40 Financial Advantages of Being Married

By Shannon
40 Financial Advantages of Being Married

Most people have the goal of getting married one day, and possibly starting a family. But in modern times, it has become more and more common for people to choose to be life partners without ever getting married Some people would rather not have the legal contract between the two of them to prove their love.

However, getting married has loads of legal and financial perks compared to staying in a regular relationship. Here at Self-Made, we will go over all of the advantages couples will have with money once they tie the knot.

Married couples get tax incentives. Credit: Shutterstock

40. Tax Incentives and “Bonuses”

For most married couples, they will pay less in taxes when they file together under one household. They typically get a higher exemption since they are two individuals coming together. Even if only one spouse is working, they still get that double tax exemption, which often leads to bigger tax breaks on their taxes.

Married couples can file jointly on their taxes. Credit: Shutterstock

The tax benefits don’t stop there either. You can also use your spouse as a tax shelter in case of a business deal gone awry. And you can protect the estate if one of the spouses passed away.

Some couples have to pay a “marriage penalty” when their income bracket changes. Credit: Shutterstock

39. The So-Called “Marriage Penalty” Applies to Very Few

There are some people out there who never want to get married because they are afraid of the dreaded “marriage penalty.” This is when two partners making a lot of money are bumped up to a higher tax bracket once they combine their income into one household. However, this only affects people who are already in the upper-middle class or considered wealthy.

You should do the math before deciding how to handle your taxes with your spouse. Credit: Shutterstock

The vast majority of Americans who get married, one partner is making significantly more money than the other. Or, one partner gives up their job so that they can raise their children at home. They almost always have tax benefits, rather than the penalty.

Married couples qualify for lower insurance rates. Credit: Shutterstock

38. Lower Insurance Rates

When shopping for home and life insurance, married couples will always qualify for lower rates than people who are single. Insurance companies see married couples as being committed to staying together and more responsible.

You can contact your insurance provider to get your marriage discounts. Credit: Shutterstock

Married people tend to live longer as well. So it makes sense that life insurance would become cheaper.

Married couples can benefit from Freddie Mac. Credit: Shutterstock

37. Freddie Mac Enhanced Relief Program Initiative

For married couples who already have a mortgage, they may qualify for help from The Freddie Mac Enhanced Relief Program Initiative. This program is meant to help people who purchased a home during the housing bubble. This provides relief on their mortgage if it’s more expensive than what the house is actually worth.

You may be able to get relief on your mortgage payments. Credit: Shutterstock

For example, if a couple purchased a house during the bubble at $400,000, and it since dipped down to $200,000, they could sell their house and still owe the remainder on their mortgage. Not everyone qualifies for this assistance, but if it describes a situation you are in currently, it’s worth looking into.

Married couples have built-in free child care. Credit: Shutterstock

36. Free Child Care

Married couples who choose to have children need to decide what to do about child care. It’s not cheap. According to AmericanProgress, the average cost of child care in the United States is $1,230 per child per month. If you have multiple children together, this can add up very quickly to consume a full-time salary. Couples have the choice to either continue being a two-income household and pay someone else to look after their children. Or they can choose to have one partner stay home to raise the children.

Dads sometimes stay at home to take care of the kids, too. Credit: Shutterstock

By having one partner stay at home, they save thousands of dollars per year. Two unmarried partners could still figure out a similar system, but it becomes much easier when you are both committed to building your financial futures together. 

Married couples are more likely to get approved for a mortgage. Credit: Shutterstock

35. Easier Mortgage

It is possible to get a mortgage if you are single. However, once you are married, it becomes easier to qualify for larger mortgages with a lower interest rate. Once you are married, both incomes are brought together as one household. This boost means you should be able to qualify for a much larger house than as a single person with just one income.

Getting a mortgage is a breeze once you are married. Credit: Shutterstock

However, if you marry someone who has declared bankruptcy or has a terrible credit score, buying a house together might actually make it more difficult for you to qualify. Before you apply, make sure you discuss these details with your spouse.

