Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of The Smart Money show. I’m your host Stephen Rischall along with my co-host Neal Frankle. And today we’re gonna be talking about important life events and how that might change the way you think about money and plan for your financial future ahead. Welcome back. Thanks for tuning in. Let’s cut right to it. Neal, congratulations, you just became a grandpa and I have to ask you, I mean, how does it feel?

Well, it feels great, especially it feels great because it’s not, I mean, I love this baby. It’s wonderful and it’s great to see my kids having kids, but it’s great because I’m not financially on the hook really. It’s not my child, it’s my grandson. So, it feels great that he’s around and I can have this wonderful relationship but, you know, I’m not worried about the primary financial, you know, underpinnings of his life like I was with my kids.

That’s a fair point but I have to imagine something either in your mind or somehow has changed financially for you as a result of this, right?

Well practically some things have changed. You know, my daughter got her baby. I got my baby. I bought myself a car and I bought it because we needed a bigger car. We needed a car that’s gonna transport the baby around cause we’ll be around a lot. We’re thinking about changing where we live to accommodate having grandchildren. We want to travel more, you know, I’ve mentioned it. You know, the clients have seen this, I’ve pulled back a little bit or a lot from work and want to pull back a little bit more and travel when COVID allows. So we want to travel. We want to focus our time with our, our grandchildren. Right now we’ve got one, but hopefully, we’re hoping for more and enjoying and really just a focus on enjoying life. Because when you start seeing your kids have kids, you start thinking that must mean I’m getting a little older and maybe it’s time to really enjoy it. You know that’s what I was telling all my clients for all those years to enjoy and travel and do this. And, now I’m trying to take my own advice. So those things have changed.

Right. Then that totally makes sense. By the way, I like the new car, the red looks probably good on you. Too bad it wasn’t a convertible. Can’t fit babies in convertibles I don’t think though, not safely.- [Neal] No. No. But you know, I have to imagine it maybe got you to start thinking a little differently about your estate planning. I mean have you made any amendments or do you think you might make any changes to your estate plan?

What makes them–See I’ve been doing estate planning and reviewing my estate plan basically since before I got married cause that’s just the world I lived in. So there’ll be some minor changes, but the most important change will be that I’ll have my kids really focused on doing their own cause I’m pretty sure they haven’t done anything up until now. So they’ve got to do it and I’ll harp on them. I always, I need something to harp on somebody with. So that’ll, be my new leverage point, but you know, mainly it’s about traveling and traveling. My wife and I have been traveling with our grandchildren. That’s the big change and there’ll be some small estate plan change, but not a big deal. Cause I update it all the time.

That I, you know, I basically assumed that was the case, but, so let me ask you this. Do you know I mean, what is the biggest sort of surprise for you financially now thinking about, you know, your new grandchild, your growing family what’s maybe changed?

Well, I sort of said it. There’s two, there were two big a-ha moments. First is, you know, I was very used to when our babies were born, that it was this huge financial responsibility. And that was very worrying to me for a long time. And when, when the baby was born, I initially had that same kind of concern, but then I sort of took a step back. So I relaxed a little bit on that and that was good. And on the other hand, the other big takeaway is, and it’s right in your face that your kids are having kids. So that means de facto, you’ve got, you know, you’re getting a little older, so you’ve really got to make your time count. So that was sort of a wake up call that I hadn’t really expected. It was theoretically, yes, I should travel more, but now it’s a little bit more in my face, so. And then also I didn’t expect the idea of maybe needing a different living arrangement. So those things I didn’t think about, and they’re apparent. I’ve got to do that, you know? So, so that was for us, but you know, we’ve talked a lot about me. Let’s talk about you. You also have some pretty big news, don’t you, Stephen?

It is true. It’s official. I am now married. So just a few, a couple of days actually, before you had your grandchild Carissa and I, we were married on August 8th. It was beautiful. We were so fortunate. We got to do it outdoors and with our family and our friends safely, especially during, you know, during these times just, you know, all these stories, you’ve heard of people having to reschedule and then multiple times reschedule their wedding. So really fortunate, we’re able to do that. And it’s a very exciting time for us, for sure.

Now you guys lived together for a while. You have a joint household and then you got married. So did anything change as a result of that?

Yeah, that’s a fair question we had lived together for quite a while prior to getting married. I’d say the biggest thing that changed is, is sort of, it’s also a mindset it’s going from the me budget to the we budget. So thinking more about our joint expenses, our joint household incomes, you know, there’s certain expenses now that we can share versus having individual, like for example, subscriptions. Or we did this a while ago, but when people kinda come together in a marriage in the same household, you don’t necessarily need two, you know, Netflix or two Amazon primes. So there’s potentially some areas for cost savings when you’re bringing your household together. So, spending the time to put together the we budget is probably a really, really good exercise to do sooner rather than later in any relationship.

