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Financial Horror Stories

Financial Horror Stories

After celebrating Halloween, we wanted to share some financial horror stories we encounter all too frequently. Making mistakes when it comes to your finances is perfectly normal, however, when it comes to these horror stories, the impact can be significant, and frankly, quite scary.

Not Saving Enough for Retirement

Even if retirement is 10, 20 or even 30+ years away, it’s essential to know how much you need to save in order to live comfortably. Years can fly by and leave you in a precarious position when it comes to your retirement. Don’t leave your future self in a bad position: take action now and make sure you’re doing what you can to set yourself up for a comfortable retirement that meets your lifestyle goals. 

Saving for retirement does not have to be complicated. Start early, identify your goals, stay on budget, and maximize any matching money available to you, and you will be on the road to a secure and comfortable retirement. 

Living Beyond Your Means

Living a financially comfortable life is on almost everyone’s list of priorities. But, many want more than they can afford–which can lead to lifestyle inflation and living beyond your means. Be sure to practice smart shopping habits, and always maintain a strong understanding of your financial wellness to be sure you are fully informed before making any large purchases. 

It’s vital to be realistic with your financial goals, and your spending, to avoid ending up with more debt than income. The saying is true: you can’t out-earn bad financial habits.

Uneducated Investments

With a quick Google search you can find millions of articles and videos telling you how to invest your money, but making uneducated investments can be more than scary, it can be detrimental to your portfolio and your financial wellness! Before you click the ‘submit’ button on any of the dozen investment apps, contact a professional. 

When meeting with a financial planner, the full picture of your financial health will be reviewed, taking into account your income, expenses, goals, and more. By planning appropriately with the help of a professional, and diversifying your portfolio with asset allocation based on your investment objectives, you can pursue your financial goals with greater confidence and less risk. 

Finance doesn’t have to be scary- working with an experienced advisor can help you avoid financial horror stories and free you from any money-related fears you may have! 

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

Life Insurance What is it and why you need it

Why Do I Need Life Insurance?

If you’re like most people, it’s not that you don’t appreciate the value of life insurance. In fact, many people believe they need more coverage. You probably wouldn’t mind owning additional life insurance. It’s just that you don’t want to buy it.

Thinking about buying life insurance, talking about buying life insurance, discussing the reasons for buying life insurance–all of this makes many people feel uncomfortable. Here are just some of the reasons why you may be putting off buying the life insurance you know you need.

1. I don’t have enough time

You’ll get around to buying life insurance, but not today. With all the things you’ve got to do, buying life insurance can come off as a low priority–just one more thing you ought to do. Plus, the whole idea of discussing life insurance isn’t a whole lot of fun. Who wouldn’t rather take the dogs for a walk on the beach, attend a child’s softball game, or spend those precious few hours of free time in the evening visiting with friends?

Nonetheless, buying life insurance is really an important task that should be addressed. Life insurance can help ensure that your family will have enough money to meet their financial obligations in the event of your death.

2. The subject is boring and morbid

If you really don’t like to think about death, you’re not alone. Death is an unpleasant subject, and life insurance raises issues of our own mortality. Some people say that the very thought of starting the life insurance buying process makes them feel stressed out. There’s no great appeal to contemplating our own mortality. It’s a subject we’d rather ignore than address. The result can be inertia or denial.

It doesn’t have to be that way. People who do act on their life insurance needs tend to focus on the positive aspects: the idea of meeting their responsibilities to provide for, and care for, their loved ones. They think of it as contingency planning, protecting their families against the uncertainties of life. They also recognize that life insurance is really about life and love, about helping to ensure a positive quality of life for their spouse and children if they die prematurely.

3. I don’t know where to start

If you don’t have a clue about which type of policy is right for you, or how much life insurance you need, join the club. Few of us truly understand life insurance: why we need it, what type of policy is best, how much we need, when and how benefits are paid, how benefits may be taxed, and more. That’s okay. It’s not your job to know everything about life insurance. That’s the job of an insurance professional.

Thinking you need to have all of the answers about which type of life insurance is best for you is sort of like needing surgery and thinking you need to know which type of scalpel to use. That’s the surgeon’s job. In the same respect, the right insurance professional can guide you through the process of selecting the policy that best suits your needs, budget, and objectives, and can answer your questions.