Married couples can share the cost of owning a home. Credit: Shutterstock

34. Sharing Costs of a House

We already mentioned the fact that it is easier to get accepted for a mortgage if you are already married. While it’s not impossible to share household costs with a partner you are not wed to, this is still a major benefit of being married.

Owning a home is easier when two people are working together towards the goal. Credit: Shutterstock

Instead of trying to pay for absolutely everything on your own, a spouse can split the cost with you. If one of the people is not working or makes significantly less money, their help is still very valuable in terms of moving, repairs, and meeting with contractors.

Couples can benefit from the marriage bonus. Credit: Shutterstock

33. Potential for a Raise

Years ago, people would find a career and stick with it until they were ready to retire. In today’s world, there is not as much job security, and Millennials have little loyalty when to comes to sticking with a gig. A lot of employers are never sure if their young, single employees are going to job-hop. However, if you are married, it suddenly becomes a lot more serious. You will probably want to keep your job because you need that stability in your life to support one’s family.

If you get married, you might get a raise from your boss. Credit: Shutterstock

Some bosses will give you a raise in your salary after you get married if they believe you’ll stick with the company. Or a boss may try to suggest bringing you on for a higher-paying position.

Some companies offer fathers paternity leave. Credit: Shutterstock

32. Paternity Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act makes it possible for new fathers to take time off of work to be with their new babies. This also counts for same-sex couples who are choosing to adopt a child. A few select companies offer paid paternity leave so that fathers have the ability to take 30 days off of work.

New fathers should take time off to be with their new babies. Credit: Shutterstock

Unfortunately, most companies don’t give new fathers any payment during this time off. Check with your employer to see what their policies are. More often than not, new fathers have to go with unpaid time off, which limits the amount they can afford to spend with their new child.

If you are married, you can put down twice as much in your IRA. Credit: Shutterstock

31. Double IRA Contributions

Normally, single people can contribute to their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) with their employer. Once they are married, if their partner does not already have their own IRA, the person who is working now gets the opportunity to save on behalf of them both.

Saving for retirement should be one of the biggest goals a married couple has. Credit: Shutterstock

This is a huge benefit of being married versus single because you can double down on your retirement. This can be especially useful if your employer has agreed to match your IRA contributions.

Most married couples get a lot of money from relatives for their wedding. Credit: Shutterstock

30. Financial Gifts For Your Wedding

Throwing a wedding is very expensive, so any financial gifts you might get during your wedding will probably go back into paying for the ceremony. You could always choose to elope and save as much money as possible. Most couples receive financial gifts from their parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles when they get married. Even some friends may decide to give a financial gift if they’re not sure what to give as a present.

Most brides can enjoy counting bills after the wedding is over. Credit: Shutterstock

If you choose to never get married, your friends and family are never going to have a ceremony where it feels appropriate to give you money for your future together with your partner.

You may get a truckload of presents at your wedding. Credit: Shutterstock

29. Wedding Registry

Nearly every couple who is planning a wedding chooses to sign up for a wedding registry. This is a system where you can get free items given to you from family and friends to make it cheaper to start a life together. Most couples choose to ask for items like blenders, coffee makers, and cookware.

Most people have a table for presents at their wedding. Credit: Shutterstock

According to The Knot, the average wedding registry had 125 items, making it worth a total of $4,853. Sure, that free stuff is usually not enough to make up for the massive expense of a wedding. But if you choose to keep your costs low for your ceremony, you just may end up coming out ahead from the gifts on your wedding registry.

Married couples do not have to pay as much for their car insurance. Credit: Shutterstock

28. Cheaper Car Insurance

On average, married people tend to drive more safely than single people. This is especially true once they start having children and there is a tiny baby on board they need to remain concerned about.

Coverage becomes cheaper after you tie the knot. Credit: Shutterstock

Once someone is married, they should notify their car insurance company right away. This will result in an immediate discount on their premiums.

People who get married are more likely to become wealthy. Credit: Shutterstock

27. You Are More Likely to Become Wealthy

Believe it or not, if you are married, you are more likely to become rich. According to a study conducted by the Journal of Sociology, people who get married increase their net worth by 77%. On top of that, their average net worth increases by 16% for every year someone remains married. 

