looking at beautiful neighborhoods If you know that you will want to sell financial plan you are happy with, so
with million-dollar homes that you may in a few years to buy something big- you’ll be a loyal client. Newlyweds should
or may not be able to afford, calculate ger, choosing a high 30-year fixed rate investigate and interview which firm best
what’s within your budget. If you’re is a bad idea. Go with a hybrid fits their particular needs. Guidance from
unsure where to begin, try an online adjustable rate that is slower in the a professional will take the pressure off
mortgage calculator or consult a beginning. Hybrid rates vary; your when investing.
financial expert. “You don’t want to pay mortgage could be fixed for five years
more than you can afford,” says Meg and then change depending on the real Retirement
Burns of the U.S. Department of estate market. A common misconception among
Housing and Urban Development Keep in mind that a low credit score newlyweds is that they think they can
(HUD). “If you go with an objective will usually mean a higher interest rate wait to start a retirement fund. Don’t
third party, they can help you figure out or a bigger monthly payment. “Check put it off – the earlier you start, the
manageable mortgage payments.” your score, so that you know what your more money you will have stashed
credit looks like and won’t get pulled into away for your retirement. If you and
Pre-qualify for a Loan getting a higher interest rate,” says Burns. your spouse already have 401(k) plans,
Sit down with a mortgage broker or A lower credit score doesn’t necessar- combining them could be profitable,
loan officer and get pre-approved for ily suggest you have bad credit; low especially if one spouse’s employer
a loan. Your credit, income, and assets credit can denote you haven’t had time matches higher than the other’s. Max
will be verified, which puts you in a to demonstrate positive credit behavior. out your 401(k) before venturing into
stronger position to buy and negotiate. funding a traditional IRA (Individual
Merging Your Investments Retirement Account) or a Roth IRA.
The Search Mutual Funds A traditional IRA allows tax-free
Write down your special needs and Couples who are unsure about contributions from your salary, which
decide what type of community you combining their mutual funds should ask is taxed upon withdrawal, like a 401(k).
would like to live in. Do you prefer themselves: “What is my risk profile?” The money contributed to a Roth IRA
urban, suburban, or rural? Is living near If one person is a risk taker and the other is not tax-deductible; it’s funded with
a great school system, park, public is a conservative investor, mixing funds money that you’ve already paid taxes
transportation, beach, or your job a may not be a good idea. When invest- on, so there’s no penalty when it’s with-
necessity? If you’re going through a real ing, making a plan is crucial. “Talk about drawn. The major difference between
estate broker, knowing these specifi- the different choices you have to invest a Roth and a traditional IRA is the tax
cations will expedite the search in, so that you get a good diversifica- benefits and income limitations. “As
process. Look at as many homes as you tion – you don’t want to invest all of your long as your annual income is under
can and take pictures and notes of each money in the same thing,” suggest $150,000, you can contribute to a Roth
location to keep track of all the fea- Sarensky. Diversify your mutual funds by IRA and that money will never be
tures, as well as potential problems. investing in short-term funds, bonds, and taxed,” says Sarensky.
stocks. A financial planner can advise With a budget in place, future goals
Mortgages you in what you should invest in and specified, and investments made; you
There are two main types of mort- what percentage of money should go and your spouse will be on the right
gage rates: fixed and adjustable. In into each category. Major financial track to financial stability and growth.
order to pick the right type, think about firms do not charge for consultations. All it takes is time, patience, and get-
how long you intend to live in the home. Their goal is to help you build a ting an early start. ■