When you pledge to share your life with someone and complete the ceremony to make it official, a lot of things change. It doesn’t necessarily alter everything immediately.
Some couples, especially if they’ve been dating for a long time, actually end up feeling a bit anticlimactic because it seems so similar.
But even in these cases, there are a few fundamental differences that will begin to take shape.
More importantly, there are a few ways that you need to shift your mindset and a few specific actions that every married couple should take soon after they formalize their bond.
The following represent three things that all newlyweds should do right away:
1. Discuss Your Family Plans Again
Hopefully, you have already had some in-depth, serious discussions about your plans for forming a family before you actually got married.
But the months leading up to a wedding and especially the final days are usually very emotional and marked by chaos.
So, at some point early on, maybe waiting until right after the honeymoon is over, be sure to sit down and talk through all this again.
Will you have kids? When will you have them? Do you have a specific timeline or are you comfortable just waiting a few years and then figuring it out?
Again, you hopefully both are already completely on the same page about this. But it is best to talk about it now that everything is official and make sure everything you discussed before is the same.
2. Come Together Financially
Both emotionally and legally, your financial worlds have now been united. Some married couples do maintain individual accounts and prenups can dictate specific legal untangling protocols in the event of a divorce.
But, in general, what’s yours is now theirs and what’s theirs is now yours. You will want some joint accounts.
And, more important than the logistics, this means that you should be fully aligned in terms of savings and investment goals in principle.
Maybe one of you handles more of the nuts and bolts, but there must be a general consensus that you each agree with as far as how your family will manage money.
3. Have an End-of-Life Discussion
Death is sadly a part of life, and it’s a fate that awaits us all.
So even if you and your spouse are only in your early 20s, there needs to be some discussion about what happens in the event that tragedy strikes.
Wills and living wills are a key aspect of this.
You need to know your partner’s wishes when it comes to these difficult decisions, and it also is essential to protect your family financially for such a situation.
Life insurance can be incredibly affordable and can help ensure that those left behind are not devastated monetarily as well as emotionally if one of you two passes away at a younger age.
Taking Care of Business After Getting Married
The beginning of your marriage will be one of the greatest periods of your life. The love you have been already sharing is now set in stone and you can now join together into a new union that will grow stronger for decades to come.
It’s easy to just get caught up in the moment — then next thing you know a year has gone by.
Before that happens, make sure you sit down and have a few of the most important life conversations.
You need to get on the same page about your family plans, you must sort out the logistics of merging your financial lives and you need to have a hard, but necessary, conversation about end-of-life decisions and life insurance protection.
There will obviously be a lot of other things to tackle soon as well. But you can’t do everything right off the bat and need to take some time to enjoy yourself.
Just by getting these three things out of the way, however, you will be able to move forward on even firmer ground.