Money in the Middle

Sandwich Generation Talking About Money Up, Down and Across Generations

Newlyweds: Talk about money with your honey now

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It is wedding season.   I just returned from a wonderful wedding in Florida.  Simple ceremony surrounded by friends and family on the beach– – fitting for the times.  

 The reception and after, found many of us  “in the middle” sharing worries about work, aging parents, when to take social Security, wondering if retirement will ever be, and sharing tips on cutting expenses.

 Got a few words of advice for the soon to be married?  I do.

 1. Keep the wedding simple and the costs down.  Unless you’ve got a bucket of gold somewhere, give your parents and/or your own pocketbook a break. Maybe this is the time Grandma or Grandpa can help out.  Celebrate, select a few things that have great meaning and enjoy the day. But, don’t pile bills onto your family or yourself. Remember if it’s a destination wedding, turn out will be smaller as more people experience pinched budgets.  

 2.  Talk about money with your honey.   So many of us walk into a committed relationship without really understanding what the other is bringing in debt, savings and attitude.   Save yourself surprises down the road by talking about money and how you will handle it together.

 3.  What’s yours, what’s mine, what’s ours?  These days coming into a marriage with a pile of debt for school is not unusual.  Have a plan for how and who will be paying down that debt.  How will it impact your plans to buy a home?  Start a family, blend families from a previous marriage?  Begin retirement savings?

 4. What about Mom and Dad?  How about brothers and sisters?  If it’s a second marriage, do you have commitments to previous in-laws?  Do you share expectations about caring for and helping out family members?  Odds are pretty good that one of you will be asked to step up to help with time and or money.  It won’t be easy but better to know where you are each coming from.

5.  Save now.  Really.  We all need to recognize that we will have more personal responsibility for our financial future and retirement.  the reports on the state of Medicare and Social Security released should make that clear.  so don’t put off saving.  Make it a habit together now.

 So what would you do if you were starting out anew (younger and older newlyweds)?


Written by Laura Rossman

May 13, 2009 at 2:06 pm

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