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Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz
It's never too early for couples to discuss financial planning
INDIANAPOLIS - (August 25, 2006) Money management may be the long-lost key to a happy marriage, but it is no easy task. That's why Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita has created "Money Skills for Newlywed Couples."
Thirty-three percent of people say that financial responsibility is the most damaging to their relationships, more than either adultery or a lack of affection, according to a January survey by the Opinion Research Corporation on American's attitudes toward relationships and credit.
These types of financial issues are common in relationships, but can be avoided through proper planning.
"Since attitudes about money and spending habits can be very different, it is never too early for couples to start discussing financial planning," said Secretary of State Todd Rokita. "Studies say that the key to a successful relationship is discussing finances before complications arise."
To help Hoosier newlywed couples plan ahead for the financial aspects of their relationships, "Money Skills for Newlywed Couples" is being distributed to 52 Indiana county clerks who requested the guide after its presentation at their summer conference. The informational guides will be available at clerks' offices, along with marriage license packages.
Rokita's office will also work with the Indiana Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives to contact Indiana's more than 8,000 places of worship for additional distribution of the guide.
In March, the Secretary of State's office launched Indiana Investment Watch, (www.IndianaInvestmentWatch.com), a program created to increase Hoosiers' investment knowledge. Newlywed couples, or soon-to-be wed couples, are no exception when it comes to investing wisely.
"Investments take time to plan. It's smart for couples to discuss early on what will be important to invest for in the future," Rokita said. "The purpose of this guide is not to tell couples how to invest, but to provide information to help make intelligent and worthwhile investment choices."
This guide addresses the subjects couples should discuss before making investments and other financial decisions. For example, understanding each others' future goals, such as family planning, starting a business or furthering an education, are all important issues associated with financial planning. Investment terms and definitions, as well as basic information on investment fraud, are also included to help increase the couple's knowledge of investment basics.
While investing financially in a relationship's future is important, so is addressing financial histories and basic financial plans. While couples discuss many things before marriage, they often do not consider the importance of their financial past, such as bankruptcy and outstanding debt.
"If one person has filed bankruptcy, the other partner could be directly affected," said Bethany Derringer, Rokita's director of investor education. "Most people just don't think to ask about these things, but they definitely should."
Problems paying bills and issues with in-laws tied as the leading cause of stress in a marriage, according to the relationships and credit survey. This guide outlines the different financial areas couples should cover to address potential concerns. Topics include past credit and debt histories, insurance, investments and the decision to keep joint or separate bank accounts.
Although the idea for the booklet originated from speaking with young newlyweds, according to Derringer, this is good advice for any couple, not just those recently married. Anyone entering into marriage, whether for the first or subsequent times, can benefit from this information.
Other sections of the booklet include a sample spending plan, financial information for family planning and a glossary of savings and investment terms.
"The booklet is full of information that could be used by anyone and I look forward to receiving them to hand out," said Candy Myers, Noble County Clerk. "Hopefully the couples will read it and apply some of the suggestions."
Copies of the newlywed guide are available for download at www.IndianaInvestmentWatch.com or upon request by contacting the Office of the Secretary of State.
About Indiana Investment Watch
Indiana Investment Watch is a broad-based campaign created by Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita as an effort to reach and educate residents who have investments or may soon be looking for investment opportunities. Created after a statewide survey showed that nearly two-thirds of Indiana adults who own financial investments have little or no knowledge about potential fraud schemes or the security of investments, this program combats the lack of investment education among all Hoosiers. More information about the program and its initiatives can be found at www.IndianaInvestmentWatch.com.
Indiana Investment Watch is a free service and is funded entirely from the fines paid by stock brokerage firms in connection with the settlement of stock analyst conflict of interest cases.