Love is blind but marriage requires vision
A decision to get married - what could be more exhilarating? Following the proposal, the focus of many couples falls on the planning of the wedding. Our advice is to prepare by discussing the tough topics - financial and life goals, expectations, deal-breakers.
As we were preparing this article, one of altruWisdom Wise Owls shared this real-life story they have encountered in their practice.
It is a story of a couple who decided to get married after being together for less than a year.
Going into the marriage, Axel and Norah thought they were quite prepared. Both of them worked high-paying independent contractor jobs, Norah owned two investment properties she was renting out. The couple made the decision to purchase a home together, so they could start their married life from a fresh leaf.
There were, however multiple issues with their direction, as it turned out upon further investigation.
Norah's debt level was quite high, due to the outstanding mortgages on her investment properties.
Axel's debt was also very high, due to student loans he acquired when completing his dental hygienist qualifications.
Because both Axel and Norah are independent contractors, their reported income is quite low, which resulted in a denial from the bank to issue another mortgage in their names.
A private lender offered them a mortgage at a substantial rate.
Norah's brother is not trusting of Axel, due to how fast the couple decided to get married.
Norah's family owns a bakery,, which Norah works at and could potentially take over eventually, however the tax burden in the sale of the business could potentially put it under.
The couple took the right step from the beginning by engaging a professional financial planner - our Wise Owl, who was so kind to share the story. They realized that without the qualified help they could make potentially detrimental decisions in their lives.
The financial planner suggested the following steps to complete, which immediately improved the couples' morale, financial standing and gave them knowledge and confidence to continue making decisions on their own:
Organize all current documents. While going through the life events of getting married and purchasing a house, the couple will require access to their documents. Eliminating the stress of looking for them or finding out that they are expired or, worse, lost, helped the couple get the process started and feel an instant win.
Get life insurance for Axel and Norah, which exceeds the amount of their debt, thus minimizing the risk. This step helped giving them the sense of security, as neither of them felt comfortable taking over a large debt load in the worst case scenario.
Buying the bakery business. To find the most tax effective way for Norah to purchase the bakery, the planner recommended to contact a lawyer and initiate the process of planning the couples estate.
Stabilize the family relationships by involving Norah's brother in the decision-making process. Norah's brother was able to see the relationship between Axel and his sister up close, and warmed up to him. This eliminated frictions in the family and unnecessary stress associated with it.
By taking the initiative and getting a jump start on planning their future, Axel and Norah minimized many risks and prevented many issues. They also put themselves on the track to reaching their life and financial goals they have set out together as a couple.
To read the full story and see other ingenious solutions, which could help you in your current situation, click here.