Tying the knot can increase your net worth. Credit: Shutterstock

Of course, this may be a “chicken or the egg” sort of scenario. Are rich people more likely to get married because they are successful and have a lot going for them? Or do people become more successful after marriage?

When you are married, you have more of a sense of financial accountability. Credit: Shutterstock

26. Greater Financial Accountability

When you’re single, you only have to worry about your personal finances. Even if you’re in a relationship, your boyfriend or girlfriend’s financial status is not your legal responsibility. If you don’t make a budget or save for the future, you are really only hurting yourself.

Being married forces you to become more accountable for your actions. Credit: Shutterstock

When you are in a relationship, both partners usually keep their finances separate until they get married. Once you get married, these financial decisions affect both people, as well as your future children. If someone has been spending irresponsibly their entire life, many of them get serious after tying the knot.

Many married couples will sit down to make a joint budget. Credit: Shutterstock

25. Joint Budget

Everyone should make a budget, even if they are single. Even though this is very common advice, few people actually follow it, and their financial status may not be as strong as it could be. For newly married couples, they should sit down and create a new budget together. After all, if both of their incomes are now coming together in a joint household, it only makes sense that they go forward figuring out their expenses together.

Keep track of your household expenses by writing out a new budget. Credit: Shutterstock

By making a joint budget, it becomes clear how long it will take for the couple to reach their financial goals and pay off debt.

Married couples get tax incentives when they sell their home. Credit: Shutterstock

24. Tax Incentives For Selling a House

Some married couples choose to buy a “starter home” before they move into the residence they plan to live out the rest of their lives. Or, they decide that they want to downsize once their kids are grown up. Luckily for married couples, they get a larger tax break on the profits when it is time to sell.

Some day, a couple may sell their home for a profit. Credit: Shutterstock

According to TurboTax, “If you owned and lived in the place for two of the five years before the sale, then up to $250,000 of profit is tax-free. If you are married and file a joint return, the tax-free amount doubles to $500,000.”

Spouses do not have to pay for estate taxes. Credit: Shutterstock

23. Spouses Don’t Pay Estate Taxes

When you inherit money from a relative who has passed away, you normally have to pay estate taxes. In 2013, President Barack Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which made it so married couples do not have to pay the estate tax when they inherit money from their husband or wife.

You will most likely save a ton of money inheriting your spouses’ estate. Credit: Shutterstock

This gives an advantage to a married couple in terms of lifelong security compared to a couple who is living in a domestic partnership.

Financial gifts help married couples skip on taxes. Credit: Shutterstock

22. Spouses Can Avoid Taxes With “Financial Gifts”

Normally, if you received a large financial gift from a friend or relative, you would have to count that on your taxes as part of your income. Of course, many people choose not to report this, but if it is a substantial gift over $10,000 being deposited into a bank account, these are flagged and reported to the IRS regardless.

There are a lot of financial perks to tying the knot. Credit: Shutterstock

In 2013, The American Taxpayer Relief Act made it so that spouses could give one another an unlimited amount of money as a financial gift without the other person paying anything in taxes. So if one partner made a lot of money before they got married, they can give as much money as they want to their spouse without having to worry about any tax penalties.

Spouses get access to social security benefits. Credit: Shutterstock

21. Social Security Benefits

Social Security is paid out of someone’s paycheck when they work full time, and it guarantees they’ll have money to survive on during their retirement. So, what happens to a widow when their husband dies? Thankfully, there are laws in place to protect widows and widowers so that they continue to receive social security benefits even after their partner has passed.

Social security extends to both husband and wife. Credit: Shutterstock

However, this is only available to people who are legally married. If you live in a domestic partnership without any legal paperwork binding you both together, you would be left with nothing once your partner died unless you were receiving your own social security payments from your previous employment history.

Some people get great life insurance benefits from their employers. Credit: Shutterstock

20. Life Insurance Benefits

It is possible to buy private life insurance whether you are married or not. But if you are receiving a plan through your employer, they typically expect you to put your husband, wife, and/or children as the beneficiary on your life insurance policy.

