Cash In On Your Marriage

With the fall wedding season right around the corner, what better time to think about the financial benefits of holy matrimony? These five perks make a strong case for joining lives – and wallets – with your significant other.

1. Joint income tax returns. Tax rates for married taxpayers filing joint income tax returns are lower than for single or married taxpayers filing separately. And the standard deductions of a married tax filer are typically higher than itemized tax deductions. Filing jointly also helps if one of you earns a much higher income than the other. Why? Because your tax rates as a couple will effectively average out your total household income. Speaking of averages, combining income and expenses often helps lower the tax liability for married taxpayers filing jointly.

2. Increased credit scores. Provided that you and your spouse have good credit to begin with, combining your incomes will usually result in an immediate – and significant – increase in both of your credit scores.

3. Access to larger loans. One obvious bonus to combining incomes is that you and your spouse can secure much larger loans than either of you could when you were single. Of course, greater opportunity incurs greater responsibility – so be sure to have a plan for paying off that loan should one of you not be able to contribute financially in the future.

4. Shared employer benefits. One of the most celebrated perks of marriage is eligibility for your spouse’s employer health and benefit plans. And you probably won’t have to wait that long for them to kick in. Most of the time, you can become eligible for health, life and disability coverage through your partner within 30 days of saying your vows.

5. More life insurance. When it comes to life insurance coverage, two policies are better than one. If you and your spouse each have your own life insurance policy, you’ll both be protected in case the unthinkable happens to either of you.

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