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Getting married is a huge life and financial change. It will take some work and planning to move in with your spouse and get your new house in order. To make sure you’re both ready, be sure to review our pre-marriage financial checklist.
If you’re moving into a new home after your marriage, be sure to update the address and contact information on your bills and other accounts. For women, if you’re taking your husband’s last name, update your name information as well to avoid confusion.
When you move in with your spouse, how do you plan to handle the household bills? Do you want to put both your names on each account and pay for everything together or do you prefer to divide the bills with your spouse? For example, you pay the cable while they handle the electricity.
You and your spouse should order a copy of your credit reports. This will let you see if either of you is having credit problems that need to be repaired. It’s important to figure this out before you apply for a mortgage, credit card, or other loan together.
How do you and your spouse plan on sharing your income once you’re married? Sit down and make a list of all your household expenses and see how they match up against your income. Start to plan how you will pay for everything as a married couple.
Review both your health insurance policies. Once you’re married, you might be able to join your spouse’s plan so see if one is better than the other. Make sure you also have the right car and home insurance in place for any property you both own. It might also be a good time to look into life insurance, especially if you’re planning on buying a house together or having children in the future.
Filing taxes is a little different when you’re married. It might be a good idea to meet with an accountant before filing as a married couple for the first time.
Do you want to open up a joint bank account with your spouse? This would make it easier to share money. On the other hand, a joint account makes it harder to track how much you each spend.
When you died, would you want your spouse to inherit all your property? Now would be a good time to write a will explaining exactly how you’d want your assets to be divided. Be sure to update the beneficiary information on your retirement plans and insurance policies as well.
Have you and your spouse started saving money for retirement? Do either of you have a retirement plan at work like a 401(k) that you could invest in? See if you can start putting some money away each month for your shared retirement goals.
This article is for information and educational purposes only; does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life; and, is not intended to serve as financial advice but, instead, to supplement other information specific to your situation. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.