Savings & Investments

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Financial experts advise couples to begin a savings plan immediately to meet their short-term and long-term goals, whether the goals are new furnishings, home improvements, house or car payments or education funds for children. Couples should read investment publications and get opinions from more than one investment broker and/or financial adviser. These professionals can explain the pros and cons of money market accounts, certificates of deposit, treasury bills, stocks, mutual funds and more. Only by being informed, can the couple make the best saving decisions. Most economists still consider buying a house to be a sound investment if the mortgage payments fit within the established budget.

Life insurance is still a necessity for the average couple, though seen more as a fund for the surviving spouse and children and less as a long-term investment. The internet has a helpful site, life-line.org, which gives information on the different types of insurance and needed coverage as well as numerous consumer tips.

Finally, many experts suggest couples save at least 10% of their net income in a readily available emergency fund earmarked for unforeseen circumstances.

Wisconsin couples contemplating marriage should know that, since 1986, all income earned and assets acquired by either spouse during marriage is jointly owned. This is the basic premise of Wisconsin’s complex marital property law, little understood by most married couples. Local libraries have information on this law, which is so pertinent to all Wisconsin couples. Any couple, especially those with substantial assets, will benefit from learning about this law before they wed. Important prenuptial strategies and agreements on how to handle finances are impossible if the couple is uninformed.