marriage http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5206/all en-US Bad Credit? It Might Cost You Your Marriage http://www.wisebread.com/bad-credit-it-might-cost-you-your-marriage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bad-credit-it-might-cost-you-your-marriage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wedding_costs.jpg" alt="Wedding costs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a lot to think about when choosing a partner: attraction, personality, and commonalities in interests, values, and life goals. Sense of humor is important, along with whether she's allergic to your cat or he's tolerant of your love for stinky cheeses.</p> <p>If you find a good match on all of those factors, are you set? Not entirely. Studies show that there's another factor you should consider: your potential mate's credit score.</p> <h2>The credit score connection</h2> <p>What's a credit score got to do with love? Quite a bit, actually. Well, maybe not love, per se, but credit scores have something to do with the longevity of a relationship. Lower credit scores are linked with higher rates of divorce or &quot;relationship dissolution,&quot; according to a 2015 study done by the Federal Reserve Board.</p> <p>The study looked at data from 12 million consumers to track correlation between credit score and relationship longevity. The results were telling: Researchers found that credit scores play a significant role in how long committed relationships last. If both partners have higher average credit scores at the beginning of the relationship, they are less likely to separate.</p> <p>A drop of 93 points in a partner's average credit score increased the chance that the relationship will end in the second year by a whopping 30 percent.</p> <p>If you thought money didn't matter, think again.</p> <h2>What about love, and stuff?</h2> <p>The big question is <em>why</em>. Why are lower credit scores related to increased chances of a relationship ending? There are several possibilities. More than likely, it's a combination of these factors:</p> <h2>Assumptions of character</h2> <p>The researchers posit that a low credit score may be linked to the lack of key relationship skills, such as trustworthiness. Credit scores, they point out, are used in many cases not just to show that someone is financially solvent, but that they are reliable and will honor their commitments.</p> <p>Of course, there are many complex factors involved in an individual's credit score. It's not fair to assume that because someone has a low credit score, that person is unreliable, lazy, or untrustworthy.</p> <p>But the perception that certain negative traits are present can be enough to close a lot of society's doors for an individual. A low credit score might mean you can't get a lease, can't get a loan, or can't buy a car. Those closed doors lead to the second significant factor: stress.</p> <h2>Ongoing financial stress</h2> <p>A low credit score may be due to unsecured and unpaid debt, often with high interest rates attached. Having debt at a high interest rate is enough, by itself, to cause financial stress. When you add in those closed doors, you get a mountain of financial pain.</p> <p>Imagine someone who has high-interest debt with a fairly high monthly payment. This person gets a great job, but needs reliable transportation to get to it. They can't get a loan to buy a car, and they don't have the cash to purchase one outright, so they have to rely on friends and family for rides. Maybe public transportation is available, but maybe it isn't. This person's ability to get to work depends on the willingness of other people to provide transportation.</p> <h2>It's not the credit score, but it is</h2> <p>Stress is stress, whether it's financial or caused by some other factor. When someone lives under continual financial stress, it affects the functioning of their brain and body. <a href="http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/stress" target="_blank">Chronic stress</a> is linked to higher blood pressure, lowered immune system, weight gain and obesity, depression and anxiety, short-term memory impairment, loss of concentration, and substance abuse.</p> <p>People with low credit scores are often functioning with chronic stress. They're simultaneously trying to overcome the limitations and assumptions caused by their low credit score. The relationship correlations make sense. Stress from any factor will affect a relationship; chronic stress can slowly dismantle the structure of a relationship.</p> <h2>Resentment in the relationship</h2> <p>Resentment and conflict can develop when one partner has to continually take on the brunt of the financial burden. For example, a couple decides to buy a home together; however, one partner's credit score would hurt the mortgage application. Instead of pursuing joint homeownership, the partner with better credit becomes the sole applicant for the home loan and thus, the sole responsible party. This sense of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-couples-fight-over-money-and-what-to-do-about-it" target="_blank">financial inequality</a> can lead to ongoing resentment toward the person with lower credit.</p> <p>Resentment can run both ways. The partner with low credit may resent having to be &quot;helped.&quot; And the partner with better credit may use it to justify bad behavior in other areas of the relationship.</p> <h2>What can you do?</h2> <p>A credit score does not define the person you're with. And a credit score is not forever. There are ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money" target="_blank">consolidate debt</a>. You can get <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-organizations-that-really-can-help-you-with-your-debt" target="_blank">free financial counseling</a>. Romantic partners with strong communication skills, and a plan for paying off debt and building financial security can tackle the challenges of low credit together, and win.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fbad-credit-it-might-cost-you-your-marriage&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FBad%2520Credit-%2520It%2520Might%2520Cost%2520You%2520Your%2520Marriage.jpg&amp;description=Bad%20Credit%3F%20It%20Might%20Cost%20You%20Your%20Marriage"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Bad%20Credit-%20It%20Might%20Cost%20You%20Your%20Marriage.jpg" alt="Bad Credit? It Might Cost You Your Marriage" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bad-credit-it-might-cost-you-your-marriage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked">4 Myths About Divorce and Money, Debunked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance compatibility credit score debt divorce marriage money troubles relationships stress Thu, 27 Jul 2017 08:30:04 +0000 Annie Mueller 1988259 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Myths About Divorce and Money, Debunked http://www.wisebread.com/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_trouble.jpg" alt="Money trouble" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Divorce happens. And when it does, it's expensive. Divorce proceedings cost an average $10,000 to $15,000, according to GOBankingRates. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a>)</p> <p>Unfortunately, many who are divorcing hold certain financial misconceptions about the process. Some might believe that spouses who commit adultery will pay more in a divorce. Others might believe that they won't be responsible for the debt on their spouse's credit card accounts.</p> <p>There are plenty of financial myths surrounding divorce. Here are four of the most important ones.</p> <h2>1. My spouse's adultery will help my case</h2> <p>You might think that you're entitled to more money in the divorce because your spouse was unfaithful. The truth is, adultery does not play a role in who gets more money or assets following a divorce.</p> <p>That's because states today offer what is known as a no-fault divorce. As the name suggests, in this type of divorce proceeding, separating spouses do not have to prove that the other party did anything wrong to cause the breakup of the marriage.</p> <p>Divorce isn't about punishing people for bad behavior; it's about finding a way to divide up money and assets between two people. Your spouse's infidelity does not mean you will automatically get the house or you will receive a greater amount of alimony.</p> <p>There is an exception, though: If your spouse blew a significant amount of money to pursue the affair &mdash; renting a secret apartment, spending on lavish trips &mdash; your divorce judge might require them to pay more.</p> <h2>2. I didn't work during my marriage, so I'll get alimony payments for life</h2> <p>If you didn't work during your marriage, you will probably receive alimony payments. But these payments might not be as permanent as you might think.</p> <p>Today, nonworking spouses usually receive their alimony payments, also known as spousal support, for a limited time. The goal is to provide the spouse with some financial support until that person can find a job or pay for an education. Don't expect an unending stream of financial support from your ex-spouse.</p> <h2>3. Money in my own bank account will be mine after the divorce</h2> <p>Don't think that just because you stashed money in a bank account in your name only that you won't lose some of these funds in your divorce.</p> <p>Your former spouse might be entitled to some of the money in this account. Whether that's the case depends on a host of factors, including how that money was earned, whether you inherited it, or whether you live in a community property state.