Before you get married
Tuesday Mar 18 2014

Hopefully your parents have bestowed a sense of financial wisdom to serve as a basis to build on. For example; Marriage and the purchase of a home are two of the most financial impactful times in a person’s life. If you're young, talk to your parents and find a Financial Advisor together.

The leading cause of our nation’s 40% divorce rate is money related. So why is it that so many newlyweds take on debt just to appease some idiotic tradition that puts them into debt right from the start? It's a shame that parents indulge idiocy by encouraging a large wedding fantasy in their kids. “Wisdom” isn’t just some word from ancient times. Shouldn't we all strive to be wise?

Now put on your ‘thinking caps’ and Try this blunt attitude on for size, If you are renting, and, or still in school, show your true partnership to each other. Avoid the things that help facilitate that aforementioned abhorrent divorce rate. Weddings shouldn't cause anyone stress. Especially when you're paying for it. That's stupid. There's plenty of time for big diamonds and European honeymoons. Gauging a persons love based on a rock is a poor marital foundation. DeBeers and the Diamond Co-op devised that "ring should cost 20% of the man's annual income" idiocy. They won't be around if the marriage ends. Also, diamond rings are not the investment, jewlers claims they are. I don't care what they appraise for. Something is only worth what another will pay for it.

Now for the wedding. Who says the Father of the bride has to pay for the wedding? That may have been appropriate long ago when men were trading goats to Fathers for their daughters, but now? Not hardly. How about this boring suggestion? Take the money your parents were going to spend on the wedding and gifts, and the money that DeBeers wants to guilt you out of, and put a down payment on a house? If you're not ready for a house, then LOCK IT AWAY in an IRA. Yes, an IRA. A traditional IRA allows the money to grow tax free, and allows a one time $10,000 penalty free withdrawal for first time home buy. There's two of you, so that's $20,000. Remember each IRA has a $10,000 withdrawal limit, so you may need to open another joint NON Ira account in case the IRAs grow too much. Add to your house strategy accounts from pay checks, every tax return, and anniversary until you're in a position to buy a home. Exercise discipline, maturity and wisdom. Having a true partner you can set goals with and save money with shows devotion and builds respect and trust. The boring ingredients of Love. Having your own home also builds dignity in both of you, especially when your friends are falling for the aforementioned mistakes. Then comes the dignity and mental stability of the kids that having a home instills. Lastly, when you buy a house you're not throwing money away, making one of my land lord clients richer.

I'm not a marriage counselor. BUT I am an expert on social financial trends and impact of those trends on the family unit. And I have gone through a divorce. It's not pretty. It can get ugly. And no one plans on getting divorced on their wedding day. We have a huge divorce rate in this country for one main reason; we don’t really know the people we are marrying. Men and women need to marry true partners. Avoiding divorce could not only, save you thousands of dollars, but you just might be saving yourself from the HELL of watching your kids being raised by someone else. ‘Thousands of dollars saved, are Thousands of dollars earned’.

Steve J. Casull, CEO & Founder