4. Life insurance isn’t a high priority compared with the other expenses I have

For many underinsured people, it’s not so much that they don’t want the life insurance they need; it’s just difficult to find the extra dollars to pay for it.

Buying life insurance you can’t afford doesn’t benefit anyone. If it causes your family hardship or requires you to make choices that seem incongruous (“Gee kids, I’d love to take you on vacation, but our life insurance premium is due”), you’ll eventually discontinue the policy. Then you lose, and your family loses.

That’s why it’s important to purchase a policy that meets your needs and your budget. Fortunately, there are many types of life insurance available. These include term life insurance policies and various types of permanent (cash value) life insurance policies. Term policies provide life insurance protection for a specific period of time. If you die during the coverage period, your beneficiary receives the policy’s death benefit. If you live to the end of the term, the policy simply terminates, unless it automatically renews for a new period.

Permanent insurance policies offer protection for your entire life, regardless of future health changes, provided you pay the premium to keep the policy in force. As you pay your premiums, a portion of each payment goes toward building up the policy’s cash value, which may be accessed through loans or withdrawals. (Keep in mind, though, that loans and withdrawals will reduce the cash value and the death benefit, and could cause the policy to lapse, which may result in a tax liability if the policy terminates before the death of the insured). The cash value continues to grow–tax deferred–as long as the policy is in force.

Several different types of permanent life insurance are available, including:

  • Whole life insurance
  • Universal life insurance
  • Variable life
  • Variable universal life

Variable life and variable universal life insurance policies are offered by prospectus, which you can obtain from your financial professional or the insurance company. The prospectus contains detailed information about investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. You should read the prospectus and consider this information carefully before purchasing a variable life or variable universal life insurance policy. There are contract limitations, fees, and charges associated with variable life and variable universal life insurance, which can include mortality and expense risk charges, sales and surrender charges, investment management fees, administrative fees, and charges for optional benefits. Variable life and variable universal life insurance is not guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency; they are not deposits of, nor are they guaranteed or endorsed by, any bank or savings association. The investment return and principal value of the investment options will fluctuate. Your cash value, and perhaps the death benefit, will be determined by the performance of the chosen investment options and is not guaranteed. Withdrawals may be subject to surrender charges and are taxable if you withdraw more than your basis in the policy.

The bottom line

It’s easy to understand why people tend to put off purchasing the life insurance they know they need. But look at it this way: buying life insurance is one way you can help secure your family’s financial future. And what could be better than knowing your loved ones will be protected, even if you’re no longer around to take care of them?

People who do act on their life insurance needs tend to focus on the positive aspects: the idea of meeting their responsibilities to provide for, and care for, their loved ones.

Five reasons to buy life insurance

  • To provide continuing income for your family members
  • To pay off debts you leave behind
  • To pay final expenses and taxes
  • To provide an estate for your loved ones
  • To leave money to charity

There may be surrender charges at the time of surrender or withdrawal and are taxable if you withdraw more than your basis in the policy.

Any guarantees are contingent on the claims-paying ability and financial strength of the issuing company.

The cost and availability of life insurance depend on factors such as age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased.

Life insurance policies have exclusions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force.

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

Understanding Your 401(k) - Key Terms to Know

Understanding Your 401(k) – Key Terms to Know

Planning for retirement is a key point of financial wellness- but how can you make the most of your 401(k) plan without understanding all of the vocabulary? We’ve compiled a list of the most common terms used in employer-sponsored retirement plans to help you invest with confidence. 

Types of Retirement Plans

401(k): A 401(k) plan is a company-sponsored retirement plan that eligible employees can contribute a portion of their salary into through a variety of investment options. In some instances, employers may also offer to make matching contributions. Many people find success in using both a 401(k) and a Roth IRA to fund their retirement. 

IRAs: IRAs are a type of savings account designed to help you put money away for retirement in a tax-advantaged way. Two of the most common types are traditional and Roth IRAs. Though they are quite similar, the key differences lie in the tax restrictions and in the fact that traditional IRA’s require minimum distributions starting at age 72. 

