Remarriage Financial Planning

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on May 23, 2023

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Definition of Remarriage Financial Planning

Remarriage financial planning is the process of developing a financial strategy for couples entering a new marriage after one or both partners have been previously married.

This planning aims to help the couple navigate their financial life together, taking into consideration their unique circumstances, such as previous financial commitments, blended families, and individual financial histories.

Importance of Financial Planning in a Remarriage

Financial planning is crucial in any relationship, but even more so in a remarriage. Couples often face unique challenges due to past experiences and existing obligations.

By proactively addressing financial concerns, the couple can build a strong foundation for their future together and avoid potential conflicts.

Goals of Remarriage Financial Planning

The primary objectives of remarriage financial planning are to establish open communication, develop a joint financial vision, manage finances effectively, address legal and financial considerations, and plan for blended family situations.

Preparing for Remarriage Financial Planning

Steps for Preparing Remarriage Financial Planning

Open Communication With Your Partner

Discuss Financial History

It is essential for both partners to be transparent about their financial past, including previous debts, assets, and financial obligations. This openness will help build trust and create a strong foundation for making joint financial decisions.

Share Financial Goals

Discuss individual financial goals and priorities with your partner to understand each other's values and aspirations. This conversation can help the couple align their goals and work together toward a common financial vision.

Assess the Current Financial Situation

Review Individual Assets and Liabilities

Both partners should create a list of their assets and liabilities to determine their individual net worth. This information will serve as a starting point for developing a joint financial strategy.

Determine Net Worth

Calculate each partner's net worth by subtracting liabilities from assets. Understanding the couple's combined net worth will help in setting realistic financial goals and making informed decisions.

Develop a Joint Financial Vision

Define Short-Term and Long-Term Financial Goals

The couple should work together to establish short-term and long-term financial goals, such as paying off debt, saving for a home, or planning for retirement. These goals will guide the couple's financial planning and decision-making.

Establish Financial Priorities

Identify and prioritize the most important financial goals to focus on, considering both partners' preferences and values. This step will help ensure that the couple's financial resources are allocated effectively.

Managing Finances in a Remarriage

Managing Finances in a Remarriage

Budgeting

Create a Joint Budget

Develop a joint budget that outlines the couple's income, expenses, savings, and investments. This budget will serve as a roadmap for managing the couple's finances and tracking their progress toward their financial goals.

Allocate Expenses Fairly

Divide household expenses equitably, considering each partner's income and financial responsibilities. This approach can help promote fairness and avoid resentment between partners.

Monitor and Adjust the Budget as Needed

Regularly review and update the budget to ensure it remains accurate and reflects the couple's current financial situation. Adjustments may be necessary due to changes in income, expenses, or financial goals.


Saving and Investing

Emergency Fund

Establish an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses or financial hardships. This fund can help the couple maintain financial stability during challenging times.

Retirement Planning

Plan for retirement by contributing to retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s or IRAs. Consider the unique circumstances of a remarriage, such as potential Social Security benefits from previous marriages, when developing a retirement strategy.

Education Savings for Children

If the couple has children, create a plan to save for their future education expenses. Consider using tax-advantaged accounts, such as 529 plans, to maximize savings.

Debt Management

Evaluate Existing Debts

Review each partner's debts, including credit cards, student loans, and mortgages.

Create a Debt Repayment Plan

Develop a joint debt repayment plan that outlines how the couple will pay off their existing debts. Prioritize high-interest debts and allocate resources efficiently to reduce the overall interest paid.

Avoid Accruing New Debt

Strive to minimize the accumulation of new debt by living within the couple's means and using credit responsibly. This approach will help maintain a healthy financial foundation for remarriage.

Legal and Financial Considerations

Prenuptial Agreements

Purpose and Benefits

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document outlining how assets and liabilities will be divided in the event of a divorce. It can help protect each partner's financial interests and clarify expectations before entering the remarriage.

Key Elements to Include

Include provisions for the division of assets, debts, spousal support, and inheritance rights in the prenuptial agreement. Seek legal advice to ensure the document is valid and enforceable.

Estate Planning

Wills and Trusts

Update or create wills and trusts to reflect the couple's current wishes for the distribution of assets upon their death. This process will help protect the couple's financial legacy and ensure their wishes are carried out.

Beneficiary Designations

Review and update beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other financial instruments to ensure they align with the couple's intentions.

Power of Attorney

Establishes durable powers of attorney for healthcare and finances, granting each partner the authority to make decisions on behalf of the other in case of incapacity.

Insurance

Life Insurance

Evaluate the couple's life insurance needs and update policies as necessary to ensure adequate coverage for the remarriage.

Health Insurance

Review health insurance options and choose the most suitable coverage for the couple and their family.

Disability Insurance

Consider obtaining disability insurance to protect against the financial impact of a disabling event.

Financial Planning for Blended Families

Child Support and Alimony Considerations

Understand the financial obligations related to child support and alimony from previous relationships. Ensure that these commitments are factored into the couple's financial planning.

College Savings and Financial Aid

Plan for college expenses for children from both previous and current marriages. Understand the implications of remarriage on financial aid eligibility and adjust savings strategies accordingly.

Inheritance and Financial Responsibilities

Discuss and plan for the financial responsibilities associated with blended families, such as inheritance for children from previous marriages. Consider using tools like trusts to ensure a fair distribution of assets.

Working With Financial Professionals

Hiring a Financial Advisor

Finding the Right Fit

Select a financial advisor who has experience working with remarried couples and understands their unique financial challenges.

Fee Structures and Services

Evaluate potential financial advisors based on their fee structures, services, and expertise to find the best fit for the couple's needs.

Collaborating With Other Professionals

Tax Advisors

Work with a tax advisor to understand the tax implications of remarriage and optimize the couple's tax strategy.

Estate Planning Attorneys

Consult with an estate planning attorney to create or update wills, trusts, and other legal documents to protect the couple's financial interests.

Conclusion

Remarriage financial planning is an ongoing process that requires regular attention and adjustments. Continuously monitoring and updating the couple's financial strategy will help ensure their long-term financial success.

Schedule regular financial check-ins to review the couple's financial progress and make necessary adjustments to their financial plans.

By addressing the unique financial challenges of remarriage, couples can build a strong financial foundation that supports their relationship and ensures a successful future together.

Remarriage Financial Planning FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.

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