</p> <p>That community property state part is important. There are nine of these states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Alaska is an opt-in community property state. In these states, all assets acquired during a marriage are considered community property and owned by both spouses equally. In a divorce, all assets are split 50/50.</p> <p>In the rest of the states, assets in a divorce are to be divided equitably, but not always equally. So even if you've stowed money in a private bank account, your divorce judge might decide that you either owe your spouse half of that money or a portion of it, depending on the circumstances of your case.</p> <h2>4. I won't have to worry about the debt my spouse ran up on a credit card</h2> <p>This is a tricky one. Depending on where you live, you usually won't be responsible for the debts that your spouse ran up on a credit card that is in that spouse's name only.</p> <p>But if you live one of the community property states, you will be responsible for half of that debt, even if the credit card account was never in your name. There is an exception, though: You are only responsible for 50 percent of the debt your spouse ran up during your marriage. Any debt your spouse ran up on the credit card before your marriage is not your responsibility.</p> <p>If you don't live in a community property state, you are usually not responsible for the debt your spouse runs up on a credit card. However, there are some exceptions. If the debt your spouse ran up was to pay for your child's dental work, to repair your home's busted water heater, or to replace your residence's furnace &mdash; basically, to cover any essential family expense &mdash; you will then be responsible for half of that debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spouses-and-debt-whos-really-on-the-hook-for-those-bills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Spouses and Debt: Who's Really on the Hook for Those Bills?</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Myths%2520About%2520Divorce%2520and%2520Money%252C%2520Debunked.jpg&amp;description=4%20Myths%20About%20Divorce%20and%20Money%2C%20Debunked"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Myths%20About%20Divorce%20and%20Money%2C%20Debunked.jpg" alt="4 Myths About Divorce and Money, Debunked" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bad-credit-it-might-cost-you-your-marriage">Bad Credit? It Might Cost You Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser">11 Secrets You Need to Tell Your Financial Adviser</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-divorce-affect-your-student-loans">Does Divorce Affect Your Student Loans?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance adultery alimony assets common law property debt divorce marriage myths separation support Tue, 11 Jul 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 1977969 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/a_broken_red_heart_over_two_us_hundred_dollar_bills.jpg" alt="A broken red heart over two US hundred dollar bills" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Marriage is not always &quot;till death do us part.&quot; Time, unforeseen events, individual decisions, and emotional disconnect can lead couples to make the hard decision to separate or divorce.</p> <p>Divorce proceedings cost an average $10,000 to $15,000, according to GOBankingRates. That's due largely to lawyers' fees. It's vital that individuals minimize additional financial fallout. The last thing you need is another financial blow due to negligence, malice, or misunderstanding.</p> <h2>1. Research your state's divorce and separation laws</h2> <p>Divorce and legal separation laws in the United States are decided on a state level. That means the first step to financial security is finding out when you stop being liable for debts incurred by your spouse.</p> <p>In Pennsylvania, for example, a debt and assets cut off date is known as the &quot;Date of Separation.&quot; That date is either considered the day the divorce complaint is filed or the day that the decision is made to separate (either moving out of the house or into a separate bedroom). In other states like New Jersey, liability for your spouse's debt doesn't stop until the divorce is actually finalized.</p> <p>Couples can also, depending on the state, opt for a legal separation. Legal separation is a lot like a divorce, but the couple remains married, which allows them to file taxes together and remain on their spouse's health insurance. It could be a solid stopgap if you're unsure if a divorce is the right answer.</p> <h2>2. Plan ahead</h2> <p>Individuals who are separated or divorced might want to begin to track and document all potential assets. That means taking pictures of evidence, hunting down legal documents, and familiarizing yourself with your joint and individual financial portfolios.</p> <p>Spouses often utilize temporary separations as a means to collect evidence before officially filing for divorce. It might be best to assume your spouse is already considering what needs to be done to come out ahead if a divorce is imminent. If you don't divorce, you'll at least have a better sense of your financial footing.</p> <p>If you suspect the divorce might get ugly, you should also consider keeping important documents in a safety deposit box and having important mail sent to a PO Box. This will cut the risk of anyone stealing or destroying important documents during divorce proceedings.</p> <h2>3. Immediately protect your credit and finances</h2> <p>Separation and divorce leave an individual's finances and credit score in jeopardy. An estranged party, who might or might not be feeling charitable, still has control over your financial health. Now might be the time to start separating yourself.</p> <p>Here are a few tips to protect yourself:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Create new car insurance policies that aren't tied to the other party (this protects you from the financial fallout of potential accidents or tickets).</p> </li> <li> <p>Ensure rental or homeowners insurance is in your name.</p> </li> <li> <p>Shut down joint bank accounts.</p> </li> <li> <p>Tell all lenders and companies that expect payments that you are going through separation or divorce proceedings. Give them updated contact information in case payments are late.</p> </li> <li> <p>Check to see if any loans or credit card payments can be frozen until the divorce proceedings are finalized.</p> </li> <li> <p>Ensure all loan, credit card, insurance, and utility payments under your name are paid, even if you agreed your spouse would pay that particular bill.</p> </li> <li> <p>Once the division of assets has been agreed upon legally or verbally, you can begin closing the accounts by selling off assets, refinancing loans, removing one party from the loan, or switching credit card debt to a new card.</p> </li> <li> <p>Request a credit report and look for accounts that need to be canceled or updated. You want to identify joint accounts or accounts where the other party is an authorized user. Credit reports are the easiest way to ensure you don't miss one.</p> </li> <li> <p>Change all passwords to your accounts.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>4. Negotiate support</h2> <p>Separation can be a long, arduous, and expensive task. Individuals in the middle of divorce or legal separation proceedings can appeal in the courts to be granted temporary relief also known as &quot;pendente lite.&quot; The temporary support, if granted, could lead to the primary bread winner providing temporary alimony, child support, and household payments.</p> <p>If the support isn't granted, you might be able to petition the courts to have the other party financially responsible for part or all of the debt incurred while separated.</p> <p>Divorcing or separating parties can also negotiate whether alimony payments are tax deductible.</p> <p>Tax deductible alimony payments grant the individual who pays the ability to deduct the payment from their taxes and ensures the individual who receives the payments must file the support as income. (Taxable alimony should not be tied to any children or the IRS might not consider it an alimony payment.)</p> <p>In some cases, it might be better to make the payments nontax deductible. This is more common if one spouse is in a higher tax bracket.</p> <p>Separation and divorce can be a financially perilous time. Don't forget, as you implement protective safeguards, to look into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/can-a-failed-marriage-lead-to-business-failure" target="_blank">protecting your business from financial ruin</a> as well.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Protect%2520Yourself%2520Financially%2520During%2520a%2520Divorce%2520or%2520Separation.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20Financially%20During%20a%20Divorce%20or%20Separation"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20Financially%20During%20a%20Divorce%20or%20Separation.jpg" alt="How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked">4 Myths About Divorce and Money, Debunked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Divorced</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance alimony assets bank accounts child support divorce laws legal fees marriage protecting relationships separation taxes Mon, 10 Jul 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Samantha Stauf 1977386 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Reasons Average People Should Consider a Prenup http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-average-people-should-consider-a-prenup <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-average-people-should-consider-a-prenup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/giving_them_a_happy_send_off.jpg" alt="Giving them a happy send off" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Prenuptial agreements are pretty standard when the rich and famous get married. Considering the amount of wealth these high-profile couples have, it makes perfect sense why prenups are as common as their giant engagement rings.