudes
While most engaged couples focus their attention on things like the wedding, the honeymoon and thank-you notes, it's far more important to discuss finances. "In a relationship, you have to talk about money and about what it means to you," says Morris Armstrong, a certified financial planner and owner of Danbury, Conn.-based Armstrong Financial Services. "It's not the most romantic thing in the world, but you should know what you're getting into."