In continuing our series on what a fee-only financial planner does for you, we are going to look at married couples. Getting married is one of the biggest transitions you may experience in your life, and we work with both of you to plan for your future as a married couple!
A financial plan for a married couple considers both of your needs and wants, and we love when both of you take part in the planning process. One of the first things we discuss is how to combine your assets, liabilities, and expenses and plan how to budget together. We then learn about your individual and combined goals and help prioritize these financial opportunities.
During the financial planning process, we provide you with a financial plan that maximizes the potential for meeting your goals. Often with married couples, buying a new house is one of their main goals. We look at various scenarios with different costs and financing to find the best option that meets your needs.
Protecting your spouse in case of death or disability is an important consideration to ensure both of you are financially secure. Life insurance is to replace your income for your dependents if you pass away. Typically for those who are just starting a family, a term life insurance policy provides the maximum benefit for the least amount of cost. Whether you want to have life insurance coverage until your child reaches the age of 18 or until your mortgage is paid off, term insurance can meet those needs. Disability insurance provides an income to you in case you can’t work due to a disability. Now that you have a spouse leaning on you for financial support, being prepared for an unexpected disability is very important.
In your financial plan, we also include a personal investment analysis. We have both of you complete risk tolerance questionnaires to give us insight into how both of you individually operate when it comes to risk. We then give you an appropriate allocation that we think is in your best interests considering your risk tolerances and risk capacity.
One of the most important items to get done once you are married are various estate documents that an attorney would be able to draft for you. These include a Durable Power of Attorney for Finances, a Medical Power of Attorney, and a will. While yes, you are technically husband and wife, that title doesn’t hold much weight when it comes to being able to make decisions for one another if either of you becomes incapacitated. In order to be able to make decisions for a spouse who is incapacitated, you would need to become their Durable Power of Attorney for Finances in order to make their financial decisions and their Medical Power of Attorney in order to make medical decisions on their behalf. Another estate document to get drafted is a will, which lists your wishes in the event either of you pass away.
If you have any questions on what we can provide to you during the financial planning process, please reach out to us! This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized advice, and we suggest you discuss your specific situation with a qualified financial advisor.