Married people often have great life insurance benefits. Credit: Shutterstock

Many people who are not married yet do not expect their boyfriend or girlfriend to put them as the beneficiary on a life insurance plan. It is very uncommon to do this because if they were to break up, it would be a hassle to call up the company and make sure the information has been changed to next-of-kin.

Some couples choose to open a joint checking and savings account. Credit: Shutterstock

19. Joint Accounts

Some married couples find it helpful to create joint checking and savings accounts. Once they have a joint account, they can choose to have their entire paycheck direct deposited there. Or they can keep the joint account as a means to pay for the shared expenses like the mortgage, rent, and utilities. By having a joint account, both partners can see exactly where the money is going each month.

Both partners can check in on each other’s activity through online banking. Credit: Shutterstock

Most single people don’t get a joint bank account with their boyfriend or girlfriend. This could be potentially dangerous to open an account with a non-legal partner because you cannot close down a joint bank account unless both parties consent.  Married people can still have their own individual accounts for their personal spending as well. It just depends on what they have agreed upon.

Having a “married” status may give you better options at getting a loan. Credit: Shutterstock

18. Better Credit Cards and Loans

You may have noticed that in some credit cards and personal loans, they will sometimes ask if you are single, or married. Lenders use marital status as a determining factor because they believe that married people are more responsible with their money. They are also less likely to default on a loan when they have a partner who is legally responsible for their debts as well.

Credit: Shutterstock

Many loan applications will ask about your marital status. If you are single, you carry more of a responsibility to make your credit score nearly perfect and bring in as much money as possible. Since it will be more difficult for you to be qualified, you need to demonstrate your financial worthiness in other ways.

A spouse can transfer their trust. Credit: Shutterstock

17. Transferring a Trust

Some people have a trust fund that was set up by their parents as a way to give them financial security. Normally, this trust fund is protected during the course of a marriage, even if it earns money from interest. However, once two people are married, someone can choose to transfer the trust to their spouse. Or they can give someone power of attorney in order to control the trust in their absence.

Having the ability to transfer a trust can home in handy. Credit: Shutterstock

This is incredibly helpful, especially if there ever comes a time in their life when they need their spouse’s help to manage their finances.

Adopting becomes easier once you are married. Credit: Shutterstock

16. Smoother Adoption Process

Even for married couples, the adoption process can be a very long and expensive ordeal, especially if you plan to adopt a child from another country. Adoption agencies will go through background checks, at-home evaluations, and require you to take classes. They are also making sure that the child will enter a household where they can have the best chance of being matched with parents who will be a good fit for their needs.

Married couples will have an easier time adopting a child. Credit: Shutterstock

Single people can adopt children, and make up nearly 30% of the parents who go through the process. However, during this evaluation process, a single person or someone living with an unmarried partner will be judged more harshly than someone who is already married. An adoption agent will sit down with the future parent to make sure they are financially capable of taking care of a child as a single parent and that their lifestyle is suited for parenthood.

Spouses of veterans are eligible to get military benefits. Credit: Shutterstock

15. Veteran and Military Benefits

If someone is a veteran or currently serving in the military, they get certain perks that civilians do not get. This includes veteran discounts at many major retailers, as well as the ability to use coupons long after they expire.

Veterans can apply for VA loans. Credit: Shutterstock

Being a veteran means you are now eligible to apply for a low-interest VA Loan from the US government. After marriage, the spouse of the veteran now gets to enjoy the same perks and privileges. Couples can save on their down payment as well, or potentially get a mortgage without down payment at all.

Married couples can share the cost of a vehicle. Credit: Shutterstock

14. Sharing the Cost

Couples in a relationship can split the cost of large items and marriage is not necessary. People who cohabitate do this all the time. However, people typically keep these larger purchases like a car or appliances separate before marriage.

Appliances are more affordable when you buy it together. Credit: Shutterstock

Both people may even have their own houses and apartments, making it necessary to have two of everything. Once you are married, it becomes a joint effort to get these items together. Having two people pay for these big expenses makes it much easier for both partners to succeed with their financial goals.

