Top 4 Tips for Marriage Planning
Can you hear the wedding bells? Wedding season is upon us! But, before saying the big, “I do,” there’s financial pre-planning to be done.
Same-sex couples may have extra thoughts to keep in mind: since the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015 in the US, LGBTQIA+ are now included in the number of couples that need to take a closer look at their financial plans to ensure they meet their financial goals as a married couple. 🏳️🌈
And it doesn’t have to be hard. Follow these four steps to get your pre-wedding finances in order.
Make sure you’re on the same page. Before your big day, sit down with your honey and have a comfortable conversation. What are each of your financial situations? Do you both have cash savings? Have you each paid off high-interest credit card debt? These are super important conversations for any couple to have—especially before tying the knot (figuratively and financially!) with the person of your dreams!
Talk taxes. As newlyweds, you may be eligible to some of the same benefits as your partner. Same-sex couples are now eligible for Social Security benefits based on the income of their spouse —but be sure to evaluate if these benefits will be the best financial option specific to your situation.
For example, you may see a financial gain after marriage if half of your spouse’s benefit is larger than your benefit. The best way to see how your marriage will affect your benefits? Get a Social Security estimate (offered on the Social Security website). This super-important info will help you and your partner plan for retirement.
Further, being an officially-married couple may also cause changes to your taxes. Marriage may lower your tax bill if one partner has a much smaller salary than the other. However, if you both have higher salaries, you may lose deductions and pay more in taxes. Just to be sure, you can always meet with your tax preparer or CPA to make sure you both know exactly how your marriage will affect your taxes.
Consider health insurance. Being on the same plan as a married couple can result in major savings. 💰💰However, that’s not always the case. Take a look at your health insurance plans—even consider meeting with your HR representative—to determine which option is best. Take other life happenings and milestones into consideration—what if you get sick and need to take leave, what if one of you has a baby, what if you need to have that operation you’ve been putting off? Ask yourselves (and your HR rep!) all of these questions before you come to a conclusion.
Plan for the future. That’s right, think about the big picture. Are you and your partner planning to expand your family? Are you planning to move out to the ‘burbs? Are you (finally!) taking that euro trip?
Even if you’re not planning to have a baby or galavant in Europe, another ‘Q’ to keep in mind: Are we setting aside the right amount? Whether it’s for that future dream house, retirement savings or your child’s college fund, you and your spouse should have frequent financial check-ins to confirm you are on track.
It is also super important for same-sex couples—and all couples, for that matter—to set up a will and a power of attorney. This will let your spouse make decisions on your behalf if you are ever unable to do so. Setting up a trust is another good idea; a trust will make sure your assets go to the right person when you die.
Again, these big and scary convos not only help you plan for the best future for you and your better half, but make sure you both have the same goals in mind. Now that’s a win-win-win situation.
PocketNest is registered with and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Internet Adviser exemption. We are noticed filed in Michigan and can assist residents in other states where we are exempt from notice filing. It is important to understand that nothing in this post should be considered personalized investment, financial, tax or legal advice.
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