Guiding consumers since 2009

Secure your financial future when you wed

By Staff Writer

One of the biggest causes of the breakdown of a marriage is concern over financial matters, yet despite this all too often newly engaged couples focus their attention on the wedding, reception, honeymoon and other matters without giving due care to the financial consequences of marriage.

A recent study from the US revealed that 32.9% of women and 28.7% of men cite financial problems as the cause of their divorce. While there are no local statistics these figures reveal the importance of seeking proper financial advice ahead of a marriage to help avoid serious problems later on.

This is according to Gavin Came, Chairman of the Financial Planning Committee at the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA), who says couples should be as open talking about their financial situation as they are discussing the social formalities of a wedding.

“Much of the stress in a marriage often arises from discrepancies in the spouses’ views on saving and spending. Invariably one tends to be more of a saver and the other a spender, which can quickly give rise to conflict. This can largely be avoided by speaking to a qualified financial adviser who can assist the couple to agree and maintain a financial plan that includes a budget.”

He says it is critical that both partners are open and honest about their financial history as financial affairs coming into the marriage will play a vital role in actually determining the type of marriage contract to be entered, says Came. “It is highly important for the spouses to understand what financial issues could face the marriage, for example, if one of the spouses had incurred significant debt or is exposed to large personal sureties, this could affect the couple’s ability to take on further debt to, say, buy a family home.”

He says that following a marriage, there are many changes to the financial situation that need to be considered and planned for. “After a marriage there are usually two incomes earned and one house to finance, or in the case of a second marriage, there may be issues from previous relationships, such as maintenance and decisions to be made about children - such as education, healthcare and other additional expenses. In the longer term, and for older newlyweds, there are the retirement plans which also need to be considered jointly.”

“The long term structure and financial arrangements of the partnership will also determine many future decisions of the marriage, so it is vital to have cohesive plan in place that can be reviewed on an annual basis.”

“There are basically three financial marital regimes available to couples: community of property; anti-nuptial contracts excluding community of property; and anti nuptial contracts providing for community of accrual.”

“However, there are many variations in agreeing on the detail of an anti-nuptial contract. A decision about which of these regimes to enter is sometimes difficult to determine for a young couple marrying for the first time. They are also important considerations for second marriages where the spouses may have accumulated assets prior to the wedding.”

“With so many dimensions to the financial consequences of marriage it simply makes good sense to discuss and plan the financial future of the marriage with the assistance of a qualified and experienced financial advisor who can help determine the best plan for the marriage to ensure a financially successful marriage in the long term,” concludes Came

Recent Articles

Featured What happens to your finances when the interest rate drops?

An interest rate cut simply means that the cost of borrowing is lower, and therefore cheaper. This is sometimes a tool used to encourage economic growth. But what does such a cut mean for your finances?

Raise a deposit for your house in 5 steps

If you’re a first-time home buyer, you could be lucky enough to be  approved for a 100% bond, but if you aren’t, a 10% deposit might be required. This  could be a daunting prospect.  However, a few financial tweaks to your lifestyle and spending habits could get you a foot in the property door and, once you’ve purchased a property, significantly reduce your long-term bond repayments.

Get personal with your finances – and tie the knot

As time passes, your financial products may not live up to your needs. Therefore, it’s important to take stock of what you’re paying for and adjust where necessary. We got in touch with financial advisers to find out how you can get your finances in order, and what you should do to ensure you’re financially stable.

Personal loan or business loan? The best way to finance your business

When starting your own business, you may have to rely on external funding. Perhaps you qualify for a personal loan, but would it be better to take out a business loan instead? We got in touch with a specialist to find out whether it’s best to take out a business loan or a personal loan to assist you with your ongoing business or start-up.

Deals

Cash Rewards up to 20% when you swipe your Absa Card at Spar

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Nationwide

The Royal Elephant Hotel Valentine's Day Special

Price: Available on request
When: 14 February 2020
Where: Centurion

Premier Hotels Vegan Dinner Special

Price: R225 per person
When: Monthly
Where: Nationwide