Marriage has its perks. There’s the whole marrying the love of your life thing. And the fact that married people tend to be healthier and live longer. But there are also financial benefits.
Some are obvious. You can split costs like housing, utilities, gas, and groceries. But you might be missing out on other chances to save. Here are 6.
When you get married, you can change your insurance provider, no matter what time of the year it is. That’s because marriage is a qualifying event, which means you’re eligible to enroll in a new policy outside of the normal enrollment period.
Of course, the benefit of switching providers depends on the providers. Some couples find it better to keep separate insurance plans because employers cover more for their employees than the employee’s family members. Just remember that 2 plans means 2 bills and 2 different pools of doctors. #DoubleTheFun
Before changing providers, do the math. Compare deductibles, copays, premiums, and out-of-pocket expenses. If you heart your current doctor, make sure they accept the new plan.
For most couples, filing taxes jointly will save money. That’s because filing jointly qualifies couples for lower tax rates and more deductions.
For a small portion of couples – particularly spouses who earn similar incomes and are both high-earners – filing separately may be better. So crunch the numbers before making your decision. For a simple way to do that, use a W-4 withholding calculator.
Many companies offer discounted family plans or don’t mind spouses using the same account. Spotify, for example, has a family plan that’s cheaper than having two separate accounts. And services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO NOW let you share one account with your partner.
Here are some other potential places to save as a family:
- Cell phone providers
- Membership stores like Costco
- Rewards programs
Another place where married couples save is car insurance. According to a study from InsuranceQuotes.com, married couples can save up to 20% compared to their single peers. That’s because insurers see married folk as more responsible and less likely to get into accidents. One study actually found that drivers who have never been married were twice as likely to get into motor accidents, compared to married drivers. Umm. Does marriage give you driving superpowers?
“As soon as you tie the knot make sure to let your auto insurance company know,” said Eric Rosenberg of Personal Profitability. “There are generally discounts for married individuals. If you bundle your insurance into one policy, you can usually save even more.”
Also, it’s almost always better to combine all your insurance policies, like auto, renters, and homeowners. The more policies you have, the more you’ll save.
If you and your partner completely combine finances, your joint checking account should have a higher balance. #Math. That means banks should offer you higher interest rates. And that means more money for you.
IRAs and 401ks are great tools to save for retirement. Each year, individuals can put up to $5,500 in an IRA and $18,000 in a 401k. But many struggle to reach the maximum. Marriage to the rescue.
If you’re married, you can use the money you saved on stuff like health insurance, taxes, and car insurance to contribute more to your IRA and 401k. Also, if you can’t afford to maximize your retirement contributions on your own, you can use your pooled resources to fix that. For example, let’s say you earn $40,000 and can only afford to contribute $2,500 to your IRA every year. But then you marry someone who earns a lot more and already maximizes their IRA and 401k. Now, you can pull from your joint checking account to max out your IRA as well. Marriage for the win.