Top Five Things to Do After Getting Married

November 14, 2018

“Love and marriage, love and marriage, they go together like a horse and carriage…” But if you’re not on the same page about money, how will you afford the horse and where will you keep the carriage? Follow the easy steps below and your marriage will be trotting off towards financial success in no time.

1. Talk about money.

If you didn’t discuss it prior to marriage, now is the time to start. Make sure to discuss your goals, roles and priorities. Do you want to buy a house? Have children? Save for retirement? You’ll need money. Consider living off of one spouse’s income if you can and squirrel away the rest. Envisioning your future together can help you decide how to get the most out of your money.

2. There’s more to change than your last name.

If you’ll be filing jointly, make sure to update your W-4 withholdings so you don’t end up owing additional taxes. Consider joining your finances as well. Opening joint bank accounts can help make managing your expenses easier, and the increased account balances can entitle you to additional complimentary banking services. Remember to update your estate planning documents. Your next of kin has changed from your parents or siblings and your documents need to reflect that. Speaking of mom, don’t forget to update your emergency contact information at work, school or otherwise. Mom is now the second person who needs to know when you get hurt.

3. Change beneficiary designations.

Changing your beneficiary designations is a must even if you already have a will that leaves everything to your spouse. IRAs, 401(k)s, and other retirement plans will pass outside your will. Depending upon your state of residence and the type of retirement account, a beneficiary designation naming your parents or siblings can prevent your spouse from receiving the assets. Same goes for life insurance policies. The insurance company won’t care that you left a widow behind, everything will still go to mom or (shudder) your ex, if you don’t act now.

4. Get the most of your insurance policies.

Insure everything. First insure yourself. If you both have jobs that provide health benefits, see which company has the better deal for married couples. If you don’t have a life insurance policy, now is the time to get one. Life insurance will keep your spouse from being left with a mortgage he or she can’t afford alone. Once you have children, life insurance is a must. Next insure your things. Did you know married couples are considered safer drivers and qualify for lower car insurance premiums? By merging your car insurance policies, you can also qualify for multi-car discounts. Merge or update your homeowners/renters insurance policies as well, so you’re not carrying separate policies. Lastly, don’t forget to insure that rock. Diamonds may be forever but that doesn’t protect them from getting lost or stolen.

5. Have money dates.

Now that you’re on the same page about finances, it never needs to be brought up again, right? Wrong! Financial health is like personal health—it requires regular checkups. Consider having a monthly money date. Where are you with paying down your debts? How has the budget been going? Are you saving enough? You’re a team now. Regular money dates will give each of you the opportunity to voice concerns, ask questions, and keep your goals on track. Together you can achieve the lifestyle you both desire.

If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact your Relationship Team or email us at

Glenmede’s Top 5 is intended to be an unconstrained review of matters of possible interest to Glenmede Trust Company clients and friends and is not intended as personalized investment, estate planning, tax or legal advice. Investment and wealth advice depends on many individual facts and circumstances we cannot account for here. For legal and tax advice, consult your lawyer or accountant. Opinions or projections herein are based on information available at the time of publication and may change thereafter. Information gathered from other sources is assumed to be reliable, but accuracy is not guaranteed. Outcomes (including performance) may differ materially from expectations herein due to various risks and uncertainties. Any reference to risk management or risk control does not imply that risk can be eliminated. All investments have risk. Please contact your Glenmede representative to discuss the applicability of any matter discussed herein.