This father can enjoy the benefits of Family Care Leave. Credit: Shutterstock

13. Family Care Leave

In the United States, the Family and Medical Leave Act gives certain employees the right to take up to 12 weeks off of their job per year in order to take care of a sick family member or help their spouse with a new child. This is not a paid leave of absence, but it helps to guarantee people cannot be fired for a medical emergency.

The Family and Medical Leave Act helps families take care of their loved ones. Credit: Shutterstock

This would only extend to married couples. For example, if your boyfriend or girlfriend was very sick, you cannot use the FMLA to take time off of work. While you would not be getting paid either way, this can be a huge financial detriment to a couple if they realize that they have to quit their job in order to care for a sick partner.

Retirement benefits are typically passed over to the husband or wife. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Retirement Plan Benefits From a Deceased Spouse’s Employer

Some employers will provide their workers with a retirement benefits plan. Once this person passes away, their spouse becomes the beneficiary of this plan. However, if both partners chose to never get married, the surviving partner will never get those benefits from their loved one after they are gone.

Discuss retirement with your loved one. Credit: Shutterstock

It is important for couples to write a last will and testament even if both partners are in good health and plan to live for a long time. This will make the process a lot smoother once the other person has passed away.

Married couples who work in higher education can benefit from tuition discounts. Credit: Shutterstock

11. Tuition Discounts and Perks 

If one spouse works full time for a college or university, their spouse can enjoy getting the family discount on tuition, if they choose to get their degree. This can help someone save thousands of dollars if they are trying to complete their higher education.

Many couples have to worry about student loan debt for themselves and their children. Credit: Shutterstock

And, of course, if they have children together, the kids can get a free college degree and will be far less burdened by student loan debt.

You may be shocked to find out that there are marriage discounts available. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Filing Taxes as a Couple is Faster and Cheaper

For most couples, they will discover that filing jointly is a lot smoother process compared to doing their taxes as individuals. Instead of each person filing their own taxes, they can sit down and do it together or have an accountant work on one file instead of two.

Married couples can save money. Credit: Shutterstock

According to TurboTax, “If the spouses have to file just one tax return, there’s a good chance that it will take less time to assemble the paperwork—at least for the one not doing the taxes—and cost less to have it prepared.” In some cases, tax software may even give you a discount on the amount they charge for you to get your taxes done through their service.

Married people can spend less time worry about dating, and think more about work. Credit: Shutterstock

9. More Time to Concentrate on a Career

Single people spend a lot of time going out on dates, hanging out with friends, and focusing on their lives while they are still young. But once you are married, all of that changes. People typically become more settled and comfortable in their relationship, knowing that there is a concrete plan for their future. This is a turning point for a lot of people to begin concentrating on spending more time on their careers.

Married people tend to be focused more on their future. Credit: Shutterstock

It’s not necessary to be married in order to be serious about your career, of course. Many single people have this mindset from an early age to be focused on their goals. However, it is far more rare to find people with this sort of drive compared to people who are already settled down.

Spouses have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Credit: Shutterstock

8. The Right to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

We truly hope that no one will ever have to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their spouse. However, it is a major benefit of being married versus being in a normal relationship.

Some widows and widowers are able to sue for compensation. Credit: Shutterstock

If your husband or wife is killed during an accident that was caused by the negligence of a person or company, you will be eligible to file the lawsuit and potentially get money out of it. But if you were never legally married, and you were just boyfriend and girlfriend, the eyes of the law may not see you as being eligible to receive any such payment.

Spouses of victims are eligible to receive financial benefits. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Crime Victim’s Recovery Benefits

In the United States, victims of crimes are able to receive financial assistance if they have incurred expenses as a result of being a victim of a crime. For example, if someone was mugged and had to go to the hospital, they may be able to have those medical expenses paid for free. If your spouse was the victim of a crime, you would both benefit from recovering the cost of lost property or anything else related to the event.

Victims of crimes have to go through a lot to get the help they need. Credit: Shutterstock

When a spouse is killed because they were a victim of a crime, their husband or wife also becomes eligible to apply to have their expenses paid for the funeral, income loss, etc. Sadly, if two people were in a regular relationship, the boyfriend or girlfriend would not be eligible to apply for these kinds of benefits.

