Being a responsible adult can sometimes be so tedious. Even though babies are a long way off for my husband and me, we’re already thinking about how we can get our personal and financial affairs in order so that when we do expand our family, there will be one less thing for us to worry about. Of course, having a baby probably gives you twenty million new things to worry about. So, um, I guess we’ll only have 19,999,999 things to worry about. Ug.
Anyway, since we got married six months ago (yes! it’s been six months already!), we’ve put each other’s name on all of our bank and credit card accounts and consolidated accounts. (I should add that I don’t think that you need to do this to be responsible after you get married. This is just the way that we wanted to handle our finances and it works for us. As long as you’re not spending your (or your spouse’s!) money on hookers and blow, I think you’re being responsible in whatever way works for you.)
We also updated all of our beneficiaries on our insurance policies and retirement accounts. This was actually a hard thing for me to do. Before I got married, my beneficiaries were my parents – they’ve known me for 31 years and they raised me. If I kick the bucket, aren’t they more entitled to my money than my husband, who I’ve only known for three years? I drug my feet on changing my beneficiaries until January, when I finally realized that since both of our names are on everything, if I kick the bucket, my husband is going to need whatever money I have to pay for my (our…) condo, etc.
Which brings me to the next “responsible” thing that we did. After we got married, we immediately added each other’s name to the other’s property. Before getting married, we each purchased a condo, as a single person. So, I filed all the legal paperwork to add his name to my property deed and my name to his property deed. Apparently, if we hadn’t done this, and one of us kicks the bucket, the living/owning situation could get sticky.
Next up, we met with our financial advisor and reviewed our disability insurance plans and beefed up our life insurance plans. Luckily, my husband has a really good long-term disability plan through his work, so we didn’t need to purchase any additional disability insurance for him. Next year, I’ll drop my supplemental life insurance through my work (since I have enough in my outside-of-work policies) and pick up long-term disability. I already purchased an extra short-term disability plan, so that’s in place now (I did that so that I can get benefits during maternity leave – with my plan, you have to have the policy for one year before you can make a claim, which is why I had to purchase it so far in advance of having kids). Spending money on insurance is probably more boring than anything else – even more boring than buying car tires. But, it’s the responsible thing to do, especially if there will be kids in our future, so we bit the bullet and did it.
We’ve also analyzed all of our retirement accounts, paid off all of our debt (well, you know, except the bajillion dollars in mortgage debt that we have), diversified our financial portfolio, started a more aggressive savings plan, and organized all of our paperwork in our office.
The only thing left to do now is put together a living trust. We decided to hold off on doing that until next year when we are closer to having kids – otherwise, we’d have to create it this year and then update it again after we have kids.
All this talk of responsibility is boring me. Now I want to say screw it and do something totally fun and irresponsible. If you don’t hear from me again, I probably took all of our money and put it on black in Vegas. I either won and am now living in a mansion on the coast or I lost and I’m dealing blackjack at a seedy casino’s tables off the Strip.