Money Checkup Podcast

Episode 32: Planning for Marriage, From Weddings to College Funds

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Kaya Ladejobi is the founder of Earn Into Wealth, a financial planning firm that serves high-earning women and dual-career couples. Kaya holds an MBA in entrepreneurship and is a Certified Financial Planner™. She works virtually with clients in their 30s and 40s as they navigate student debt, weddings and honeymoons, having children and planning for family obligations. 

“Things may not go exactly as you forecast, but when you have a plan and when you have a healthy outlook and a good buffer to fall back on, you’ll find that most things you can easily navigate.’”

Kaya encourages couples to start by talking about what their goals, values and obligations are, then make a shared cash flow plan that supports those goals.

KEY RESOURCES REFERENCED IN THIS EPISODE:

ABOUT THE GUEST:

Kaya Ladejobi is a Certified Financial Planner™ and the founder of Earn Into Wealth, a fee-only firm serving high-earning women and dual-career couples in their 30s and 40s. She works virtually with clients across the country from her office in New York. In 2019, Kaya was named one of Financial Advisor Magazine’s 10 Young Advisors to Watch. 

Social, website, book link:

Earn Into Wealth: https://earnintowealth.com/ 

Instagram: @KayaLadejobi

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kayaladejobi 

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Weddings are often the first big expenses couples assume together. Kaya encourages her clients to understand what’s on the horizon. If couples plan to have kids or purchase a home right away, they may need to spend less money on a wedding to have funds available for a down payment, childcare, or other coming expenses. 
  • Many high-earning professionals carry high levels of student debt. Kaya encourages clients who have six-figure debt to make it a top financial priority. 
  • Talking about finances before marriage and creating a detailed cash flow plan can help couples avoid conflict later. 
  • Kaya estimates that about half of her clients are first- or second-generation Americans who have cultural obligations to their parents or extended family members, so she includes that in their cash flow plans. 
  • If couples are uneasy about combining finances, both Kaya and Anjali recommend that they start by setting up a joint account for household expenses that both people pay into. Then, they encourage clients to create joint accounts for shared goals. Whatever is left over can stay in individual discretionary accounts — and those are often the spending habits that cause conflict. 
  • Kaya encourages new parents to accept everything they’re offered, especially for their first kid. If you find you don’t need it, you can always donate it or pass it along to someone else; if you’re missing something you do need, you can always buy it later. 
  • Having a baby does not mean you need a much larger home. Inventory what you have, get rid of what you can, and make the most of the space you have before you know what kind of family you’re going to have — especially if you live in an area where property taxes can be very high. 
  • Some couples choose to hire a baby nurse who can spend a few nights a week with an infant. This is very expensive, but it can allow new parents to get enough sleep so that they can continue working. 
  • Once you set up a 529 plan, other family members can contribute gifts to that plan. Share the gift code with family members and give them the option of investing in your child’s education in lieu of giving them gifts. 
  • Do not sacrifice your retirement savings for your child’s college education. At the end of the day, your children can take out student loans, but you cannot borrow for retirement. 

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If you loved this episode, here’s another I know you’ll enjoy too! Episode 23: How Business Owners Can Build Balanced Lives

QUOTES FOR SOCIAL SHARING

“The first step is visibility — each spouse knowing exactly how much the other person makes, what their obligations are, what their goals and aspirations are. I think a lot of times couples don’t really go that deep or talk to each other about, ‘this is what I’m hoping to achieve with my career, this is what I’m hoping to achieve from a lifestyle standpoint, these are the obligations I have to my family of origin.’” 

“Take everything people offer you [for kids], even if you think you’re not going to need it. Just take it, say thank you, wait until your baby comes, and if you don’t need the item, then you can donate it. But don’t turn down anything that you’re offered, because that is literally money.” 

“It starts off as daycare. Then it’s swimming classes, it’s karate, it’s soccer lessons, it’s all of these things. Obviously we all want to give the best to our kids. That’s what I always plan for clients, even before they have children, even before they buy a home — if you’re a couple and you anticipate having children, before you add in any long-term expenses, add the cost of maintaining a child.” 

“If you don’t plan, the bill is still going to come.”

“The earlier you start, the easier it will be to afford putting that amount of money away.” 

“You don’t want to sacrifice your own retirement planning and saving to fund college for your kids. Look, there are no loans for retirement. No one will lend you money to live in retirement. As a last resort, your children can always get student loans. Make sure that you’re putting in the big rock first, and for you, that’s making sure that you’re saving enough for retirement. It is in fact a gift for your kids if they don’t have to support you in retirement.” 

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