Couples split their debt in half when they get married. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Shared Debt

One of the financial aspects of marriage is that both spouses have to share their debt once they are married. Depending on the individual situation, this can be both a good thing or a bad thing. Whatever debt was acquired before the marriage took place is the sole responsibility of the individual person. So if one spouse is debt-free and the other has $100,000 in student loan debt, the debt-free spouse is not responsible for paying on the pre-existing debt. This is great news for the spouse who has less debt. However, many couples decide to help the other conquer their debts because they see their finances as being a joint effort.

Sometimes, sharing debt can cause issues in a marriage. Credit: Shutterstock

Any debt created during the course of the marriage becomes the responsibility of both parties. This can make it easier to attain certain goals, especially if both partners are working and willing to split the cost of borrowing money down the middle. In the best-case scenario, both people are determined to come together with the goal of becoming debt-free. However, if one comes with a lot more debt than the other person, it can cause issues.

Married couples can share household responsibilities. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Sharing Responsibilities 

Credit: Shutterstock

When you run a household, there is a lot to worry about. Between pet and child care, commuting to work and school, chores, finances, grocery shopping, and house repairs, there is a never-ending list of things that need to get done. If you were single, you may need to hire help to get all of this done.

There’s a lot going on in people’s busy lives. But a housewife (or stay-at-home husband) typically does all of these responsibilities while the other spouse is at work. The value of this work being done by the partner who stays at home is incredibly valuable for how smoothly their household runs. The value of their work is typically worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Married couples can enjoy the benefits of getting citizenship. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Immigration and Residency Benefits

There’s a huge financial perk to getting married when one spouse was not born in the United States. When a foreign person gets married to an American, that does not automatically make them a citizen. The foreign-born spouse will get a green card, and the American spouse must petition for them to get their citizenship.

A foreign spouse can become an American citizen after marriage. Credit: Shutterstock

They still have to go through tests to gain their American citizenship and it is a process that takes years. Couples have to be married for at least three years before the foreigner can be considered for American citizenship. However, it is a lot easier (and less expensive) compared to trying to become a citizen or permanent resident without getting married. Single people must be a permanent resident for at least five years and prove they have lived in the country the entire time.

Divorces are never easy, but property usually get split. Credit: Shutterstock

3. A Share of Property In Divorce

In most divorces, assets are split 50/50 between the couple once they break up depending on the laws of the state. The assets that are eligible to be split come from the income earned and property purchased during the course of the marriage. Anything that was earned before the marriage is solely the individual’s property. This can be a financial benefit to the partner who was making less money and a serious detriment to the person who was making more.

Most couples split their assets during a divorce. Credit: Shutterstock

Of course, in a normal relationship, both parties break up without having to worry about splitting assets. This may be a huge reason why many people choose to remain unmarried. If you happen to be the partner who is making more and this concerns you, consider signing a prenuptial agreement before you get married.

Spouses usually get alimony after a divorce. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Alimony and Child Support

Biological fathers are expected to pay child support whether they are married or not. Women do not get alimony unless they have been legally married and divorced. We do not wish divorce upon anyone, but in the event that it does happen, this is a financial benefit for the spouse who is receiving the alimony.

Typically, children get child support from their fathers. Credit: Shutterstock

In most cases, the recipient of child support would be the wife. But there are a few select cases when husbands have received alimony from their wives. It depends on which spouse makes more money at the time of the divorce. If both spouses sign a prenuptial agreement, this would be arranged ahead of time if both spouses want a clean break where neither party pays alimony to the other.

Married couples can enjoy a sense of security. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Overall Sense of Security

Last and certainly not least is that getting married gives both people a certain sense of security, both in an emotional and financial sense. In a regular relationship, there is no legal contract forcing the two to stick together. So no matter how deeply you may love and trust one another, there is always that knowledge they are free to leave whenever they want.

Marriage can make people feel more secure in their futures. Credit: Shutterstock

Once you have a marriage certificate, it is a sign that you are both very committed, and that splitting apart would be an incredibly difficult endeavor. Most people tend to relax once they are married, knowing that they have found the person they want to spend the rest of their life with.

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