Types of 401(k) Contributions

By employees

401(k) contributions are typically ‘before tax’ money. The amount you choose to contribute is deducted from your paycheck before taxes are taken out. This means you are paying taxes on a smaller portion of your salary. There are limits each year on just how much you can put in your 401(k).  In 2021, the maximum amount one can contribute was $19,500. If you are 50 or older, you can make a catch-up contribution of $6,500 in addition to the $19,500 for a total of $26,000.

Roth contributions: Many plans also offer options for employees to make post-tax ROTH 401(k) contributions from their paychecks. Post-tax ROTH contributions do not lower an employee’s taxable income, but they do grow tax free and aren’t taxed upon withdrawal.

Rollovers: After a job change, you have a few options for how to proceed with moving your retirement funds. This is a personal decision that depends on the employee offerings, read our blog to learn more about this transition! 

By employers

Matching: Many employers offer matching contributions. For example, your employer may offer a 4 percent match. This means they will contribute the same amount that you do, up to 4 percent. Of course, you can personally contribute more, but the company will match only 4 percent. If you are not contributing to your company’s 401(k) plan and they have a match, you are leaving money on the table! 

Profit sharing contributions: Your employer may choose to make a voluntary contribution to your 401(k) plan called a profit share. This contribution is not based on how much you contribute and is completely voluntary on the part of your employer, meaning it can vary one year to the next. 

Investment Options

Most employer-sponsored plans give you a selection of mutual funds or other investments to choose from. Make your choices carefully. The right investment mix for your employer’s plan could be one of your keys to a comfortable retirement. That’s because over the long term, varying rates of return can make a big difference in the size of your balance.

If you have questions, it is always a great idea to call your financial advisor for guidance. But no matter what, please take advantage of any type of savings plan your current employer offers as the earlier and more aggressive you are, the closer you will come to achieving your financial goals.

 

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

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What You Need to Know About President Biden’s Student Debt Relief Plans

On August 24, 2022, President Biden announced plans to offer student loan forgiveness to selected individuals. Below is a summary of the executive action that the Biden Administration plans to effectuate. It’s important to note that strong legal challenges to these provisions are likely because the changes are sought to be implemented without Congressional approval. Many of you or your family members may be affected, so the team at Blakely Financial wanted to update you with the information that we have so far.

Final Extension of Student Loan Repayment Moratorium

Borrowers won’t be required to make payments on their federal student loans through December 31, 2022. Borrowers haven’t been required to make student loan payments for more than two years thanks to pandemic-related relief for borrowers. No interest has accrued on federal student loans during the repayment pause. President Biden has indicated that this will be the final extension, and that borrowers will have to resume student loan repayments in early 2023.

Forgiveness of $10,000–$20,000 from Student Loan Balances

Individuals making less than $125,000 per year ($250,000 for married couples) in income will be eligible to have up to $10,000 of student loan debt canceled. For Pell Grant recipients, the cancellation amount may increase to $20,000. In most circumstances, the Department of Education will have individual income data to be able to automatically process the debt cancellation. In the event the government doesn’t have the relevant data, it anticipates providing applications in short order.

Proposed Changes to Existing Repayment System

The Biden Administration also announced proposed changes to income-based student loan repayment programs, whereby individuals could potentially be required to pay a lower proportion of their income to service their student loan debt. In addition, student loan forgiveness could be accelerated for some borrowers, depending on their student loan balances. The timeline or definitiveness of these changes is unclear; they have been announced as “proposed rules.”

Additional Resources

As with any government policy announcement, details are sparse; more information should be forthcoming in the coming days and weeks. For more information on debt relief actions, visit these resources:

You can also subscribe to updates directly from the Department of Education.

As always, we are here to help. Thank you for your continued trust and confidence.

 

Sincerely,

The Blakely Financial Team

 

These hyperlinks are being provided as a courtesy and are for informational purposes only. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these websites. 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is located at 1022 Hutton Lane Suite 109, High Point, NC 27262 and can be reached at 336-885-2530. Securities and Advisory Services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services are separate from and not offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.

