A second marriage will bring many changes to your life, not the least of which may be changes in your financial strategy and goals.
In fact, your remarriage should cause you to take a close look at these areas:
• Past financial obligations: Before even discussing your investments, you and your new spouse should decide how to handle past financial obligations such as child support, alimony and debts. Consider temporarily managing three accounts — his, hers and ours — to keep track of these various payments.
• Retirement accounts: You and your new spouse may want to examine your respective retirement accounts — such as your 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) — to determine if there are areas of duplication that you may wish to avoid. If you both have the same types of investments, you may be more susceptible to downturns that primarily affect one industry or economic sector.
• Insurance: Evaluate your medical insurance plans to decide which policy is more economical and comprehensive for you, your spouse and any dependents.
• Income taxes: When you consult with your tax professional to discuss the tax implications related to your marriage, be sure to adjust your tax withholding on form W 4 to reflect your marital status.
You also may want to discuss whether your Social Security benefits will be affected if you remarry and are younger than 60 years old.
• Estate considerations: Remarriage almost certainly will require you to work with a legal advisor to make changes to the following: will, living will, durable power of attorney, health care power of attorney and trust.
You also need to communicate effectively with your new spouse about your respective ideas on managing finances and investments. To develop a joint investment strategy that addresses your goals and your individual differences, you may want to consult with a financial professional.