How To Find A Wedding Financial Advisor | Financial advisors

Smart couples realize that engaging a financial advisor as soon as they have a “ring and a date” can be one of their best investments for a happy forever.

A 2013 survey of 191 certified divorce financial analysts found that 22% of married couples end up in divorce court due to money problems. While the survey found that underlying incompatibility and infidelity are the leading causes of divorce, money mistakes are often in the background of these marital headwinds.

Whether you’re getting married for the first time or trying again, there are four compelling reasons to hire a financial advisor as a new couple:

  • Understand your relationship with money.
  • Establish a budget.
  • Save for goals.
  • Plan your risks.
  • Say “I do” to a solid financial future.

Understand your relationship with money

Each person has a unique belief about money, often influenced by past experience, what their parents or significant adults have taught them, or the mistakes they have already made. Most couples will talk about the kind of life they envision for themselves, but they don’t deal with this baggage they bring into the relationship.

Suddenly, when two people try to merge their money into a joint account, they realize they may have incompatible views on savings, spending on major purchases, debt, and even how the money is allocated.

One topic that is becoming a more important part of these conversations is the balance of power that income can represent. Historically, men outnumbered women and it was not unusual for the woman to be a stay-at-home mother. Today, both men and women can be the main heads of households in a household and both can be the main child caregivers. Additionally, older married couples may find that older parents are in the mix. Here, too, traditional roles are blurred, but expectations may not have been clarified.

Money itself is usually not why people end up getting divorced, but rather arguments about issues involving money. These topics can bring considerable stress to a relationship, especially when a couple doesn’t have a dispassionate sounding board with an experienced financial advisor.

A financial advisor can help each person articulate their personal money needs and wants by finding common ground between both parties. By discussing these key issues before marriage, each person can feel confident that they have a say in their future together.

Establish a budget

It is not uncommon for first-time couples to marry at a time in their lives when their incomes change rapidly. Each person can have a different level of financial literacy and can bring different levels of savings and debt into the relationship. Mature couples may have obligations to their children from previous relationships they face.

A financial advisor can provide cash flow guidance on the safe amount the couple can spend on housing, utilities, recreation, and major planned purchases. They can also help create a debt relief plan to pay off credit cards and other loans so that the funds can go together into the future.

The general question for most couples is whether to combine their finances. Couples can choose to combine all or part of their budgets, and the counselor can help them understand the pros and cons of each scenario. Additionally, an astute consultant can introduce other key members of a team, such as a certified public accountant, to help them understand the impact marriage will have on their taxes.

Save for goals

The first major purchase for a newly engaged couple is often the wedding itself. According to The Knot, the average wedding in 2021 cost $ 34,000, including the ring. An entire wedding loan industry has arisen, where couples can borrow most expenses with repayment periods of three to five years, but often at substantially higher interest rates, even with exceptional credit scores. While this can give couples looking for Instagram-worthy marriages the money to do so, this path can easily set them back on all of their long-term goals, such as buying a home, having children, and even starting a business.

A financial advisor can be a sounding board for discussing the pros and cons of taking on substantial debt early in the marriage. They can also model different approaches to achieving priority goals and show how different compromises can enable the couple to have the wedding of their dreams without breaking the budget.

Risk plan

When a couple first approaches a financial planner, the counselor asks a series of questions to assess the couple’s risk profiles, both individually and as a couple. This will help the advisor create investment portfolios that match the couple’s risk tolerance. This is especially important as couples don’t always mirror each other.

Another source of stress is when a partner invests in a way that makes their spouse uncomfortable. The consultant can provide indications to compensate for different risks or suggest more agreed alternatives.

In addition, through the consultant’s network of fellow consultants, they can ensure that the couple has met their life and disability insurance needs; maximized the benefits of their employer; wills, trusts and protections established for minor children; and covered the potential for economic downturns, layoffs and other unpleasant surprises with an emergency fund. Through these key discussions, a couple can determine that a prenup is an important addition to their planning, whether it’s their first or subsequent marriage, and the counselor can present them to an appropriate attorney to establish these documents.

Say “I do” to a solid financial future

A wedding is a happy event and can truly last a lifetime with the right partner. Solid financial planning can help all couples get started with confidence and can often stop discussions before they even begin. More importantly, a solid financial plan that is regularly updated to meet changing goals can truly tie two together in marriage in an impactful way.

Feeling safe and protected in difficult times can be especially comforting for a couple and give them the mental space to move forward as a team. For “two to become one”, they must build trust. Working with a financial advisor helps a couple learn to communicate with each other on their most important topics. Being vulnerable to the demand for professional and expert knowledge also adds a layer of mutual respect that can carry them through the rocky parts of the path that will come in any relationship.

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