Entries in Marriage (8)


Five Money Conversations to Have Before Marriage

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- You finally found your soul mate -- someone who is sympathetic, nurturing, loving and caring. You're ready to tie the knot. But before you say, "I do," can you honestly say, "We did?" No, I'm not talking about that. I am talking about the talk. Not the one about sex and family but rather the one about money and credit.

Buzzkill? Reality testing? Yes. However, you both need to talk about:

What do your credit reports say, and what do they say about you?

What are your respective credit scores?

How much debt is each of you carrying?

What would your combined debts look like?

Is your fiancé a big spender or a saver?

If you're ready to take the big walk then it's time to have that talk and here's why it shouldn't be delayed until after the rings are slipped on your fingers and the limousine is racing to the wedding reception or the airport.

The sooner both of you discuss your personal financial preferences, credit standings, individual spending habits and joint future goals, the sooner you can identify and hopefully avoid major problems.

Most people recognize that money and sex are two major potholes that can trip up happily married couples and lead to a rocky road of conflict, distress and disputation. And, as you are now a couple, it's good to get into the habit of joint problem solving and negotiating so you can set the stage for a sustaining dialogue that fuels togetherness and intelligent conflict resolution.

Fact: The longer you can avoid plunging into debt and all of the traps that come with achieving instant gratification and overspending, the better you'll be prepared as a couple to save for the things you want, get ready for little bundles of joy, and build your retirement nest egg. In addition to the size of your investment accounts, the health of your credit is paramount.

Unfortunately, many couples enter a marriage with credit baggage. Like a suitcase that is so stuffed that all of the clothes can't be jammed into it, one spouse and sometimes both may have overspent in their previous lives, racked up significant debt and made mistakes that severely damaged their credit. While one partner's bad credit score won't damage the score of the other, it could inhibit their ability to jointly purchase a home or a car at an affordable price, and must be addressed as early in the relationship as possible.

It is important that when entering into the bonds of holy matrimony, each partner must commit to building a strong individual credit profile while building a solid joint credit history. That means keeping debt under control, cutting costs where appropriate, merging expenses with a prospective life partner to get the benefits of "economies of scale," making all payments in a timely fashion and not overspending. Here are some other useful tips:

- When planning the wedding, don't take on suffocating debt to stage the event of the century at the most spectacular venue in town. If you're paying for it because your parents or in-laws can't afford it, be sensible about the ceremony and reception and splurge on the honeymoon (if you must). Creating five- or six-figure debt to finance your wedding and honeymoon could well damage your individual or joint credit rating, and make it difficult to live the life you dreamt about when you walked down the aisle.

- Avoid digging a hole from which you can't escape with credit card debt. Like wandering into quicksand, you sink hopelessly into debt as exorbitant interest rates proliferate and multiply faster than rabbits.

- By keeping your costs down and building a solid credit history, you establish yourself as a couple ready to build savings, develop a positive mutual credit rating, and seize the world rather than be crushed by it.

- When you need to take out your first loan as a couple, you'll be eligible rather than rejected and denied. With a strong credit rating, minimum debt and growing savings, you'll be viewed positively by banks and more likely to be approved.

- Weak credit can also affect a couple's ability to take out a joint credit card. That's another reason to lower debt or eradicate it. The quicker that bad credit is extinguished, the faster you can embark on establishing positive joint credit and achieving your dreams.

There is no substitute for talking things out. You're a couple now and everything you do from here on in should be done as two-some, a partnership, and a marriage. Don't hold back, don't fudge, don't mislead and, of course, never lie. Be straight, get everything out in the open, and reach an agreement in principle about how you plan on straightening out any bad debt from the past, cleaning up any credit issues, and establishing a positive joint profile and track record for the future.

Stanley Kubrick once directed a film entitled Eyes Wide Shut, but in this case, eyes wide open is the operative way to behave. Be open with your spouse; learn to talk things out. Collaborate on establishing positive joint credit, fixing any problems of the past, and embarking on a new sterling financial record. This will lead to material happiness and emotional health as well.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Postnuptial Agreements on the Rise

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Most people know about the prenuptial agreements that many couples sign before they walk down the aisle.  But a new survey finds 51 percent of matrimonial attorneys are citing an increase in postnuptial contracts during the past three years.

Forty-two percent of the attorneys surveyed find husbands to be the party most often seeking a postnup, while 10 percent say it’s the wives who make the request.  Forty-eight percent of the lawyers noted no difference between the two sides.

In addition, 36 percent of the lawyers surveyed have noticed an increase in women requesting a postnup.

Postnups can cover a wide variety of issues, including finances, property, assets, children, spousal support and probate matters.

The survey involved 1,600 attorneys who are members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sam Adams Creates Ale for Newlyweds

Boston Beer Company(BOSTON) -- Newlyweds now have a little something else to celebrate other than their nuptials: a new beer from Samuel Adams.  Newlywed Ale, a limited-edition pale ale, will only be available Thursday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the brewery’s Boston location.

“Brides, grooms, couples, recently engaged and recently married” are invited to the event, which will feature wedding experts from and a justice of the peace to perform impromptu ceremonies.  (Wedding license not included.)  Couples can also enter for a chance to win up to $1,000 for their rehearsal dinner.

The site describes the beer as a “limited release Belgian-style pale golden ale.  A distinct and complex brew, Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale offers layers of flavor including fruit and honeysuckle notes from the Belgian yeast, sweetness from malt and citrus character from hops.”

Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Sam Adams, describes the beer as the color of a golden wedding band.

The 750mL bottles are $14.99 each and can be purchased in a case of 12.  Only 350 cases of the beer have been brewed.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mark Zuckerberg Marries Priscilla Chan

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg married Priscilla Chan on Saturday, two days after the social networking site had the biggest tech IPO in history and five days after the bride graduated from medical school.

The wedding was announced, of course, on his Facebook page, along with a photo of the happy couple, and in less than an hour nearly 200,000 people had “liked” the news.

Zuckerberg, 28, and Chan, 27, who met nine years ago at Harvard, married in a small ceremony in the backyard of his home in Palo Alto, Calif. Chan graduated from medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, on Monday, the same day Zuckerberg turned 28.

A guest authorized to speak by the couple said there were fewer than 100 people at the ceremony, and they all thought they were there to celebrate Chan’s graduation.

Zuckerberg designed the simple ruby wedding ring himself, and Chan had not seen it before the ceremony, the guest said.

The couple had been planning the ceremony for four or five months, the guest said.

The wedding feast came from the couple’s favorite Palo Alto restaurants, Palo Alto Sol and Fuki Sushi, and for dessert they had Burdick Chocolate “mice,” which Chan and Zuckerberg had on their first date.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


B of A Rejects Checks from Bride Who Kept Last Name

Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images(ALBANY, N.Y.) -- A newlywed couple in Albany, N.Y., ran into everything but a honeymoon when Bank of America refused to let a bride who kept her last name cash their gift checks.

Pete Iorizzo, news and sports writer for the Albany Times-Union newspaper, and his wife received some checks as wedding gifts made out to “Mr. and Mrs. Peter Iorizzo.”

Iorizzo said he endorsed the checks, specified “for deposit only” on them and gave them to his wife to deposit into their joint account.

After she went to a local Bank of America branch and handed them to a teller, he said she was denied.

The bank said there was no way around the dilemma, even rejecting their offer for a copy of their marriage license, according to Iorizzo.

He said one bank employee even said, “Mrs. Peter Iorizzo does not exist.” The couple was told their checks were void and they would have to request new checks from their guests.

A spokeswoman for Bank of America said she could not discuss customer accounts.

Iorizzo said he called the bank the following day and spoke to an assistant manager and then a manager who gave them the same answer. The manager said a family member also chose not to change her name but requested that anyone writing a check as a gift make it out to “Cash.”

The problem was eventually worked around after two days and frustrating phone calls when his wife drove to another branch and cashed the checks without incident, he said. That teller noticed the checks were from a wedding and said, “Congratulations.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Transparency is the Key in Money and Marriage

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Marriage and money are certainly not always a match made in heaven.  The poor jobs market and the weak economy can make married life more stressful.  

"Transparency" may be the most important word when married couples handle spending and savings.

Scott Palmer, who writes about money and marriage, says "money is going to affect every aspect of your relationship...the most important aspect about whether you're going to have one or two accounts is making sure you're talking about what are in those accounts and giving yourself 100% transparency."

Scott suggests having regular money huddles. He and his wife, Bethany "do it once a month so you just know what's coming in and going out of your account." She says it is ok to have joint or separate accounts, but that honesty and openness are the way to go.

Copyright ABC News Radio


Average Wedding Cost Drops to $26,501

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Though June, one of the most popular months for weddings, is nearing its end, the summer wedding season is far from over.  And as couples tie the knot this year, they appear to be doing more with less.

The average wedding cost dipped to $26,501 in 2011, according to Brides magazine's 2011 American Wedding Study.  In 2009, the last time the survey was published, the cost of a wedding was $28,082.

This wasn't a scientific survey of all American weddings.  The 2,985 respondents to the survey were women 18 and over, engaged or married within the year who responded between April 15 and April 28.  Those surveyed visited or were Brides magazine subscribers.

Brides and grooms who are nervous about the shaky economy are breaking traditions and spending less on their engagement events and wedding day.

Despite some signs of a modest economic recovery, many couples may still not feel confident about their financial situation.  And many are opting to spend or give their money in other places.

Sally Kilbridge, deputy editor of Brides magazine, said most couples start to determine their wedding budget just after they get engaged.

"Since wedding budgets are set very early in the game, that decrease in the cost of weddings for 2011 actually reflects a decrease in what people were budgeting 18 months earlier, when the economic recovery hadn't taken hold," she said.  "Having said that, couples are a lot more thoughtful today about how they're spending their money -- when you're not sure about your job and your future, you're much less likely to go into debt."

Take the engagement, for example.  The average cost of an engagement ring is $4,647, down 27 percent from 2009, the last time the magazine conducted the survey.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Avoid the Headache: Discuss Finances with Your Partner

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Managing your money can be a tall order for couples, especially when they disagree on spending priorities.

Couples who talk about family finances are far less likely to have misunderstandings.

Personal finance experts Melissa and Daniel Garcia say a useful tip is to set "aside a specific time of the month that you sit down and talk to your spouse."

"Write down what your goals are for the budget.  What your dreams are," Daniel Garcia says.

"It only takes 10 or 15 minutes to talk about that week's finances, what's coming up, what bills need to be paid," says Melissa Garcia.

And to get the most out of your talks, make sure to be honest about how you handle money.

"You need to find out not just your strengths but also your weaknesses," she says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio