Financial Planning for Married Couples

Frankly Speaking

“When stocks drop, that is not the problem, that is the solution.” – Benjamin Graham

“Bull markets bail you out of your mistakes. Bear markets make you pay for them.” – Anonymous

“Imagine you see a child playing with a yo-yo, riding up an escalator. Focus on the escalator, not the yo-yo.” – Mark Zinder

I’m told people are most concerned with 3 things now: The Virus, the Market & the November elections. If you said the virus, you’re human; if you said the market, you’re an investor; if you said the elections, you’re a voter. And while you could easily be all 3, which is MOST important to you?

We all want to stay alive & healthy. We all hope to accumulate enough wealth to enjoy a long life without running out of money. Yet, where will our allegiances fall come November? Vote the party line as in the past, or break ranks and move to the ‘dark side’ whichever that might be? Will we vote for something, or just against? Will there be a dark horse independent who overwhelms the rest, and will he/she really be ‘any better’?

If you, anyone in your family or someone you know is feeling down & confused by the Market and how the Virus is affecting things, PLEASE call me to discuss facts, rather than headlines, that may help put your mind at ease.

Financial Planning for Married Couples

Marriage is a partnership. You and your spouse are a team both personally
and financially. Even if you’ve been married for decades, you may need a refresher course on financial planning basics. Here are six financial moves to make.

Start talking — Some couples avoid having conversations about finances because they’re boring, while others skip the talk because of money anxiety or conflicts. But your financial lives are deeply intertwined. You and your spouse need to be able to talk honestly about your finances. Consider having a monthly check in, where you sit down together and go over important issues.

Get on the same page — You’re not going to agree on everything money-wise. But when it comes to major financial moves, you should be on roughly the same page. If you’re both working together toward the same goals,
you’re much more likely to get where you want to be.

Be willing to compromise — Ideally, you and your spouse will be of one mind when it comes to money matters, but in reality, you might not always agree. That’s where compromise comes in. For example, you may want to keep working until age 70 for maximum financial security, while your
spouse may be dreaming of quitting his/her job at 60. You might want to meet in the middle by planning for a retirement that starts at 65 for both of you.               

Put it in writing — Don’t let inertia lead you and your spouse into skipping key financial- and estate-planning tasks. Even if you want all your money and personal effects to go to your spouse, a will is still helpful in clarifying your wishes should you die unexpectedly. You may also want to set up a financial power of attorney to ensure your spouse can make financial decisions on your behalf if you’re incapacitated. Meanwhile, a living will and medical directive can make it clear to your spouse, other family, and loved ones what medical interventions you want (or don’t want) if you are  seriously ill.

Share information — If the worst happens, will your spouse have the  information he/she needs to keep the household running? Make sure each of you knows how to access the bank and investment accounts — even the accounts for the household utilities. You each should also know how to locate important documents, like insurance policies, financial records,  birth certificates, and the deed to your house.

Meet with an advisor together — It’s not unusual for one spouse to take on a bigger role in the dayto-day financial planning process either out of choice or necessity. Both of you should still be present at meetings with your  financial advisor. You’re a team, and your advisor will be better able to  provide appropriate advice if he/she can hear from both of you.

Please call 973-515-5184 or contact me
if you’d like to discuss your financial questions in more detail.

Copyright © 2020. Some articles in this newsletter were prepared by Integrated Concepts, a separate, non-affiliated business entity. This newsletter intends to offer factual and up-to-date information on the subjects discussed but should not be regarded as a complete analysis of these subjects. Professional advisers should be consulted before implementing any options presented. No party assumes liability for any loss or damage resulting from errors or omissions or reliance on or use of this material.