Most people get married because they are in love. Well that is not such a bad thing, I feel. However along with their thoughts, their finances too get married – and ha that is tough for some people to handle.
Unlike the Americans we do not do pre-nuptial agreements, but unlike Americans we do not require lawyers for everything that we do. Things are of course going to change – we are producing just too many lawyers….and they will require business…soon!!
Marrying of finances is like attending a class of ‘pilates’ or yoga. It is really very easy to watch. The problem is in the doing, not in the seeing!
What are the things that a newly married couple should talk about / consider even before they plan a serious courtship blooms?
Well here is a small list – it can never be exhaustive, because it is always evolving!
1. If both of you have independent incomes there is no clubbing provisions (unlike in US) nor is there any need/scope for joint filing.
2. If the ‘husband’ is planning to gift something to the wife so that she can earn INTEREST from that money (or rent from that property) that gift should be made BEFORE the marriage. No clubbing can take place if the gift is made to a girl friend. Hey be careful that she does not take the gift and run away!
3. Make sure that both of you have adequate medical and life insurance. If your company has medical insurance, make sure you enter your spouse’s name, age, etc. so that medical cover can start as soon as possible.
4. Make sure that all the nominees are in the correct names. If you think you want to see how your wife behaves (over say 6 months)! But it should be a REASONED action, not a lack of action.
5. Discussing finances like – joint accounts, who will bear what expenses, any past loans – including marriage loans, credit card usage, savings / investment habits.
6. Spending habits – will you pay credit card bills in full? Or will you take it partially?
7. If our parents / siblings require money will we give? How much?
8. If our friends ask us for money will we give? How much?
9. Can we please sit and agree on some short term (car, white goods) long term goals (kids, house – buy or rent), and very long term goals (retirement)
10. If our objectives are different (bigger house vs Europe Holiday) how will we reconcile the two.
11. Who will pay the bills – financially and physically!
12. Budgeting…eeekkk! ‘mhanje kay?’ or ‘yes I believe that we should work with a proper budget…
13. How much income you need to run the house, level of affluence that we wish to attain, money to be spent on hobbies, travel, leisure, luxury clothes, when to retire, …and the conflicts between the goals.
14. Will we ever go to our parents for money? Why and why not?
15. It might be difficult to talk about divorce – but keeping records of assets purchased, vacations paid for,…etc. is really useful…in case of a fight.
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