What a huge difference 40 years has made to our lives!

In 1971, 8,700 teen girls (defined as girls under 20) got married – this was 32% of all brides. 40 years later in 2011, just 513 teen girls got married, being just 3% of all brides.

The average marriage age for boys in 1971 was 22, but is now just on 30 (for girls it is 28). Adding to changing trends is that de facto relationships are blossoming. 40% of those in cohabiting relationships now are not legally married. There are around 20,000 marriages in NZ annually and 10,000 divorces!

When you think of a “family”, the idea of two parents and dependent children comes to mind. However, this is about 40% of family households. Another 40% have no children either by choice, or the kids have left home. The final 20% is single parent families.

Recent law changes now mean same-sex marriages are possible and this can be expected to be a growing “family” group.

Things have certainly changed and the changes are accelerating. We are living longer, so time living post-kids will be decades now and those living by themselves is expected to grow to 30% of all households in the next 15 years. This is due to the death of a spouse and the survivor living much longer.

So what does this all mean to you living right now?

From a financial perspective it means there is no one-size-fits-all way to manage and protect your finances. And depending on how you define your own “family”, you must review your debt, budgeting and insurances over time and through life’s stages to suit the specific circumstances.

It means ensuring the ownership structures of your policies are correct as your circumstances change. It means checking the premium type is correct if you need your cover for more than 5-10 years. It means putting the correct long-term strategies into place now so you don’t get caught out later.

Reviewing regularly, every 2-3 years is a rule of thumb we go by at Bridge Financial. Please contact me to do so.