</p> <p>But what about us common folk? Are prenups a good idea for people without millions of dollars to protect?</p> <p>Depending on your finances and relationship, a prenup might be a good idea for you and your sweetheart. Here are six reasons why people without multimillion-dollar net worths might choose to sign a prenup before saying &quot;I do.&quot;</p> <h2>1. If either of you have children from a previous relationship</h2> <p>As of 2013, <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/11/14/four-in-ten-couples-are-saying-i-do-again/" target="_blank">40 percent of new marriages</a> include at least one spouse who has previously been married. Couples who have been down the aisle before are more likely to bring children into their new marriage, which adds a level of financial complication to their union. These parents often want to make sure children from their previous relationships will be financially taken care of in case of either death or divorce.</p> <p>A prenup can help parents protect assets for their children, especially in terms of estate planning. For instance, state laws generally consider marital property to belong solely to a surviving spouse after one partner dies. A prenup could ensure that a portion of that property, or assets that the parent brought into the marriage, would go to the child of a previous marriage or relationship rather than the surviving spouse.</p> <p>While wills can cover this same ground, having just a will that leaves your spouse less than an elective share of your estate (between one-third and one half) does not necessarily preserve assets for your children, since your spouse can make a claim against your estate for the elective share. Having a prenup that spells out what assets go to children of a previous relationship, along with a will that cements the terms of the prenup, will be a much more solid method of protecting your children.</p> <h2>2. If either of you has a great deal of debt</h2> <p>We tend to think of prenups as being a way of protecting our wealth, but they can also protect you from your partner's debts (or vice versa). If you are entering into a marriage with a great deal of individual debt, a prenup can delineate who has responsibility for the debt payments during the marriage, as well as how the debts will be handled in the event of a divorce.</p> <h2>3. If either of you is an entrepreneur</h2> <p>Figuring out the specific valuation of assets, such as closely-held business interests or stock options, can be tricky. These things can cause a messy delay in the event of a divorce. If either spouse is an entrepreneur or small business owner, drafting a prenup that spells out exactly how these kinds of assets will be valued will save you a great deal of heartache, time, and lawyer's fees if you ever need to split them up in a divorce.</p> <h2>4. If either of you plans to get an advanced degree while the other works</h2> <p>It's common for one spouse to financially support the family while the other gets an advanced degree or other higher education. The problem with this division is if the marriage does not survive.</p> <p>The fallout can happen in a few ways. Maybe, for example, the degree-seeking spouse ends up much better off financially because their new education helps advance their career. Meanwhile, the supporting spouse may be stuck toiling away for a lower paycheck. Or, in another example, maybe the supporting spouse makes good money, but the degree-seeking spouse is unable to find a job or is crippled by student loans post-divorce.</p> <p>A couple who knows that one partner will work to support the family while the other goes to school may want to draw up a prenup that will make sure both of them will be financially OK if the marriage does not last.</p> <h2>5. If either of you plans to be a stay-at-home parent</h2> <p>A spouse who stays home with the children may not be bringing in a salary, but he or she is certainly saving the family money. According to a 2016 Salary.com estimate, stay-at-home parents are saving their families <a href="http://www.salary.com/2016-mothers-day-infographics/" target="_blank">over $143,000 per year</a> by doing all of the work that would otherwise have to be contracted out.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there is no real way to quantify those cost savings if a marriage dissolves, which can leave the non-paycheck-earning parent at a distinct disadvantage. A prenup can do a great deal to protect both of the spouses.</p> <h2>6. If you live in a community property state</h2> <p>In the nine community property states, which include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin, everything purchased during the marriage is split 50/50 in the event of a divorce, no matter who made the purchase.</p> <p>For most couples in these states, there is no problem with the community property laws. However, suppose one spouse purchases property on her own during the marriage? For instance, a real estate developer marrying someone outside of the real estate business might use her own funds to purchase properties as part of her business, even after they are married. If the developer wants to make sure those properties remain under her control should the marriage dissolve, then a prenup would be a good idea to protect that property.</p> <h2>Making sure your prenup is mutually beneficial</h2> <p>There is a stigma to prenups, which is part of the reason why they are often seen as just being for the uber-wealthy. We tend to think of them as proof that spouses are not committed to their relationship.</p> <p>However, a prenup should be mutually beneficial, and it can be a way for you and your beloved to show your commitment to each other. You should both be satisfied that you will each be taken care of in case life doesn't turn out the way you planned.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-average-people-should-consider-a-prenup">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/millennial-millionaires-how-the-brokest-generation-can-also-become-the-richest">Millennial Millionaires: How the Brokest Generation Can Also Become the Richest</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family business owners children debt education entrepreneurs marriage prenup prenuptial agreement protecting spouses Tue, 13 Jun 2017 08:30:17 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1959137 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things You Should Know About Joint Checking Accounts http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-should-know-about-joint-checking-accounts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-you-should-know-about-joint-checking-accounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-646688660.jpg" alt="Couple learning things about a joint checking account" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Joint checking accounts offer convenient money management for many different types of relationships, including married and cohabiting couples and adult children and their parents.</p> <p>But the convenience of joint checking accounts potentially comes with a cost that families need to consider before signing up. Here are six issues you need to think through before you open a joint checking account with a spouse, a significant other, an adult child, or a parent.</p> <h2>1. There is no accountability for withdrawals</h2> <p>Generally, couples tend to open joint accounts because they are sharing a home and expenses. That means that it's in their best interests to be responsible with the money, since it will affect them both if the rent money is spent on a weekend in Vegas. However, if one person is unreliable with money, or planning to leave the relationship suddenly, a joint account can be dangerous for the other account holder.</p> <p>This issue can be more difficult when the two account holders are parent and child. Often, an adult child will request that they be added to their elderly parents' checking account to help protect dear old Mom or Dad. They can help pay bills, and make sure that there is no fraudulent activity on the account. The problem is that both account holders have every right to withdraw money from the account &mdash; which an unscrupulous adult child could take advantage of.</p> <h2>2. Joint accounts are vulnerable to the financial mistakes of both owners</h2> <p>If either account owner has unpaid debts that go into collection, the creditor has every right to use the joint account to satisfy those debts. This means you might potentially find your joint checking account completely drained in order to pay off debts you are unaware that your co-owner has run up.</p> <p>In addition, if there is a legal judgment against either account owner, the money in the joint account could be considered part of the assets awarded in the judgment. For instance, if Jane is sued because she crashed into a bus, then the assets in the joint account she holds with her elderly father are considered part of Jane's assets in terms of the lawsuit &mdash; even if the account was originally solely in Dad's name.</p> <h2>3. A joint account could hurt your credit</h2> <p>Although your spouse or child's credit rating can't ding your score, the way they handle their money can hurt your credit if you share a joint account with them. Since creditors are required to report joint account information, an account holder who struggles with debt and paying bills on time will negatively affect the co-owner's credit rating &mdash; unless and until the money behavior improves.</p> <h2>4. A joint account can affect eligibility for financial assistance</h2> <p>If either account owner needs to qualify for any kind of financial assistance, from financial aid for college to Medicaid, the money in a jointly held account is included in the eligibility calculations for the financial aid. That means you might end up forfeiting your ability to qualify for the financial assistance if your account co-owner holds more cash in the account than you would as a sole account owner.</p> <h2>5. Your co-owner can close the account without your permission</h2> <p>Certain banks require consent from both parties to close a joint checking account, but most do not. Typically, state laws dictate that any person who can write checks on the account can close it, at any time, regardless if their co-owner is present or even aware. The benefit to this is if one party relocates, passes away, or otherwise becomes incapacitated, there are very few issues the remaining co-owner must go through to close the account. The danger, however, lies in the potential for one co-owner to simply deplete the funds, close the account, and disappear. Always make sure you're sharing a checking account with someone you trust.</p> <h2>6. Parent/child joint accounts can have estate implications</h2> <p>A joint account holder retains sole control of the money in the account in the event of the co-owner's death. In the case of spouses or other cohabiting couples, this kind of financial transfer in case of death is not a problem. However, if the account owners are a parent and child, the issue is much more complicated.</p> <p>That's because the money in the checking account stays with the surviving account holder, bypassing whatever the deceased account holder may have put in their will. For instance, Loretta has three children and has specified in her will that her assets will be distributed evenly among them. But Loretta has a sizable joint account with her son Jason, and upon her death the money in that account will be solely under his control. Unless Jason feels like splitting up the money in the account three ways, his siblings are not going to see that portion of their inheritance.</p> <h2>Merge with caution</h2> <p>While joint checking accounts offer convenience to couples and parent/child relationships, they also come with a number of potential headaches. Make sure you know what you are signing up for before you and your potential co-account owner start picking out your personalized checks.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-should-know-about-joint-checking-accounts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-average-people-should-consider-a-prenup">6 Reasons Average People Should Consider a Prenup</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-ruining-your-retirement-by-spoiling-your-kids">Are You Ruining Your Retirement by Spoiling Your Kids?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Family children credit score debts estate planning joint checking accounts marriage parents shared finances spouse withdrawals Mon, 17 Apr 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1927307 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Secrets You Need to Tell Your Financial Adviser http://www.wisebread.com/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-165869622.jpg" alt="Couple sharing secrets they need to tell their financial adviser" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you've made an appointment to sit down with a financial adviser and formulate a plan for your future. Are you prepared to talk about your full money situation? In order to truly help you, your financial adviser needs to look at the big picture. That means there can be no major money secrets.</p> <p>Financial advisers will often begin each session by asking a lot of questions that may seem personal. But they'd be negligent if they didn't. In fact, it's their fiduciary duty to learn as much about you as they can in order to advise you properly.</p> <p>Here's a list of secrets you'll need to share with your financial planner if you want the best advice.</p> <h2>1. All of your debt</h2> <p>When you're being crushed under a mountain of debt, you may not want to talk about it. But a financial adviser is perhaps the best person to discuss it with. Your adviser can't craft a sound financial plan for you if they're unaware that a good chunk of your income is going to pay off debt. If you let them know about your full debt situation, however, they may be able to assist you in climbing out of the hole and onto the path toward financial freedom.</p> <h2>2. Any job loss</h2> <p>It's not always easy to admit you are out of work. But a financial adviser can't help you properly if you don't provide a full picture of your income situation. If you're out of work now, let your adviser know. If you were out of work for a long stretch in the past, let them know that as well. Financial advisers can also help you navigate what to do when your income has been cut, as well as advise you on what to do with old 401(k) accounts and pension money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-youre-lucky-enough-to-receive-a-pension-here-are-6-things-you-need-to-do?ref=seealso" target="_blank">If You're Lucky Enough to Receive a Pension, Here Are 6 Things You Need to Do</a>)</p> <h2>3. Family members you support</h2> <p>Do you pay child support? Do you regularly send money to your brother up in Buffalo? Do you have an elderly parent living with you? Your financial adviser will want to know about any money you spend to support other people, even if it's only occasionally or informally. These are expenses that have an impact on your overall financial picture, and are not the kinds of costs that you can easily eliminate.</p> <h2>4. Sizable gifts</h2> <p>You're fortunate enough to be given $25,000 from your generous Uncle Steve, but you feel like it's really not something you want people to know about. After all, who might come knocking on your door now that you have this extra cash on hand? That's understandable, but it's important to tell your financial adviser, because they can offer advice on what to do with the new funds. An unexpected influx of cash, even if it's just a one-time gift, can have a ripple effect on your overall saving strategy.</p> <h2>5. Tax troubles</h2> <p>Have you been diligent about paying your taxes? If not, this is something you'll want to tell your adviser. This goes for late taxes, tax liens on properties, and past audits. The longer you wait to take care of tax problems, the more you may end up paying in penalties and fees. Your financial adviser can help you clean up your tax issues, and will be in a better position to help you plan your future.</p> <h2>6. The status of your marriage</h2> <p>If you're meeting with an adviser, it helps to let them know if you're about to get married, or if your marriage is about to end. Marriage and divorce have all kinds of financial implications on everything from income to taxes to planning for retirement.</p> <h2>7. Your vices</h2> <p>Gambling. Alcoholism. A shopping addiction. We all have our bad habits, but it's important to be aware of those vices that impact your finances. Are you at risk of incurring debt due to a major gambling binge? Is alcohol preventing you from landing steady work? Your financial adviser can't accurately assess your finances if they don't know the situation.</p> <p>According to Doug Amis, a CFP with Cardinal Retirement Planning in Cary, NC, even casual marijuana use is something clients should disclose to planners, because many life insurance companies still test for it.</p> <h2>8. Anything that your kids need to know</h2> <p>Hans Scheil, CEO and owner of Cardinal Retirement Planning, says that his most challenging clients are those who have kept important information from family members. This secrecy can create difficulty in later years, when facing important estate decisions.</p> <p>&quot;What happens with people now is that they develop dementia, or some sort of chronic illness, and they end up needing care,&quot; Scheil said. &quot;This is when all of the family scandals come out.&quot;</p> <p>Scheil says it's important to anticipate what your children and grandchildren may need to know about your estate to avoid strife down the road.</p> <h2>9. Charitable giving</h2> <p>It may seem odd to think of this as something you'd hide, but financial advisers say they've met with clients who have quietly been giving to a cause that their spouse or other loved ones might not agree with. Your donations to charity may not seem like anyone's business, but they can impact your overall savings if you give a substantial amount. A financial adviser can also walk you through getting tax deductions for your charitable donations.</p> <h2>10. Your own lack of financial knowledge</h2> <p>Are you the type who doesn't know an IRA from an IPA? Are you mystified by mutual funds and baffled by bonds? It's OK, your financial adviser is not there to judge you and will likely be more annoyed by any attempt to bluff your way through a meeting. Financial advisers can help you understand the ins and outs of investing and estate planning, so it's useless to pretend to know more than you do.</p> <h2>11. All of your side hustles</h2> <p>When your financial adviser asks you about your income, they want to hear about everything. Not just your day job, but your side work giving piano lessons, your freelance writing, your pottery sales, and even your gambling winnings. You may be hiding this income because you don't want to pay taxes. But your adviser needs to know about this extra income, or else any financial plan they create will be flawed. Moreover, your financial adviser can often give you advice on how to turn a quiet side hustle into a legitimate, profitable business.