Marriage changes everything, including insurance needs. Newly married couples should consider a comprehensive review of their current, individual insurance coverage to determine if any changes are in order as well as consider new insurance coverage appropriate to their new life stage.
Auto. The good news is that married drivers may be eligible for lower rates than single drivers. Since most couples come into their marriage with two separate auto policies, you should review your existing policies and contact your respective insurance companies to obtain competitive quotes on a new, combined policy.
Home. Newly married couples may start out as renters, but they often look to own a home or condo as a first step in building a life together. The purchase of homeowners insurance or condo insurance is required by the lender. While these policies have important differences, they do share the same purpose – to protect your home, your personal property, and your assets against any personal liability.
You should take special care of what is covered under the policy, the types of covered perils, and the limits on the amount of covered losses. Pay particular attention to whether the policy insures for replacement costs (preferable) or actual cash value.
Health. Like auto insurance, couples often bring together two separate, individual health insurance plans. Newly married couples should review their health insurance plans’ costs and benefits and determine whether placing one spouse under the other spouse’s plan makes sense.
Disability. Married couples typically combine their financial resources and live accordingly. This means that your mortgage or car loan may be tied to the combined earnings of you and your spouse. The loss of one income, even for a short period of time, may make it difficult to continue making payments designed for two incomes. Disability insurance replaces lost income, so that you can continue to meet your living expenses.
Life. Central to any marriage is a concern for one other’s future well-being. In the event of a spouse’s death, a lifestyle based on two incomes may mean that the debt and cash flow obligations can’t be met by the surviving spouse’s single income. Saddling the surviving spouse with a financial burden can be avoided through the purchase of life insurance in an amount that pays off debts and/or replaces the deceased spouse’s income.
Liability. Personal liability risks can have a significant impact on the wealth you are beginning to build for your future together. Consider purchasing umbrella insurance under your homeowners policy to protect against the financial risk of personal liability.
Extended Care. Extended care insurance may be a low priority given other financial demands, such as saving for retirement. Nevertheless, you may want to have a conversation with your parents about how long-term care insurance may protect their financial security in retirement.
“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.”
– Zig Ziglar
Recipe of the Week
“Ice Cream Truck” Ice Cream Sandwiches
½ gallon ice cream, any flavor you like and slightly softened
2⅔ cups (about 13⅓ oz.) all-purpose flour
⅔ cup, plus ¼ cup (about 3½ oz.), cocoa powder
¾ tsp. salt
1 cup (7 oz.) granulated sugar
1¼ cups (10 oz.) unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Begin by preparing the ice cream. Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with parchment paper, leaving enough extra paper to hang over the sides of the pan. Press the ice cream into pan and smooth top. Freeze until solid, at least 1 hour.
Before turning on the oven, move oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions, then preheat oven to 350˚F.
Prep 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Sift flour, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.
Mix sugar with butter and cream on medium speed in the bowl of standing mixer, using the paddle attachment, for about 1 minute. Add in yolks and vanilla, and once combined, add in dry mixture until all the ingredients are just combined.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces and form each piece into a 5-inch square. Wrap up each piece with plastic wrap, and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 8″ x 12″ rectangle. Use a ruler and a knife to measure and cut into 2-inch lengths along the 12″ side, (you should have 6 pieces). Cut each length in half, creating 12 4″ x 2″ cookies.
Using a long, flat spatula, place cookies onto the prepared pans. Poke about 15 holes into each cookie with a sharp object, like a skewer. Bake about 10 to 12 minutes, until done, rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool completely before constructing.
Remove ice cream from pan and cut the ice cream into 12 4″ x 2″ rectangles. To construct the sandwiches, place the ice cream between 2 cookies. You can wrap the ice cream sandwiches separately in parchment paper or foil, then store overnight or serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats
Lock Down with a Stronger Password
One of the best ways to secure your personal financial data, like your Social Security number and banking and credit card information, is to create a strong password. Simple and predictable passwords can be cracked by cybercriminals, and your identity can be stolen. Check out these tips to lock down your privacy:
- Create a passphrase that you can picture in your head, making it hard for cybercriminals to guess, but easy for you to remember.
- Use a different password or passphrase for each account. If necessary, consider using a password manager for multiple accounts.
- Change all factory-set passwords. Factory-set passwords are a go-to for cybercriminals. Be sure to create strong passwords for wireless devices like printers and routers.
- Use multifactor authentication. When possible, use sites with multifactor authentication. This adds another layer of protection by requiring more than just your username and password to access your account. You’ll most likely be sent a unique security code to your cell phone, which you’ll need to enter when prompted, in order to access the site.
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tip adapted from IRS.gov
Stop Caring for More Control
It’s extremely common for golfers, pro or amateur, to have a hole or holes that they routinely play poorly. You know the ones; they aren’t just adding bogeys to the scorecard. In fact, it’s closer to a total meltdown. Hitting drives into the weeds, skulling chips, leaving balls in the bunker, and finishing things off with a putting exhibition might resemble slapstick comedy more than respectable sport.
So, the next time you tee up on your personal problem hole, pretend it’s a brand-new hole. Maybe, select an iron instead of driver; perhaps, lay up short of the water hazard you normally try to carry. But most important of all, try not to care what anyone thinks of your approach.
Tip adapted from Golf Digest
There are so many benefits to journaling. It alleviates stress, gives you clarity, improves memory, and may actually make you a better writer. Check out a few tips to start journaling right away.
- Write on paper. Get yourself a nice journal that you like and write in it. There are benefits to physically writing (versus typing on a keyboard) that tap into your emotions, creativity, and intelligence.
- Just write. Freely write whatever comes to mind. This journal is for you, and you’ll benefit by just putting pen to paper.
- Try a writing prompt. You can search for journal prompts online. Sometimes it’s a question, “what would I do with 1,000,000 dollars?” or sometimes a fill-in-the blank such as “the strangest thing that happened today was __________.”
- Listicles. Sometimes journaling can be a list, such as a gratitude list, a list of friends and their traits, or a list of things you love.
- A little or a lot. Whether you write a little or a lot, try to make it a habit, and occasionally revisit what you wrote.
Tip adapted from Bustle
Tiny Houses with Big Sustainability
A tiny house is one that is built on wheels. This differs from a small house, which is 250 to 1,000 square feet and meets building codes with running water, heating, and cooling. The sustainability benefits are substantial with a tiny house. Here are just a few pluses:
Less space, less waste. It’s difficult to own a lot of possessions, like clothing and “stuff,” like plastics and non-recyclable packaging, which potentially have negative impact on the environment.
Built with sustainable materials. Tiny homes can be built with reclaimed wood and salvaged materials curated from yard sales, the dump, or even Craigslist. Sustainable building materials can also be purchased from companies that sell sustainably sourced materials.
Off-the-grid living. A tiny house doesn’t require electricity, running water, or flushing toilets. You can live in your tiny house and source sustainable items, like outdoor composting toilets as well as solar panels for electricity generation.
Save energy. As you might imagine, it doesn’t take a lot of energy to heat or cool a tiny house.
Tip adapted from Green Future
 www.chicagotribune.com/business/success/terrysavage/tca-disability-insurance-can-protect-you-from-unthinkable- 20190410-story.html