Getting Married? Ask This Question First

It’s the month of June and people are getting married left and right. The June brides are blushing in happiness and the grooms are beaming with pride. But I can’t help but wonder if people are really financially ready for a married life. If you don’t know it yet, marriage is a permanent contract of union, and that includes financial union.

I guess it’s too late for this advice for the June brides (and grooms) out there who have already taken the vow. So this goes out to all the future brides and grooms. If you’re getting married, before you pop the question or before you say “Yes” to a proposal, ask your partner this question first: “Do you have life insurance?”

Yes, life insurance. Don’t ask how much his/her savings are or if she has a house or if he has a car. Ask if they have life insurance. Why? Remember the part of the vow which says “till death do us part”. It happens. You’re not signing up for “till death do us and my sanity apart”. Leaving you with two kids a housing mortgage and car loan isn’t exactly comforting after your spouse has died.

A lot of couples will get squeamish about it; they’d rather drop the subject of life insurance because their partner might think they want them dead or they’d rather not deal with now. But you have to deal with death – it’s a fact of life. And however much you push the topic back, it won’t go away. You’re just inching closer to it.

If you were able to decide to get married, it means that you’re mature enough to talk about things like finances and the eventuality of death. Before you tie the knot, make sure you’ve got all your bases covered. You can build up your savings while you’re alive. You can buy a new car if your old one conked out. And you can refinance your mortgage if it’s too much of a burden. But you can’t get a husband or a wife back from the dead. And with that death goes all that opportunity to earn income for your family’s future.

Better yet, spare your partner the agony of having to ask you if you’re insured. Get your life insured beforehand. The earlier, the better. Think about it.


About Benedict Bernabe

Benedict Bernabe, 27. Benedict has a Master's degree in Development Studies from the University of Melbourne, Australia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in European Languages, cum laude, from the University of the Philippines Diliman. He has worked with the United Nations in the Philippines as the Community Facilitator of the Community of Practice on HIV&AIDS. He worked with Standard & Poor's Capital IQ, a financial information company, as researcher, translator and quality analyst in the investment research team. Prior to this, we worked at IBM Business Services. Benedict is a certified yoga teacher.

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