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-secrets-you-need-to-tell-your-financial-adviser">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked">4 Myths About Divorce and Money, Debunked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bad-credit-it-might-cost-you-your-marriage">Bad Credit? It Might Cost You Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt divorce financial advisers financial planning gambling honesty job loss marriage Secrets taxes Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:01:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1915280 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Your Taxes Will Change After Marriage http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-marriage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-marriage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-533851044.jpg" alt="Married couple&#039;s taxes changing after marriage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life tends to get more complicated after marriage. And your taxes are no exception.</p> <p>Getting married will change the way you file your taxes every April 15. There is good news, though: Many of the changes will be positive ones that can help boost your deductions and save you money.</p> <p>Let's look at five of the biggest tax changes you'll face after the wedding bells stop ringing.</p> <h2>1. Filing Jointly vs. Separately</h2> <p>Once married, couples have to face a big tax decision: Should they file their taxes jointly or separately? In most cases, married couples who file their taxes jointly save more money. But there can be exceptions.</p> <p>Couples who file their taxes jointly in 2017 will qualify for a standard deduction of $12,700. When married couples file separately, they each can claim a standard deduction of $6,350. Note that if your spouse chooses to instead itemize their deductions, you will have to as well.</p> <p>Filing jointly makes especially good financial sense for married couples in which one person earns significantly more than the other. The averaging effect of combining two incomes can bring these couples out of higher tax brackets.</p> <p>When couples file jointly, they might also qualify for several tax credits and deductions that they wouldn't otherwise get if filing separately. This could include the earned income tax credit, child and dependent care tax credit, American Opportunity Act education credit, and the Lifetime Learning education tax credit. Couples who have adopted might also qualify for adoption tax credits when they file jointly. You also will not be allowed to deduct student loan interest if you and your spouse opt to file separately.</p> <p>This doesn't mean that filing jointly is always the right decision for married couples. Say one spouse has significant medical expenses, casualty losses, or miscellaneous itemized deductions. Taxpayers can deduct medical expenses and casualty losses only after they pass 10% of their adjusted gross income for the year. That milestone can be easier to reach when couples file separate tax returns.</p> <p>Taxpayers can deduct miscellaneous itemized deductions after they exceed 2% of their adjusted gross income. If one spouse has a significant amount of these deductions, it might make financial sense for this taxpayer to file separately because the spouse will be able to claim a greater percentage of these deductions.</p> <h2>2. You Might Be on the Hook for Your Spouse's Filing Mistakes</h2> <p>Before you got married, you were responsible for the information you provided on your own tax return. If you are married and filing your taxes jointly, you are now also responsible for any information your spouse provides on his or her tax return.</p> <p>This means that if your spouse provides incorrect information on deductions, charitable contributions, or income, you could also face financial penalties from the IRS. If you suspect your spouse may have been dishonest with their tax returns, intentionally or not, you may choose to protect yourself by filing separately. This will ensure you're only responsible for your own tax liabilities.</p> <h2>3. It's Easier to Protect Your Estate From Taxes</h2> <p>You might be worried that too much of your estate will be gobbled up by taxes after you die. Being married should ease these concerns. Federal laws state that you can leave any amount of money to your spouse after you die without generating estate taxes. This makes it far easier to protect the financial assets that you want to leave behind.</p> <h2>4. Your Tax Bracket Might Change</h2> <p>The rate at which your income is taxed depends on the amount of money you made during the most recent year. Filing your taxes jointly might change your tax bracket.</p> <p>In 2017, married couples filing jointly who earned $18,650 to $75,900 in the previous year will fall into the 15% tax rate. This means this couple would pay $1,865 in taxes plus 15% of any money they earned over $18,650. Married couples filing jointly who earned $75,900 to $153,100 would fall into the 25% tax rate. They would pay $10,452.50 in taxes plus 25% of any dollars they earned over $75,900.</p> <p>The rates go up from there. It's important to note that depending on your spouse's earnings, your tax rate might rise or fall after you get married if you decide to file jointly.</p> <h2>5. If You Bought a Home, You Could Enjoy Major Deductions</h2> <p>Owning a home comes with an important tax deduction: the home mortgage interest deduction. This deduction allows homeowners to deduct the interest they pay on their mortgage loan throughout the year. This deduction can be especially valuable during the years in which you first own your home, as a large amount of your monthly mortgage payment will be made up of interest. You can also deduct the property taxes that you pay on your home each year, as well as any mortgage points.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-marriage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-your-spouse-be-a-dependent-on-your-taxes">Can Your Spouse be a Dependent on Your Taxes?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-clever-tax-shelters-anyone-can-use">5 Clever Tax Shelters Anyone Can Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-toughest-tax-season-question-all-married-couples-must-ask">The Toughest Tax Season Question All Married Couples Must Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-start-a-small-business">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Start a Small Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes deductions filing jointly filing separately getting married marriage tax changes tax credits tax rates Wed, 01 Mar 2017 10:00:18 +0000 Dan Rafter 1898303 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-497222532.jpg" alt="Couple having money conversations together" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you know that the secret to a healthy relationship maybe hiding in your wallet? No, money can't buy you love, but talking about the dollars you have may make a lot of, well, sense. In a recent study, researchers discovered that <a href="http://krepublishers.com/02-Journals/JSS/JSS-46-0-000-16-Web/JSS-46-3-000-16-Abst-PDF/JSS-46-3-271-16-1655-Grobbelaar-C/JSS-46-3-271-16-1655-Grobbelaar-C-Tx%5B9%5D.pmd.pdf" target="_blank">lack of communication about money</a> leads younger couples to both arguments and added stress.</p> <p>Here are some financial discussions worth having, especially if you share the bulk of your expenses. Heck, they may even bring you closer together!</p> <h2>1. Where Is Our Money Going?</h2> <p>Have you sat down with your partner to really dig into your bank accounts lately? It may be a good idea, especially if you hope to spend many Valentine's Days together. A national survey conducted by Money Magazine revealed that 70% of couples <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/03/marriage-finances_n_5441012.html" target="_blank">fight about money matters</a> more than they do about chores, sex, snoring, and togetherness.</p> <p>What's high on their hot points? Frivolous spending.</p> <p>Take some time &mdash; over candlelight and wine, perhaps &mdash; to delve into your check registers and online accounts. Do you see any patterns? Were you both aware that all that money was going toward the groceries each week? Or what about those online magazine subscriptions? Unused gym memberships? You may be able to quickly spot some areas that need work before they turn into shouting matches.</p> <h2>2. How Do We Each Deal With Money?</h2> <p>Once you know what you're spending your money on, you can move on to what makes your partner tick &mdash; financially speaking. Is he a big spender? Is she a penny-pincher? Does he thrive on a cash system? Is she a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card rewards ninja</a>? Often, these habits are set in family history, internal motivations, or simple habit.</p> <p>In my marriage, I am the one who loves drafting up budgets, doing taxes, and planning for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=internal" target="_blank">paying off debt faster</a>. My husband? He gets super stressed doing any of this stuff, even if it's just keeping track of the cable bill. We used to bicker about dividing everything &quot;fairly&quot; between us. In the end, and through many discussions, we decided that my strength with money matters made me a more natural choice for these duties.