© 2022 Commonwealth Financial Network®

Navigating the Bear Market

How to Navigate The Bear Market

When stocks are declining, it can cause a lot of stress and uncertainty for investors. Now in 2022, we are in the midst of a bear market- here is how you can best prepare yourself to make it through, stay positive, and benefit from the bull market that will eventually follow! 

Does a Bear Market Lead to a Recession?

Bear markets happen and are to be expected given the current tumultuous nature of the pandemic and the sociopolitical climate. Bear markets don’t necessarily indicate economic recession.  In this current climate, many experts, like Mitch Zacks, believe we are not headed for recession:

The U.S. jobs market is still historically tight, household finances and the U.S. consumer are still healthy, and corporate profit margins are high. I believe sentiment has fueled declines more than fundamentals have.”

Though not all experts agree on what will happen next, the usual indicators of a recession are not currently present in 2022.

Bear Markets in History

The term “bear market” refers to a period of at least two months in which stocks fall at least 20% off their high. Though this percentage is significant, bear markets could perhaps be more generally defined by the sentiments of investors, as they lose confidence and become more risk-averse during these times. Throughout history, stocks lose an average of 36% during a bear market. 

It’s important to note, bear markets tend to last less than a year; whereas, The average bull market duration is 2.7 years. The stock market is positive the majority of the time, so it is best to think rationally about navigating a bear market before catastrophic thinking takes over.

Patience Pays Off 

Though it can be troublesome to think about the losses that occur during a bear market, it is important to shift your mindset towards the future. Many investors take drastic steps when they realize the market is trending downward, often selling off stocks for fear of more substantial losses. Alternatively, some may feel pressure to “buy the dip” in hopes that the prices will soon rise to a profitable level. Both of these types of reactions can in some cases be successful, but are often not. It is impossible to time the market exactly, and attempting to do so can cause more financial and emotional stress than it’s worth. 

“Selling out of stocks and waiting for confirmation that a new bull market has arrived almost certainly means missing the first several months of the new bull, which is a crucial time to be invested.”

This advice may not be applicable for certain people, such as those on the brink of retirement who may not have the time to wait out a volatile market. In any case, it is important to ensure your assets are in the right place for you in particular to meet your long or short term investment goals.

Protect Yourself Against Future Bear Markets

During a bull market, it can be easy to forget how uncomfortable it is to watch your assets go down in value. Be sure to use your resources in times of economic security to ensure your financial safety against future losses. Though the media can be a helpful tool in assessing the state of the market, it will not be the best source of financial advice. Only your financial advisor will know the specifics about your means and goals to help you navigate your way through a volatile market

Investing will always come with risks, and a declining market is one of them! Contact Blakely Financial for further assistance in maintaining diversified investments through a bear market. 

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

 

Planning for Financials around Divorce

Financial Planning After a Divorce: What Women Should Know

The truth is, after a divorce, women tend to be hit harder financially than men. And, given that women experienced the highest rates of job losses in 2020, divorce in the current environment is even more likely to disrupt their financial stability. For women who find themselves experiencing the increasingly common  “gray” or late-life divorce, the financial consequences may be even more acute. The decision to end a  marriage after age 50 could mean unraveling assets and finances that have been shared for decades. 

If you’re facing financial challenges or decisions after divorce, how can you better understand and take control of your financial future? To start, consider seeking guidance on some of the planning issues discussed below. 

Splitting Marital Assets 

This topic can become highly complicated. Assets acquired during the marriage are split according to your state’s law. Generally speaking, most states follow equitable distribution rules that will consider all marital assets, and a court will determine their distribution between you and your former spouse. There are nine states that have community property laws, which means each spouse owns 50 percent of the assets acquired during their marriage (with certain exceptions). When it comes to debts, in community property states the same approach holds. Debts acquired during the marriage are generally attributable to both spouses. In noncommunity property states, however, debts usually stay with the spouse who incurred the debt, unless the other spouse cosigned or otherwise guaranteed it. 

Retirement savings

The contributions you or your former spouse make to employer-sponsored retirement plans and IRAs during the marriage are generally considered marital property, with some exceptions. Contributions made outside of the marriage, for example, can be considered separate property. Pay particular attention to any qualified plans you may have, such as pensions or 401(k)s, as these should be divided according to a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). 

