'And I now pronounce you...' Since tying the knot, your priorities have likely been opening presents and browsing snaps from your big day.
Financial planning may have been the last thing on your mind. But as you plan your lives together, it’s important to think about how you’re going to secure your financial futures.
What’s mine is yours
As the celebrations die down, it’s worth having a conversation at some point soon about life insurance. Do you already have life insurance? If you do, now might be a good time to review your cover to make sure it’s providing the right protection for your new circumstances.
For example, now that you’re married, the next big step could be to upsize before starting a family. If that’s the case, buying a bigger house may mean a larger mortgage, and your policy - if indeed it has been taken out to cover your mortgage debt - would need to reflect that.
Meanwhile, if you have two separate policies, combining them could save you money. However, bear in mind that one policy means one pay out; so, if you have children and something happened to both of you, they would receive a single lump sum.
If you aren’t covered
If either of you are yet to take out a policy, there’s no time like the present. If one of you died, would the other be able to pay the mortgage and household bills, or cover childcare costs alone? A life insurance policy, for instance, will pay out a lump sum if you die within the term of the plan, and can be tailored to suit your individual needs.
There are two other main types of protection insurance.
Critical illness helps protect you against the financial impact caused by serious illnesses, providing you will a cash sum so you can concentrate on getting better.
Income protection, meanwhile, can help provide you with a regular income to replace some of your earnings if you can't work because of illness or injury. It’s worth noting that the younger you are when taking out cover, the cheaper your premium is likely to be.
Investing in your goals
Once your life insurance is sorted, you can start thinking about your married life – your future goals and all the exciting things you want to see, do and experience together.
Chances are you’ll have many goals, both short and long term; from buying a new car or growing your family, to travelling the world or retiring to the countryside. Whatever your goals may be, reaching them will largely depend on one thing: financial planning.
First things first, though: before you start saving for something years down the line, it is wise to take a couple of steps first.
For instance, the Money Advice Service - set up by the government - recommends you should have 'emergency savings' equivalent to three months' essential outgoings. This would cover life's little inconveniences - a broken boiler, say - so you don't have to tap into your savings or investments to pay for them.
Likewise, if you have any lingering debts, such as store or credit cards, you might want to get these cleared first.
Now you are in a position to start putting money aside for short-term goals, such as a holiday or new furniture.
For long term goals (a minimum of five years), such as saving for university fees or preparing your dream retirement, you could think about investing. One way of doing this is to open a Stocks and Shares ISA. It has the potential for higher returns than traditional cash savings, and any investment growth or interest you earn is free of tax.
Investing isn’t without an element of risk – your investment could fall and you may not get back the full amount you invested. But by investing for a minimum of five years, your investment has longer to recover from any potential bumps in the market.
Building your future together starts today; and taking steps to safeguard your finances and invest in your goals will help to secure a ‘happily ever after’ for the both of you.
If you would like to know more about life insurance, visit Zurich's dedicated life insurance page, which includes a calculator to help you figure out how much cover you may need.
For more on investing, take a look at our Stocks and Shares ISA page, which will also tell you more about the funds available within a Zurich Stocks and Shares ISA.