</p> <p>What we share is that we are both really bad with credit cards. So, we do cash for more of our variable expenses. The message here is to find your similarities and differences. Discover what makes one person thrive or the other person freak out. Avoid condemning certain behaviors or weak points. Instead, celebrate your differences, split up duties according to your strengths, and find common ground.</p> <h2>3. Should We Bank Together &mdash; Or Not?</h2> <p>A 2014 survey uncovered that 70% of Millennial couples <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/td-bank-survey-finds-many-couples-maintain-separate-bank-accounts-251917121.html" target="_blank">maintain separate bank accounts</a> until marriage. Not only that, another study uncovered that <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2011/01/13/is-your-partner-cheating-on-you-financially-31-admit-money-deception-infidelity-red-flags-money-lies/#35b7d3dc37bf" target="_blank">15% of partners</a> who do share accounts actually maintain a secret, uh, mistress account. If you share a lot of expenses, like the usual bills and household stuff, you may want to do a pooled account so all your money is in one handy place. But that probably also means coming clean about anything you may have been hiding.</p> <p>Some couples may actually benefit from or just enjoy the freedom of having separate accounts. And that's fine, too. Benefits here include not having to ask to spend money or having some privacy if you want to buy gifts for the other person. That said, don't financially cheat.</p> <p>If you wish to have separate accounts, be open and honest about it. If you want to pool everything into one bank account, go for that. You can also do a combination of approaches. For example, if you make $60,000 a year and your partner makes $40,000, you may keep separate accounts. You, then, may choose to pay 60% of your shared expenses while your partner pays 40%.</p> <p>The key to whatever you choose is communication, which is the cornerstone to many other aspects of your relationship.</p> <h2>4. How Can We Save for Something Big?</h2> <p>If you find money talks hard, maybe sweetening the deal a bit could help. Saving up for a mutual goal, like a vacation, can get you to join forces for good. Travel not your thing? Sit down with your partner and write out a list of five or 10 things you'd like to save for within a defined period of time, like a year, five years, etc. Bonus points if you've written down a few of the same goals.</p> <p>From there, work together to see how you can turn them from dreams into realities. This activity can be quite romantic and exciting, depending on how you define your wants. For example, my husband and I have a shared dream of creating a first-floor laundry room in the next two years. Nothing gets me more in the mood than pinning design ideas. Swoon!</p> <h2>5. What Do We Want Our Future to Look Like?</h2> <p>One of the more common savings goals is retirement. A survey conducted by Fidelity discovered that many couples <a href="https://www.fidelity.com/about-fidelity/individual-investing/fidelity-couples-study" target="_blank">nearing retirement age</a> weren't necessarily on the same page with their plans. A third of the respondents explained that they didn't know or couldn't agree on where they wanted to retire. And up to two-thirds didn't know at what age they wanted to retire.</p> <p>How you spend retirement has a lot to do with how you currently spend and save your money. So, yeah. Your retirement is definitely worth chatting about. After all, it's your future together. While you most definitely need to talk about the dollars and cents, you also need to focus on the lifestyle you want to lead in those later years.</p> <p>Consider writing out what you want your ideal retirement to look like. Maybe you'd like a second home near the grandchildren or to downsize and move abroad. You may even want to revisit this conversation regularly to make sure you're on the same page. Try updating your plan once a year. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <h2>Tips for Talking About Money</h2> <p>If you still don't think money talk is sexy, you may just be worried about how to start the conversation. And, really, it can be hard. Take a deep breath and try these tips. Your relationship and financial situation will be much more stable for your efforts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-painless-ways-to-manage-money-with-your-partner?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Painless Ways to Manage Money With Your Partner</a>)</p> <ul> <li>Set up a regular time to chat about money. You may want to do it every week or month, but find a schedule that works for the both of you.</li> <li>Agree that sometimes you may disagree, and that's okay. Savings goals and spending habits are unique to each individual. Just like you may not be able to change personality traits about your partner, you may also not be able to change what motivates his or her spending style.</li> <li>Employ healthy discussion techniques into your talks. Stay away from blame and shame. Instead, start your thoughts with &quot;I feel&quot; or &quot;I need&quot; to work toward mutual understanding.</li> <li>If you cannot easily make a decision on something, work together to brainstorm solutions.</li> <li>If meeting over the dinner table is too stressful, try taking your financial talk on a walk. The fresh air and exercise will do you both some good.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-should-ask-in-the-money-talk">5 Questions Couples Should Ask in the Money Talk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle couples discussions honesty marriage meetings money talks relationships Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1889317 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Big Money Mistakes That Married Couples Make http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-big-money-mistakes-that-married-couples-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-big-money-mistakes-that-married-couples-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/married_couple_money_174495001.jpg" alt="Married couple making big money mistakes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on big money mistakes that married couples make, travel discounts you may have missed, and helpful tips for flying with gifts.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savethebills.com/4-big-money-mistakes-married-couples-make/">4 Big Money Mistakes Married Couples Make</a> &mdash; Even if you decide to keep separate bank accounts, it's important to also have a joint account for shared expenses like utilities and mortgage payments. [Save The Bills]</p> <p><a href="http://www.morewithlesstoday.com/5-travel-discounts-you-may-be-missing-out-on/">5 Travel Discounts You May Be Missing Out On</a> &mdash; Most car rental companies allow you to cancel and rebook without penalty, which means you an take advantage of price drops even after you have booked a rental car. [More With Less Today]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Tips-Flying-Gifts-42822462">11 Helpful Tips For Flying With Gifts</a> &mdash; Gifts will get jostled and potentially damaged if packed in a soft bag, especially if the bag is being checked. A hard shell case offers more protection. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/missed-hbos-westworld-heres-how-watch-along-with-everything-hbo-free/">Missed HBO&rsquo;s &lsquo;Westworld&rsquo;? Here&rsquo;s How to Watch it, Along With Everything on HBO, Free</a> &mdash; Amazon has a new free trial offer that allows you to stream HBO shows without paying a dime. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/1208/People-tell-us-the-most-thoughtful-DIY-gifts-they-ve-given-or-received">People tell us the most thoughtful DIY gifts they've given or received</a> &mdash; Thoughtful gifts may require some brainstorming, creativity, and maybe some extra time, but they're well worth the effort! Check out these ideas for some inspiration. [The Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/books-ways-to-make-money/">Love Books? Here&rsquo;s 6 Ways to Make Money Off of Them &mdash; So You Can Buy More</a> &mdash; You can become a proofreader on the side and earn about 35 cents per page. [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="https://www.savingfreak.com/discount-cheap-razors-shaving/">5 Ways to Save Money on Shaving &ndash; Cheap Razors are Just the Start</a> &mdash; It only takes a few extra steps in your daily routine to make your razor last months longer. [Saving Freak]</p> <p><a href="http://want2discover.com/ways-develop-magnetic-personality/">8 Magic Ways To Develop a Charismatic Personality</a> &mdash; Charismatic people give off an energetic and enthusiastic vibe. This is something you can develop by looking for the positive things in life and making an effort to spread cheerfulness. [Want 2 Discover]</p> <p><a href="http://productivitytheory.com/set-these-5-holiday-goals-to-fight-stress-and-depression/">5 Holiday Goals To Fight Stress And Depression</a> &mdash; It's easy to forget about your health when you're rushing through the season. Make it a goal to do some light exercise and alleviate some holiday stress. [Productivity Theory]</p> <p><a href="https://www.lupgrade.com/shut-uncomfortable-conversations-office/">How To Shut Down Uncomfortable Conversations At The Office</a> &mdash; There are three magic phrases that will help you shake off any nasty conversation at the office. [Life Upgrade]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-big-money-mistakes-that-married-couples-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-but-no-one-talks-about">20 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes But No One Talks About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-critical-money-mistakes-people-make-in-their-40s">7 Critical Money Mistakes People Make in Their 40s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-should-ask-in-the-money-talk">5 Questions Couples Should Ask in the Money Talk</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best money tips marriage money mistakes Mon, 12 Dec 2016 11:00:13 +0000 Amy Lu 1851183 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways Millennials Are Changing Marriage http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-478191992.jpg" alt="here&#039;s how millennials are changing marriage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to the Gallup, 59% of Millennials have <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/191462/gallup-analysis-millennials-marriage-family.aspx">never been married</a>. Raise your hand if you're a 20- or 30-something and your parents are hounding you to settle down and give them grandchildren. Oy, that's a lot of hands. Make sure they understand the four ways Millennials are changing marriage.