A QDRO allows for a tax and penalty-free transfer to a nonowner ex-spouse. Neither the original owner nor the divorcing nonowner should be taxed or penalized if the nonowner rolls the assets directly into a  qualified plan or an IRA. Keep in mind, if the nonowner spouse receiving the distribution uses the funds in any other fashion, a tax will be imposed on that distribution—but only to that spouse. 

We can discuss the QDRO with you in greater detail, as options can vary from plan to plan. Pensions, for example, will generally not pay a lump sum but will make payments to the ex-spouse the same way they would be made to the employee-owner. The sooner a QDRO is presented to a plan administrator, the clearer the understanding you’ll have about your options. 

Creditor protection is another consideration. Keep in mind that 401(k) plans are covered by the Employee  Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), so they have creditor protection. If the 401(k) is rolled into an  IRA, it will continue to be protected from bankruptcy creditors, but it will only receive general creditor protection as provided by state law. 

Dividing an IRA is different, though. ERISA does not cover IRAs, and the division of an IRA does not require a QDRO. For federal tax purposes, if the division follows a court-issued divorce decree and is made as a trustee-to-trustee transfer as opposed to an outright distribution, an IRA owner can avoid tax and penalties. Once the asset is transferred, each spouse becomes solely responsible for tax and penalties of any future distributions. 

Family Home

If you or your ex-spouse want to hold on to the home, the marital estate can be equalized from other assets, if necessary. Current circumstances related to the pandemic may complicate the equalization, though. Because inventories and interest rates remain low, demand exceeds the supply of homes for sale. In this seller’s market, we’re seeing homes sold immediately after the Coming Soon sign is posted. Plus, the rise in home values across the U.S. increases the likelihood that the equalization may involve the exchange of additional liquid assets to keep the house. 

If you’re interested in keeping the family home, we can help you factor ongoing mortgage payments,  property taxes, and maintenance expenses into your current cash flow and long-term financial plan to see whether it’s feasible. If not, there are other alternatives we can look at, including refinancing or downsizing. 

Life insurance.

The accumulated cash value of a life insurance policy is subject to division—much like any other marital asset. If it’s necessary to divide the cash value, transferring a policy’s ownership can be included as part of your divorce decree. If you are transferring a policy, be sure to update beneficiary designations before doing so. 

Considering Income and Cash Flow 

If you or your spouse was the breadwinner, income may need to be equalized in the division of assets.  State family laws determine any alimony amounts. Whether you’re paying or receiving alimony payments,  we can help factor the effect into your monthly or annual cash flow plan. 

Alimony

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, alimony payments are no longer deductible by the payer, and, consequently, the payee can’t include the money as taxable income. This change applies to divorce settlements made after December 31, 2018. It can also apply to existing agreements that are modified after that date, but only if the modification explicitly states that the new rule applies. 

Social security

You may be able to collect social security income on your ex-spouse’s working record  (even if your ex-spouse remarries) as long as you have not remarried, your marriage lasted more than 10  years, and you have been divorced for more than two years. To qualify, you and your former spouse must be 62 or older. If you were born before December 31, 1953, you can file a restricted application allowing you to receive up to 50 percent of your ex-spouse’s full retirement age benefit amount, and your own benefit can grow with delayed retirement credits. Your ex-spouse will not be aware of or involved in your claim. 

If you’re caring for a child younger than 16 and you’re not remarried, children’s social security benefits may be available to you, regardless of your age.  

Child support

Based on their sensitive nature, child support issues, including financial support and physical care, are usually resolved in court. The divorce decree should specify the amounts, if any, of child support paid from one spouse to the other, as well as who will be entitled to claim the children as dependents for tax purposes. Although the pandemic’s impact on women has been largely disproportionate, one positive outgrowth is a growing consensus that childcare is, in fact, infrastructure.  This focus may ease the childcare burden if you are the custodial parent. 

