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Money Makeover details

August 14, 2011

Who: Minh Nguyen, 39, and Khanh Ninh, 40

Income: $200,000

Assets: $48,000 in savings, $260,000 in retirement savings

Liabilities: $279,000 mortgage, $40,000 personal loan

Goals: Devise a plan on how to combine finances as a newly married couple. Create joint savings goals, reallocate retirement investments.

Recommendations: The couple should establish a household budget and contribute half of their individual incomes into a joint checking account to pay for household bills. They also should jointly contribute to an emergency savings account that's the equivalent of six months of their combined expenses, while continuing to save for retirement. Meanwhile, they should reallocate their retirement investments — 77% in stocks and 23% in bonds.

About the planner: Jennifer Hartman is a certified financial planner in Los Angeles.

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