You’re getting married? Congratulations! But now you’re so busy, right? You’re probably spending the bulk of your time managing caterers and dresses and invitations… (Don’t forget to send your announcement to the Atlanta Journal Constitution!) But with all these wedding worries, have you talked about what will happen afterward? Have you discussed how you’re going to protect and plan for your new life together?
You might find it helpful to think through these big financial questions:
What big things do we want to do together?
You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, so how do you want to spend it? Maybe you want to travel the world for your 10th anniversary, or maybe you want to buy a house five years from now.
“It’s helpful to talk about shared goals early so that you can plan to have the money ready when you want it,” says Dale Gainey, an Allstate Agent in Snellville. “A financial representative can help you plan the best way to save and invest your money, based on your goals.”
If we want kids, how should we start planning to support them?
The USDA estimates that it costs between $10,000 and $25,000 per year to raise a single child in the South, depending on income and related factors. While some expenses will be spread out over time, other expenses like college tuition and weddings can hit all at once. And they are big: In Georgia, the average tuition for a four-year education is $50,380.75, according to education NGO CollegeCalc. As for marriage, researchers at theweddingreport.com found that the average cost of a Georgia wedding is about $23,000. These costs may be even higher in 20 years, so if you want to be able to help your children with them then, you should consider how to save now.
How do we make sure that we’ll always be there for our spouse?
You’ll also probably want to make sure that your spouse is supported if something terrible were to happen to you. Have you considered critical illness insurance or life insurance? You never want to need it, but it can provide you with peace of mind knowing that it’s in place.
How do we actually join our lives—and stuff—together?
Your wedding also might mean that you’re moving in together, and suddenly, you might have twice as many TVs and couches as you had when you were single. Have you asked yourselves what you will keep, throw out or donate? When keeping possessions you like, why not take it a step further? You could also consider protecting them by making an inventory, photographing them and copying their receipts, and checking to see if you have appropriate levels of homeowners or renters coverage against their loss.
Whew! Those are big questions, but don’t worry. They don’t have to be answered all at once, and you also don’t have to answer them alone—you have your new spouse and your families to help, and you could also ask a local insurance agent or financial adviser who can help you understand how to answer these questions yourselves. Sadly, though, no one but you will able to answer the real question you’ll be asking after the wedding: “Did we really need this china set?”
Allstate Agent Dale Gainey and the Dale Gainey Insurance Agency are based in Snellville. Address: 2795 Main St. W. Ste. 18b, Snellville, GA 30078. Phone: (678) 514-2197.