</p> <h2>Marrying Later</h2> <p>It should be no surprise that the <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/163802/marriage-importance-dropped.aspx">youngest generation is marrying later</a>, as this has been a steady trend over the past few generations. However, the number of people born between 1980 and 2000 who are married is even lower than expected. </p> <p>Why wait? Wages are stagnant. More young people are saddled with college debt. More young people are taking longer to earn enough money just to leave their parents' home. More young people are dating longer, and waiting for the right one. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-pitfalls-when-moving-in-together">Couples are living together</a> longer while putting off a wedding. When you don't have a lot of money, support, or time, the idea of spending a ton of time and money planning a wedding doesn't sound so romantic and fun.</p> <h2>Marrying Interracially and LGBT</h2> <p>It's crucial that we see where Millennials are pushing the ball forward, and one of those areas is in continuing the fight against <em>assortative </em>mating, which likely <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2014/02/10/opposites-dont-attract-assortative-mating-and-social-mobility/">deepens economic inequality</a>. One of the best ways to track this is with interracial dating and marriage.</p> <p>Pew Research Center in 2013 learned that <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/06/12/interracial-marriage-who-is-marrying-out/">6.3% of all newlyweds</a> married a person who was outside of their race. While America has a long history of structural racism that Millennials also take part in, it is worth pointing out the big gains this generation has made in making marriage about love and not rules based on prejudice. </p> <p>It's also worth pointing out that 71% of American Millennials now <a href="http://www.pewforum.org/2016/05/12/changing-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/">support same sex marriage</a>, in contrast to only 55% of the general population overall. Marriage is getting more open and inclusive of all types of Americans, and you can thank Millennials for helping that happen faster.</p> <h2>Marrying With Prenuptial Agreements</h2> <p>This may not be relevant to your average couple living within the median income bracket, but it's an interesting one. According to some lawyers, more Millennials are cool with locking in a contract before the big day. Apparently, just over half of <a href="http://time.com/money/4549526/prenups-millennials-marriage/">lawyers in a poll</a> cited that they saw an uptick in prenuptial agreements in young couples, and only 2% of lawyers cited a decrease in prenups.</p> <p>Why could that be? One theory is that Millennials are entering marriages older and are more willing to have the tough pre-nup conversations. Another is that they are more protective of whatever wealth they have managed to hold onto, and are worried to repeat the mistakes of their parents. Whatever the reason and however you feel about prenups, it's sign that Millennials are more responsible than the media makes them out to be.</p> <h2>Not Marrying at All</h2> <p>Gasp! Clutch your pearls, but marriage is just not going to happen for a lot of people. According to the Olin College of Engineering, the number of both men and women projected to stay unmarried <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161017124248.htm">continues to increase</a>. Professor Downey found that if men were born in the '90s, 30% of them will be unmarried by age 43. For women born in the 1990s, 36% of them are expect to be unmarried by age 43. That's in comparison to 17% of both men and women who were born in the 1970s going unmarried by the same age.</p> <p>Why? Marriage is very personal, and everyone's reasons could very well be different. That said, it's likely that the reasons many Millennials cite for delaying marriage would be the very same reasons some never do it at all. We've learned through myriad surveys, polls, and studies that most Millennials claim to have inherited a less economically stable world than their parents. Since marriage itself is in many ways an economic arrangement, how can we blame them?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-are-still-spending-too-much-on-their-weddings">People Are Still Spending Too Much on Their Weddings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-time-to-drop-these-6-rules-of-money-etiquette">It&#039;s Time to Drop These 6 Rules of Money Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-ways-being-too-nice-is-hurting-your-wallet">18 Ways Being Too Nice Is Hurting Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-terrible-money-moves-to-avoid-on-the-first-date">6 Terrible Money Moves to Avoid on the First Date</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-effortless-ways-to-go-green-and-save-money-too">23 Effortless Ways to Go Green (and Save Money, Too)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle Dating Economy getting married marriage millennials saving money Spending Money wedding wedding dress wedding fund weddings Wed, 30 Nov 2016 12:30:10 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1844261 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rope_cash_stretched_23510828.jpg" alt="Learning how to manage your money during a spousal separation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When your marriage isn't working out, a separation might be in order. While you might not be certain whether you'll reconcile or move forward with a divorce, there is still an important matter that needs to be addressed together &mdash; your finances.</p> <p>Dealing with finances in a separation can be messy and lead to a lot of arguments. Use these tips to help you and your spouse manage your money during a difficult time.</p> <h2>1. Don't Be Afraid to Get Help</h2> <p>If you and your spouse cannot sit down and talk about your finances without raising your voice, then seek help. A marriage counselor can help you hear each other out and keep the room calm.</p> <p>Talking with a family law attorney can help you understand how costly a divorce can be and give you both a better idea of where you would be financially if you made your split official.</p> <p>Finally, a financial adviser can provide insight on the ramifications of separation and divorce. The goal is to leave both of you in a stable financial situation if you do make your split final. Look for a financial adviser that has some experience dealing with separation or divorce cases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced?ref=seealso">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Divorced</a>)</p> <h2>2. Establish a New Budget</h2> <p>It is important to establish a new budget together. For couples without children, this should be relatively easy. You should each be responsible for half of all shared bills, and agree to take care of your own food and shopping needs.</p> <p>When children are involved or when one spouse does not earn income, then establishing a new budget can be tricky. You have to both admit that you cannot enjoy the same luxuries during this time of separation. Basic bills need to be paid, and of course, all of your children's needs should be met.</p> <h2>3. Aim for Financial Independence</h2> <p>Close as many accounts possible that contain both of your names. If you pay off and cancel credit cards in both of your names, it can protect you from taking on further debt if you move forward with divorce.</p> <p>Having separate checking accounts can also make life easier. If both of you earn a paycheck, set up direct deposit into each of your own accounts.</p> <h2>4. Deal With Mutual Debt</h2> <p>If you decide to move forward with a divorce, know that your debt might be split down the middle along with your assets. Any debt, including student loan debt that was taken on after saying &quot;I do,&quot; is considered mutual property. This means you can get stuck paying off debt that your spouse essentially racked up.</p> <p>While you are still together, make it a goal to tackle your debt. Agree on an amount that each of you should pay toward the debt each month. If money is tight, try putting saving goals on hold for a few months.</p> <p>If managing mutual debt payments is becoming a hard task for you, both of you can apply for a free or low-fee <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal">balance transfer card</a> to split up the debt in your own name. You can do this with a personal loan, as well. The point is to split the debt and put it in each of your names so that you can eventually close out accounts that are in your shared name. This can prevent your spouse overusing a credit card for revenge purchases.