The most recent census reports show that men and women are marrying later in life giving way to the greater possibility that their soon to be spouse has car insurance and even a retirement plan already in place. By taking sometime to review both of your insurance policies and retirement plans, you may be able to save money on your many different types of insurances.
Consider the following:
Insurances: Gather your life, health, auto and homeowners insurance policies. Review what is covered and how much it costs. Discuss what policies will be better to combine or will cost you less when you marry (many types of insurances have discounts for married couples). If you do decide to choose one policy for the two of you, make sure both of your names are listed on the policy.
- Car Insurance: When it comes to car insurance there are discounts for married couples. This is one policy that it is imperative that both names be listed. If, for some reason you were to divorce, the spouses' name that was not listed on the policy would receive a much higher insurance rate because they had no "history" of insurance. And, "history" of insurance is one of the factors in determining insurance rates.
- Health Insurance: Compare the level and quality of coverage as well as co pays and deductibles to choose the most appropriate policy. Be sure review dental, optical and prescription plans. If children are in your future then see what policies offer special coverage for childcare.
- Homeowner/Renters Insurance: To protect your property in case of fire, theft and floods, one or both of you may already have some type of homeowners or renter's insurance. Whether you own your own home or are renting, you will soon be having more possessions under one roof. Review your current policy for the amount that is insured and list any new property.
- Life Insurance: If one of you were to die, life insurance pays a certain amount of money to the beneficiary of the policy. Life insurance is usually purchased when you have children or expenses like a mortgage and anticipate that one spouse couldn't meet the payments on their own. To decide the right amount of coverage, you need to consider the costs involved with raising and educating children, mortgage and funeral costs. According to myvesta.org, if you are young, it is preferable to get term life insurance. Term policies only insure you over the period of time for which you need the insurance and are cheaper than whole or universal life insurance. The latter build cash value and cover you for life. If you are an older couple term insurance is more expensive.
Retirement Plans: Whether it's a 401(k), Simple IRA, Roth IRA, or other type of retirement plan, you will want to review and update your beneficiaries. This may also be the perfect time to sit down with your financial advisor to see that your retirement plans, now that you'll be married, are the right ones for you.
If you do not yet have a retirement plan set up, then visit msmoney.com's retirement section.
Wills: You should be aware that laws differ from state to state regarding wills. Consulting with a licensed attorney in your state can help you draw up an appropriate will. If you do not put your charitable wishes, or assign your relatives what you wish to give them, then it can create confusion and misunderstanding after you die. Moreover, if you have no surviving relatives, then the state gets everything.
To learn more about creating a will, visit nolo.com's section on wills.