Marriage is a time to be celebrated. Two people love each other enough that they decide to spend the rest of their lives together. With that said, a lot goes into a marriage. It is not simply “I do” and then moving in together. In many cases, both the people getting married already have an established life.
Things to Consider for Merging and Purging When Getting Married
- Each person will already live alone, most likely
- Investments may already exist prior to marriage
- If one person owns a business, they will need to decide where the other fits in
- Debt is now something both will need to consider
- Family and expectations
Where Will You Live?
A lot of couples getting married will already have their own residence. One may rent and one may own, both may rent or both may own. This is the time to decide if you will be eliminating both places and starting fresh or if you will be moving into one of the existing locations and getting rid of the other.
Make this choice based on what works best for both. Proximity to work and living expenses should be considered. If one owns while the other rents for much less, it may be financially beneficial to move into the rental and allow the other to save all of their money to use as a hefty down payment for a home both will love.
This is something that you should discuss prior to getting married. If you decide to move in together while engaged, make sure you establish a pro and con list of which place to live at with a plan for where you see yourselves living in the near future.
What to Do About Investments?
If both of you have your own investments, you may want to discuss beneficiaries and who has access to those investments. The earnings from investments should become both of yours since you are married but some couples prefer to keep things private as well. This is a discussion you will need to have so that you know whether you are merging wealth or keeping it separate. You may decide to invest together once you become married and will want to talk about insider stocks to buy and what your investment plans together will be.
Owning Your Own Business Is Most People’s Dream
Being your own boss sounds nice and a lot of people strive to become business owners. What happens when you own your own business and then get married? It depends upon your comfort level with bringing your spouse into your business.
Some people are cohesive and enjoy working together, but it should be noted that working together is not for the weak of heart. When you own your own business, it can become all-consuming. Sometimes you are leaving home to handle problems at the business, perhaps you are forced to cover shifts for employees that are sick or do not show up. You are left dealing with all of the paperwork and financial aspects of the business as well.
New couples have a lot to sort through at home and running a home. Sometimes adding a business to the mix can be quite stressful. If you enjoy working separately and discussing work at home later, perhaps not becoming involved in the same business is for you.
If you are all in and both want to put constant effort into the same dream, then you will do well working together. After you make this decision, you will want to speak with your lawyers, accountants, and business advisors on how to fully emerge both of yourselves into the business in all aspects so that you can alleviate stress and responsibilities from one another.
Pre-Existing Debt and How to Handle It
When you get married, you may come with school loan debt or auto loan debt. You will want to discuss how you will handle this debt. Will the person who acquired the debt be solely responsible for paying it off or will both of you work towards establishing a debt-free lifestyle and chip in for the good of the marriage?
Family and Expectations
With marriage comes in-laws and expectations. Make sure that you don’t just focus on your investments, business, living, and career choices. There is so much more to life. Make sure you merge your families and your experiences. You are building a new life together after all and need to focus on quality and creating memories together.