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Marriage and Money

His, mine and ours: Financial tips for second marriages

Any couple getting married has a lot of adjustments in their future, but couples with existing families have even more. From combining homes to updating estate plans, there is a lot to consider.

Marriage can be a tough transition. It's not easy to go from thinking like a “me” to “we.” And it can get more complicated the second time around - when you and your fiancé have established households, families and financial plans. To blend your households while still protecting your separate lives, there are a few points to keep in mind.

Merging homes

Figuring out where to live will be one of your first major decisions as a couple, and there's a lot to consider. Would you live in either of your current homes or do you need to move, maybe to something larger? If you both own houses, will you sell the extra property or would it be better to keep it as an investment? If you buy a new house, will you take out a mortgage together or only in one person's name?

You should also keep in mind that moving can impact where your children go to school. If you change districts, your school-aged kids would likely have to transfer.

Merging finances

Combining your finances can also be tricky since you both are used to managing things on your own. Do you want to combine your money or would you prefer some independence?
It's also important to clearly lay out both your budgets and see if you agree on spending. Having separate families also means you have more to consider. For example, if one spouse has adult children, how do you feel about giving them money out of your shared accounts? It's important to start thinking of these things ahead of time so they don't turn into bigger issues down the road.

Life insurance and estate planning

If you have young children going into the marriage, you should take another look at your plan for what would happen if you died. Who is currently set to be the guardian of your young children? While you are remarrying, you may still need to consider the role of your childrens' other parent. Do you want your new spouse to assume this role? If so, you need to update your will.

For your property, do you want your spouse to be the person who inherits everything with the plan they will take care of your children? Another option would be to set up a trust fund for your children. You can set up this type of account to receive all the money from your property and life insurance after you died. This account would give your spouse money each year to help raise the kids, and then your children would inherit whatever is left once they become adults.

Prenuptial agreements

It's not pleasant to think about your upcoming marriage possibly ending, but if you have children and assets to protect, you may need to prepare for that reality. A prenuptial agreement might be the way to protect everything. This agreement lays out what will happen to your assets after a divorce. This would limit how much would go to your ex-spouse and perhaps leave more for you and your children.



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