Five Ways Marriage Can Improve Finances

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With the recent and long-awaited Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage, thousands of same-sex couples are making plans to head to altars and courthouses all over the country. They’re not alone, either–the vast majority of weddings in the United States take place during the summer months.

Although there are few exceptions (more on that at a later day), for the most part, getting married can mean major benefits to your finances.

Here are five ways getting married can improve your financial situation.

  1. Property ownership benefits. 

For starters, it’s easier to qualify for a home mortgage as a dual-income married couple than two unrelated parties as co-applicants. It also provides more legal rights if one spouse dies, in which the estate is passed to the surviving partner tax-free.

  1. More affordable health insurance.

Even if you keep your healthcare plan when you get married, if your spouse is employed and you lose your job or quit, you can be added to his or her plan almost immediately. If your spouse has a better plan, you can also be added to his or her plan right away. Marriage is considered a qualifying event, meaning you don’t have to wait for the once-yearly open enrollment.

  1. Increased income. 

Unless your spouse doesn’t work, marriage means you have the benefit of an extra income to pay expenses. Of course your expenses will likely rise a little (you will probably be paying more for things like food and gas), but an extra income means more money to save or pay off debt.

  1. Better retirement planning.

Even if one spouse stops working, he or she can still contribute up to $5,500 each year to a spousal IRA (or $6,500 if you’re over 50). This means more money towards your retirement.

  1. Consumer perks.

You’ll probably see your car and homeowners’ insurance costs drop as a married couple—in some cases, up to 25%. That’s because insurers tend to view married couples as more responsible and stable. You should also ask your spouse if their employer offers any perks, like access to facilities or discounts, to spouses. For example, I have a friend who works full-time in the financial aid department of a university. Her husband attends the Masters program part-time for half the price.

For some, getting married might just be a piece of paper. However, it can provide some significant financial benefits as well.

 

Posted in: Family, Money

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