New Year Financial Planning

New Year Financial planning requires teamwork on so many levels, and finances take a lot of communication, trust, and planning. One of the leading causes of divorce is a disconnect between couples on money issues. Whether you are in a strained place in your relationship or taking steps to make sure you don't get there, it is important to take a thorough look at your finances to make sure things are in order. In our most recent podcast, Getting Your Finances Together for the New Year and Beyond, Kate Reese had the chance to talk to Jamie Blum, a divorce financial consultant and litigation support manager with Argent Bridge Advisors, a financial advisory firm. Kate and Jamie identified some key areas of financial organization and thought.

The Benefits of Sharing and Collaborating on Finances

Finances cover a wide range of issues from spending habits to taxes, to education and retirement planning. All of these topics are deeply personal, and it's important to be aware of how your partner is approaching them. Sharing information and discussing budgets and contingencies are critical conversations for any couple. Open lines of communication can help foster and maintain trust which reduces conflict whether a couple intends to stay together or not. It helps to be prepared for the unexpected like job loss, illness, injury or death of a mate. Finally, understanding and achieving financial goals will be much easier if a couple understands and coordinates with one another.

Tax Season is Around the Corner

April 15 is months away, but it arrives before you know it. For individuals and couples, there are dozens of pieces of information and decisions that need to be made to properly plan for the annual visit from the tax man. The beginning of the year is a time to gather records about expenses, charitable donations and other items that might account for tax savings. It is also a time to make decisions about additional tax planning for education and retirement in order to maximize tax-free savings. For people who are going through a divorce, it is important to plan the timing of finalizing the divorce, since your filing status is determined by your marital status on December 31.

Gaining Clarity About Your Goals

In the coming year, it may be time to adjust your financial life. A new budget, revised insurance, adapting to any changes in tax laws can all be taken into account when thinking about your spending and saving habits. If you are concerned that your relationship is at risk, being diligent about gathering and maintaining organized records of your finances will help make the process of dividing property simpler and more likely to be fair.

If you have been avoiding financial issues with your partner because of tension, it is critical to regain ownership, whether as a team or on your own. In the New Year, make a resolution to review your finances to be sure you are on track for your goals and needs. If you are having trouble sorting out your situation, you should consider conferring with a financial expert or a family law attorney. Jamie Blum can be reached at, and ReeseLaw is available for consultations regarding family law.

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