Top 5 financial reasons to get married
The average person doesn’t think about the financial benefits of marriage when planning their wedding but there are some distinct benefits to consider. Typically, when people think about marriage things like the wedding, honeymoon, children or even snuggling on the couch during the holiday season are what is top mind. It may seem cold or unromantic to many to think about the potential financial benefits of getting married. However, when planning your life with someone take the following four financial benefits into consideration.
Health Insurance Coverage
With the cost of health insurance on the rise, with no signs of slowing down, sharing a policy can save thousands of dollars. Maintaining two policies can often be cost prohibitive and not the best use of your marital assets. Review your individual and family policies from both employers then choose the policy that will offer the best benefits for medical, dental and optical. Many companies also have penalties for not putting spouses on one policy. Check with your employer in order to avoid paying this fee.
Set aside time to review your polices before the big day so that you know what you want to get before you get married. Marriage qualifies as a life event so you are able to make the change at any time during the year. The catch is that you only have 30 days after the date of the wedding to make any changes. After that you will have to wait until the next open enrollment period.
Once you have merged your polices into one account you can take the money that the other person was paying for premiums and shift that money into debt repayment or savings. You won’t miss the money since it was already being used.
Many people hear about the benefit of being able to file your taxes jointly in order to pay a lower tax rate. While this is a great benefit, as long as you are not both considered high earners, it’s not the only benefit. Marriage also brings with it freedom from federal estate taxes. Being able to avoid the standard federal estate tax when you inherit property, cash and investments makes an extremely emotional period of your life less stressful.
If a couple decides to have one partner not work or if they choose to raise the family, the home maker does not have to forego retirement savings. The wage earner is able to fund two separate IRA accounts from a single income. This gives the person who is not in the workforce the peace of mind of building their own retirement savings as well.
In the event of death you can roll your spouses retirement account into a personal IRA which can lead to additional tax savings. Adding these funds to your account can give you the ability to delay paying taxes on withdrawals. Consult an investment professional for further information on these potential benefits.
Ability to make medical decisions
When you are married you are able to act as next of kin and make medical decisions for your partner in the event they become sick or disabled. While this is something that can be done via medical power of attorney, for non-married couples, it requires a lawyer and lots of fees. These rights are automatically available to you the moment you sign the marriage license.
This means that you will be able to visit your spouse during limited visiting hours and you will be able to direct their care. You will also have the ability to sue in the event of a wrongful death. None of these benefits are available if you are unmarried without a lot of legal prep work and expense.
Employer Leave benefits
If your spouse becomes ill you are able to take FMLA leave from your employer to help care for them. These legally protected benefits can make caring for your partner less stressful because you know that your job is protected. This will free you to better focus your energy on helping them recover.
In the even that your partner dies you are also entitled to bereavement time. While some companies may grant bereavement time for a romantic partner they are not obligated to grant you any time off to grieve their loss. Knowing that you are able to take this time without question is an added benefit. You also have the ability to use bereavement time for members of your spouse’s immediate family.
Whole life benefits
The financial benefits of marriage may not be romantic but the peace of mind that they provide are invaluable. Intangible benefits like longer life span, decreased instances of depression and the security of sharing your life with the person you love are hard to ignore. All of these factors combined make marriage extremely appealing from both a financial, physical and emotional wellness point of view.