Estate Planning 

Following your divorce, it’s important to update your estate plan to accommodate any adjustments.  Although most state laws nullify a beneficiary or fiduciary designation of an ex-spouse, you may need to amend or get new trusts, wills, and powers of attorney, as well as change beneficiary designations. If you named your former spouse as your trusted person or beneficiary in documents or on accounts, these designations should be changed as soon as possible. And, if you retain custody—even partial custody— of a minor, your estate planning documents should address the issue of guardianship for your child and the child’s estate.  

Taking the Long-Term View 

If you feel financially unprepared for the breakup of your marriage, you’re not alone. Only about one-third of divorcées have a comprehensive plan in place (see chart below), according to a 2017 Fidelity  Investments survey. That’s one reason it’s critical to get the guidance you need to help you navigate the financial challenges of a divorce. 

Need Additional Information? 

As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) I am able to guide women through all of the financial implications of a divorce. Join me on Wednesday, August 31st at 12pm for a Live Webinar: Financial Independence: A Divorced Woman’s Guide. REGISTER TODAY!

This material has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute either tax or legal advice. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful,  we recommend you consult a tax preparer, professional tax advisor, or lawyer. 

Pre Marital Planning Financial

3 Financial Items to Consider Before Marriage

Divorce is hard enough without the many financial issues it brings. In fact, disagreements about money are one of the leading causes of divorce. This is why it is important to save yourself from future distress by considering certain pre-marriage steps. Having smart family discussions about money and forming legal agreements can not only prevent marital problems but save you from stressful legal arguments in the unfortunate event of a divorce. 

1. Prenuptial Agreement

Regardless of how you divide financial responsibilities within a marriage, divorce can raise difficult questions about each spouse’s legal rights and responsibilities. A prenuptial agreement can be a wise choice; by settling all of those issues before they arise. A prenup can limit your debt liability by ensuring that creditors cannot go after you to collect on your spouse’s debts. It can also protect the inheritance rights of your children from a previous relationship, as well as the ownership rights to your business. 

It is important to enter a marriage with a solid sense of assets and liabilities- a prenup is not just for the event of divorce, but for full disclosure of financials within a partnership. 

Prenups may also set provisions for financial responsibility during the marriage. They can even contain a sunset provision, meaning that conditions in the prenup will expire after a certain length of time.

 

2. Property

If you and your spouse eventually part ways, you may not agree on who owns certain property acquired during the marriage. Depending on the state you live in, property acquired during a marriage may be divided up 50-50 during a divorce, or be divided as a judge deems fair, which may not be strictly equal. Establishing which property will be marital or separate should be considered before entering into a marriage, and separate property acquired as a gift or inheritance during a marriage should be carefully documented as such: 

 

Determining whether property is separate or marital can become a very fact-specific inquiry. Especially in community property states, a judge may presume that all the property in a couple’s possession during their marriage is marital property unless they present evidence to suggest that an asset is separate property.” 

 

3. Children and Estate Planning

You may have already made some estate planning considerations, but they should be reevaluated before marriage. Whether this is your first marriage or your third, it is important to consider how it may legally impact your spouse, as well as your obligations and children from previous relationships. Estate planning will provide you the flexibility to name someone else to oversee the money you leave to your children. If you have remarried, an estate plan can provide support for your surviving spouse, as well as protect your children’s potential inheritance should your surviving spouse remarry.

Before getting married, your will should reflect your desires as they impact your children and those of your new spouse. Don’t make the mistake of assuming a change in your circumstances will make a prior beneficiary designation null and void. Always make beneficiary changes on the correct paperwork specific to the financial institution.

 

In Conclusion

Avoiding financial stress in a marital partnership is vital to protecting your assets and those of your spouse. Taking these measures before entering into a marriage not only simplifies the process of a divorce, but ensures that you and your spouse are on the same page in terms of the division of assets within a marriage. Consulting with a professional before you tie the knot will answer any hypothetical questions you both may have about a possible divorce. Though it may sound like a disheartening way to begin a marriage, it is a practical and mutually beneficial choice for you and your spouse!

As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) Emily Promise is able to guide women through all of the financial implications of a divorce. Join her on Wednesday, August 31st at 12pm for a Live Webinar: Financial Independence: A Divorced Woman’s Guide. Register Today!

 

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.