By Brian Madgett

Ah, “wedding season.” It’s a time when couples across the country prepare to open a new chapter of their lives together, surrounded by family and friends (and sometimes by people they don’t even know that well). Amid the flurry of invitations, fittings, flowers and all that often comes along with saying, “I do,” there’s one must-have wedding registry item that can’t be overlooked – life insurance.

Protection-first planning should be the foundation of any couple’s financial plans – it’s the key that unlocks the door to future financial stability. At the core of this approach is adequate insurance protection, which helps secure other financial objectives such as purchasing a home, asset diversification, saving for a child’s education – or all of the above.

Life insurance also can provide some protection when it comes to the burden of student loans or consumer debt that one or both partners often have. By protecting their assets and enrolling in coverage early, rates will be manageable and premiums will become a part of their budget from the beginning. This ensures that a protection-first approach will remain at the heart of their evolving, lifelong financial plan.

Engaged and newlywed couples may assume a policy is necessary only after children or a house are in the picture, or that the insurance they may receive through their respective workplaces is enough. Finances are often intertwined well before the big day, however, with 84% of couples now living together before they marry, according to the 2018 Brides American Wedding Study.

Financial conversations have become an increasingly frequent topic of conversation among partners, with 97% of the Brides Study respondents discussing their debts and 95% sharing their future financial goals. Couples are increasingly setting budgets, sharing expenses and are often relying on income from the other to create the life they envision together. Our clients see the benefits of these early financial conversations and have reached a greater understanding that a protection-first planning approach is critical.

When couples decide to put protection at the center of their financial lives, we help them take an inventory of their goals and priorities along with their expenses and debts. Together, we create a protection plan that evolves alongside their marriage, careers and finances and can be updated as their needs inevitably change.

For many couples, the heart of their protection-first plan is a term life policy – a cost-effective and flexible option that provides a foundation of stability and protection in those early newlywed days. Just as they expect personalization in their wedding ceremonies, our clients also care about customizing their financial protection with optional riders, some at additional cost. Clients tend to choose from common riders for their policies, which provide additional layers of benefits for life’s unforeseen events such as disability, terminal illness and insuring their children.

Helping newlyweds protect what matters most makes a lasting impact on their financial plans, and ultimately on the health of their union. So as wedding season ramps up this year, be someone who helps couples send the ultimate love letter – financial protection in sickness and in health – to their future selves.

Brian Madgett is vice president at New York Life. Brian may be contacted at [email protected].

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