I agree. How about things like life insurance, real estate, retirement planning has anything shifted there because you know, when you were just responsible for yourself, you could make those decisions. And when Carissa was just responsible for herself, she could make those decisions. And now you guys are a couple or you’re a married couple. So, anything different in the life insurance or real estate or retirement money?

Totally. I mean, we might not have a family or children yet, but thinking differently about life insurance, for sure. I mean, we do, we recently purchased a home, so we have a mortgage. So making sure that if heaven forbid something happened to me or something happened to her, that’s just one thing we don’t want to have to worry about or to have our spouse worry about is the mortgage. So planning ahead for life insurance makes a lot of sense. Haven’t gotten to the estate plan just yet. It’s only been a month but that’s definitely top of mind, because prior to this, I did have my trust and my estate plan, which includes things like healthcare directives and, you know, power of attorney. So all of that stuff needs to get updated. Super duper important. And I imagine I’ll get to it here in the next couple of weeks and months, but definitely thinking differently about that now that we’re married.

So, so you’ve gone through this on a personal at base level, and you’ve also gone through it on a professional level where you helped other people before they got married. So, what would you recommend to other people if they’re, let’s say they’re gonna get married in three months, six months, a year. What would you recommend that they do that maybe you could have done better or earlier, or, or you did perfectly, whatever was the most important thing you did? What are your top recommendations?

Well, I’d say there’s two things that really stick out to me. One, I think we did a great job about so let’s talk about that one first. And that is the joint bank account. I mean, I recommend all the time to either couples, married or not, but especially when you get married, the sooner you put together that joint bank account the better. We actually had a joint bank account prior to getting married. We opened it up a few months before our wedding. And now at this point, when we talk more about that we budget, the planning for us, everything flows through our joint bank account. We did still keep individual accounts for ourselves. We don’t really put much money in there may be a little bit of money, 500 bucks, a thousand bucks a month for each of us. That’s really just so we can each kinda still do our things independently. I can still buy some gifts for Carissa. She could buy gifts for me, we’re not going to know, you know, what one another is buying. Cause we’re trying to keep that stuff a little bit more, you know, to the individual and more private. So putting together that we budget and putting together a joint bank account sooner rather than later, I think will serve most couples well. The one thing that I would also recommend for anyone planning a wedding is to stick to some sort of a budget. So, you know, again, our wedding turned out great. We had tons of family and friends. It was beautiful. We loved it. And most importantly, we got to actually enjoy our wedding, but I think as most people know, when it comes to weddings pretty easy to run over budget. And we definitely did that. So, you know, I think coming up with a wedding budget sooner in the process, I am guilty of that. We actually did not put together our wedding budget until we were maybe a third of the way through or halfway through planning. And that did not serve us well. So, fortunately the wedding turned out great, but we were definitely over budget. And that was a little bit of a, you know, stress, at least for me like some financial stress that maybe got in the way a little bit during the planning process. But once the wedding got started, that became an afterthought.

Sure. Well, you know in doing this segment together with you Stephen, what really hit me is that we’ve been talking for years about how clients should go back and stick to their long-term plan. When it comes to news events like economic changes, political changes, military, whatever. Interest rates, stock market, we always sort of say, look, let’s go back and look at your long-term planning. Let’s make sure that it fits. But, these are the kind of things, life events, the happy ones that we’re talking about, children, grandchildren, marriages, and there are some less happy life events. But any major life change, that’s when it’s very possible that there will be financial fall out, there will be changes in your real estate needs in your life insurance, estate planning, spending needs. Whatever, that now’s the time to pick up the phone and come in and go over your plan because we’ve been through this before. So, you know, tap into our personal experience and our professional experience and um, and get together and look at it. This is the most important thing. In my opinion, the most important takeaway from this conversation. You have a life event, let’s get together and go through it.

Definitely. I couldn’t agree with you more Neal. I mean, fortunately for happy life events like having a baby or a grandchild or getting married, usually those don’t happen by surprise. There’s plenty of time leading up to it. So it gives you a lot more time to plan ahead. And after the fact, it gives you more time to plan in the process versus other life events that might be more of a shock and aren’t as fun to talk about, but either way just like you said Neal, when these things are happening in your life whether by surprise or intentionally planned probably good time to think about how it affects other pieces of your financial puzzle. Your future. Your priorities. Your goals. These are things that we’re here ready and more than willing and happy to talk about with you. So look, if you learn something new today, feel free to share this video with your loved ones, with your family, with your friends until next time. I’m your host, Stephen Rischall, along with Neal Frankle. And this is, The Smart Money show.