A good marriage relies strongly on good communication. Yet so many couples neglect discussing their finances with each other, either because it’s an emotional subject or because they just don’t know what financial topics they should be talking about. Since money squabbles are at the heart of many divorces, it’s important to sync up your financial goals and philosophies in order to start off your marriage on the right foot. Here are four conversations you and your fiancé should have prior to tying the knot:
The cost of raising a child is high and getting higher every year. According to BabyCenter, you should expect to spend anywhere from $10,000 to $14,000 on your baby during its first year. Costs vary depending on income levels, how many children you have, and what lifestyle choices you make (namely child care), but regardless, it’s safe to say that deciding to have a baby can be a pretty big financial decision
Preparing for the arrival of a new baby is a busy time, and it’s important not to let nursery design and baby name books distract you from the important task of estate planning. Many new parents incorrectly assume that they don’t need to do any estate planning if they don’t have many assets. Even if you don’t have a large nest egg before you become a parent, your child’s well-being will become your most important “asset.” Determining who will care for your child in the event of your death, and arranging for his or her inheritance of your property is an important step that you should take as soon as you have a new baby.
From birth to adolescence and from college graduation to having children of their own, children will always be linked to money and finances. Besides providing financially for their children, parents must make sure that their children learn about the proper management of money.
The importance of higher education has only risen in the past decades, with more and more jobs requiring a college degree to even be considered. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, those with a bachelor’s degree will earn nearly twice as much over the course of their lifetimes as those who have only a high school diploma. This means that rather than facing the choice of whether children should attend college, more and more parents are instead faced with the decision of how they will pay for it. [Infographic]
A 529 plan (also known as a qualified tuition plan) is a tax-advantaged way to contribute to your child’s college savings. While each state offers its own 529 plan, not all plans are created equal. The investment options and flexibility available within each plan will differ somewhat, so it’s important to do some research before choosing what plan to contribute to. Remember, you aren’t restricted to your state of residence’s plan, so shopping around can be beneficial. Learn about your options before investing in a 529 plan so that you can choose the plan that best fits your college savings needs.
During a divorce, the immediate problems of property division and child custody overshadow any long-term planning. Trying to figure out which documents need to change and which need to be thrown out is time-consuming, yet essential to keeping your future secure
Money is one of the most oft-cited divorce catalysts today, but ironically, getting a divorce is one of the worst things that can happen to your finances. In addition to the high lawyer fees, your household will be split in two, putting a strain on both parties’ subsequent budgets. Divorce can have a major impact on the other areas of your financial life as well. This article can help you navigate the world of post-divorce finances with ease.
One of the more difficult issues that comes up during a divorce is how to divide assets, benefits and debts. Your state of residence might have an answer for you if you live in one of the nine community property states. Otherwise, decisions about the division of property can be determined in mediation, by your lawyers, or in court. Additionally, if you and your spouse signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, that can affect who gets what.