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(StatePoint) Finding the love of your life can be tricky, but what can be even trickier is making sure you’re both on the same financial page before you walk down the aisle.
  Meeting with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional may not sound like the most romantic aspect of wedding planning, but getting aligned on money matters can safeguard your relationship against one of the most common sources of marital strife. Here are a few ways a CFP® professional can help:
  Getting aligned: A person’s “money story” is informed by how they were raised, experiences they’ve had or financial lessons they’ve learned — and everyone’s story is unique. A CFP® professional does more than crunch numbers. They help you understand your personal money story to facilitate productive discussions about spending, saving and other financial matters.
  Addressing the past: If either of you brings debt to the marriage, it’s essential to be transparent about the type and amount of debt, even if you intend to keep your finances separate. Debt can affect your ability to pay for daily expenses and save for the future. Your financial advisor can help you create a repayment plan.
  Addressing the future: As a couple, it’s important to share your vision of what the future holds, whether that involves buying a home, raising children, traveling the world or planning for an early retirement. Now is the time to create a road map for achieving your individual and shared goals. This should include practical considerations, such as how you will divide financial responsibilities and whether you will combine your savings and investments. Having these conversations now can help you avoid surprises down the line.
  Wedding budgeting: A 2019 study from Lending Tree revealed that 45% of couples married within the previous two years accrued wedding-related debt, with nearly half of those couples contemplating divorce as a result. A CFP® professional can help you avoid debt and create a realistic budget that prioritizes which wedding day expenses are most important to you.
  Special considerations: Your financial plan may involve special considerations. For example, if you’re over age 50 and marrying for the second time, you may want to focus on retirement, legacies and living wills. If you’re part of the LGTBQ+ community and live in a state without robust anti-discrimination laws, you’ll want to ensure that your strategy protects you both. Your financial advisor can walk you through what to consider based on your circumstances.
  Don’t wait until you’ve tied the knot to address important financial issues with your spouse. Let a CFP® professional who will be committed to acting in your best interests get the ball rolling. To get started, visit
  Conversations about money are not always easy. However, setting a precedent for open communication around money during your engagement can pave the way for a healthy marriage.

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How to navigate your finances
during an election year
(StatePoint) During election years, uncertainty over the future can shake investor confidence.
  To help you navigate finances during this election cycle, work with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and consider these tips and insights:
  Study the past to calm anxiety: A quick look at historical data can help you make level-headed investment decisions during a bumpy election cycle. As it turns out, fears that election results will have long-term market effects are largely unfounded, according to a U.S. Bank analysis of market data since 1948. The analysis detected only short-term volatility around election cycles.
  Stay the course: Even during tumultuous political times, it’s important to stay the course when it comes to your big-picture financial plan. Timing the market is often a losing strategy, so avoid selling your investments, or investing less, based on election-related market hiccups.
  However, periodically making tweaks is a good idea. Work with your CFP® professional to revise your asset allocations as needed to ensure that your portfolio remains diversified and aligned with your risk tolerance and evolving goals. Life happens and timelines change — many factors can impact your investing inside or outside of election cycles.
  Consider other factors: The presidential election is just one piece of the political puzzle as it relates to your finances. Stay abreast of financial policy changes in 2024. Tax laws, as well as legislation around student loans, Medicare and Social Security, are just some of the factors that can impact your wallet. Your financial planner will possess insights into how to reach your goals based on the latest policy changes. And of course, you should be mindful of any personal life changes you anticipate in the year ahead, such as marriage, divorce or retirement.
  No matter which political party is in power, a trusted financial advisor can offer you a roadmap to meet your goals and deliver personalized advice to help you fine-tune your plan. To find a CFP® professional committed to acting in your best interest, visit
  During the highs and lows of an election year, it’s easy to become uneasy about your financial portfolio. With historical insights, a cool head and the help of a financial advisor, you can ride out 2024 with confidence.