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    David Lerner Associates: Managing Money and Marriage

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    Getting married is exciting, but it also brings many challenges. One such hurdle is managing the merge of financial resources. Careful planning and communicating clearly are important, because financial decisions made at the start of a marriage will have a lasting impact on the future.

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    The first step in mapping out a financial future together is to discuss individual and joint financial goals. Start by making a list of short-term goals (e.g., paying off wedding debt, new car, vacation) and long-term goals (e.g., having children, college education, retirement). Then identify which goals are the most important and focus on achieving them.

    Prepare a budget Next, prepare a budget that lists all income sources and expenses over a certain interval (e.g., monthly, annually). Add up the income and expenses and compare the two totals. Hopefully, the result is a positive number, meaning that expenses are less than earnings. If this is not the case, review the expenses and see where they could be reduced.

    Bank accounts-- separate or joint? At some point, newly weds must decide whether to combine bank accounts or keep them separate. Maintaining a joint account does have advantages, such as easier record-keeping and lower maintenance fees.

    Credit Cards When both spouses have joint credit, both will become responsible for 100 percent of the credit card debt. Additionally, if one spouse has poor credit, it will negatively impact the credit rating of the other.  If one spouse does not get approved for a card as a result of poor credit, it is possible to give account privileges without making them a joint cardholder. That way there is no joint liability for amounts charged to the account and account activity won't appear on the authorized user's credit record.

    Insurance If each spouse has separate health insurance coverage, do a cost/benefit analysis of each plan. One health plan may  have a higher deductible and/or co-payments or fewer benefits than the other, so it may be best for one soouse to join the other's plan.

    Examine auto insurance coverage, too. Many insurance companies offer a discount for insuring more than one car. Take driving records into account, as this may affect the premiums.

    Employer-sponsored retirement plans.

    If both spouses participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan review each plan carefully and determine which plan provides the most ideal benefits. If possible, participate to the maximum in an individual plan at work. Here are some helpful tips for retirement planning:

    • If both plans match contributions, determine which plan offers the best match and take full advantage of it
    • Compare the vesting schedules for the employer's matching contributions
    • Compare the investment options offered by each plan-- the more options offered, the more likely the investment mix will meet the retirement goals of the marriage partners.

     About David Lerner Associates Inc

    Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Cal 516-921-4200 Visit their website: http://www.davidlerner.com

    IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES

    Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.

    David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances.

    To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

    These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- they cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

    Some of this material has been provided by Broadridge Investor Communications Solutions, Inc.

    Member FINRA & SIPC

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    Jake Mendlinger

    516.829.8374 X 232

    http://www.davidlerner.com

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