</p> <h2>5. What About the House?</h2> <p>If your house is too expensive for either of you to keep separately, then you need to consider selling it. Taking your home into a divorce can be messy and complicated. A divorce can also put a tight deadline on both of you to sell your home, causing you to get less than the full value for it.</p> <p>If you cannot sell your home for the value of the property, try renting it out to pay the mortgage payments. This can take a huge burden off your shared financial situation and you can wait to sell at a better time. If you end up staying together, your home is still there for you to live in.</p> <p>If you both want to live in the house while separated, then you need to know your state's laws. When you file for a divorce, you will need to establish a point of separation. Some states count that point as when one spouse announces they want to pursue divorce, while other states require proof of living separately. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-happens-to-a-mortgage-in-a-divorce?ref=seealso">Here's What Happens to a Mortgage in a Divorce</a>)</p> <p>Nothing about separation or divorce is ever simple. Every couple's situation will be different based on finances and personalities. Dealing with a hard spouse is not easy, but going through a divorce isn't always the quick fix that it appears to be, either.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked">4 Myths About Divorce and Money, Debunked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-divorce-affect-your-student-loans">Does Divorce Affect Your Student Loans?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Divorced</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family advisers budgeting counselors debt divided assets divorce financial help loans marriage separation Fri, 11 Nov 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1830852 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_sailboat_89092071.jpg" alt="Couple asking questions before retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What kind of retirement do you imagine? Do you picture taking a long cruise, traveling to international destinations, and racking up the frequent-flier miles? What if your partner is dreaming about a retirement of lazy days spent reading books, watching movies, and visiting the grandkids?</p> <p>Those retirements are two very different kinds. And if you and your partner can't agree on a version of your after-work years that satisfies both of you, your retirement might be a stormy one.</p> <p>Fortunately, you can boost the odds that you and your partner will enjoy your retirement years by asking five key questions before you leave the working world.</p> <h2>1. What Kind of Retirement Do You Want?</h2> <p>This is the most basic of questions, but it might be the most important. Couples need to hammer out exactly what kind of life they want to lead after their working years are over.</p> <p>When you're working, much of your life is planned out for you. You know when you have to be on the job, for instance. If you're raising kids, your weeks are often filled with band practices, soccer games, and gymnastics meets. You and your partner might not even spend much time together during an average week.</p> <p>But when you retire? That all changes. Those hours in the office are now hours spent at home. You and your partner need to determine what you want to fill those hours with. You might want to travel and take on new hobbies. Your partner might prefer quiet days with favorite books.</p> <p>The type of retirement you want also impacts how much money you'll need to save. You'll need more money if you plan to travel the globe and less if you picture quiet nights in your existing home.</p> <p>If you discuss this before retirement, you might be able to work out compromises. Maybe you agree to take two trips a year. Maybe you agree that you'll investigate a new hobby while your partner plows through <em>War and Peace</em>. But you won't be able to agree on anything if you don't first talk about what your ideal retirements look like.</p> <h2>2. Where Do You Want to Live?</h2> <p>Do you want to stay in your current home? Or perhaps you'd like to sell your home and move into an apartment in the middle of downtown? These are both good choices. But you and your partner need to discuss them before you retire. You don't want to be dreaming of a downtown apartment if your partner is making plans for a new sunroom in your current home.</p> <p>And what about your grandkids? Do you want to move closer to them? Or do you want to stay put? This, again, is another conversation that you must have before retirement.</p> <h2>3. When Do You Want to Retire?</h2> <p>You might plan on working late into your 70s. Your partner might be counting down the days to 67. Make sure you and your partner discuss when you both plan on retiring.</p> <p>Your partner might expect that you'll both retire at the same time. Don't make it a surprise that you want to retire earlier or later. The timing of your retirement plays an important role in how much you have to save each year to meet your retirement goals. So talk about this choice early and often.</p> <p>And if you change your mind? Don't keep it a secret from your partner.</p> <h2>4. How Much Money Do You Need?</h2> <p>This might be the most perplexing question of all to couples. It's also the one that couples need to talk about early in their relationship. Couples need to agree on how much money they'll need each year to live a comfortable retirement. If they don't? The odds are high that money issues will be a constant source of tension.</p> <p>How much money couples need in retirement varies depending on the lifestyles that they want. Couples who want to travel during their retirement will need more money. Those who want to spend their time visiting their grandkids will need less.</p> <p>Those couples who plan on living in a pricey seniors' center or an urban apartment building will probably need more money than those who plan to live for as long as possible in a home that they have already paid off.</p> <p>There are plenty of formulas for determining how much money couples should save during retirement. Your best bet, though, might be to meet with a financial adviser who can help you and your partner work through your retirement goals and determine the best way to save for them.</p> <h2>5. Who Will Do What Chores?</h2> <p>You might have been happy with being the home's main cook if your partner worked longer hours. But what about when you are both retired? Will you still want to handle the bulk of the cooking chores then? Maybe not.</p> <p>It pays to talk with your partner about who will handle the bills, cook the meals, clean the house, and mow the lawn once retirement arrives. The old ways of splitting these chores might no longer make sense after you both settle into retirement.</p> <p>Again, not talking about this issue could cause tension. You might not be thrilled to serve your partner dinner if that partner spent all day watching TV or reading a book. So don't be shy about the chores conversation. It might be time to work out a new household schedule.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-you-need-to-answer-before-relocating-in-retirement">4 Questions You Need To Answer Before Relocating in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s">How Are People Retiring in Their 30s?!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-worst-states-for-retirees">The 10 Worst States for Retirees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-a-retired-life-before-retirement">How to Live a Retired Life Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement chores couples family grandchildren lifestyle marriage moving relocating retirement planning saving money traveling Thu, 10 Nov 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 1830271 at http://www.wisebread.com Does Divorce Affect Your Student Loans? http://www.wisebread.com/does-divorce-affect-your-student-loans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-divorce-affect-your-student-loans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/broken_heart_cash_25865628.jpg" alt="Learning if divorce affects your student loans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Going through a divorce can get messy, especially when there are a lot of assets to divide and financial matters to take care of. Even worse, couples often forget that debts &mdash; and not just assets &mdash; must often be split. And student loan debt can be especially hairy. Understanding the ramifications of divorce on student debt is essential to negotiating a mutually beneficial split. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-happens-to-a-mortgage-in-a-divorce?ref=seealso">Here's What Happens to a Mortgage in a Divorce</a>)</p> <h2>When Did You Take on the Debt?</h2> <p>If you took on your student loan before marriage, then the debt is considered separate property, and you are solely responsible for it. Similarly, you won't be held responsible for any debt taken out by your spouse before marriage.</p> <p>However, if you or your spouse took on student <a href="https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/debt-marriage-owe-spouse-debts-29572.html">loan debt while married</a>, then the debt is considered your shared property. As a matter of fact, any debt taken on in a marriage is considered shared property, including the following:</p> <ul> <li>Mortgages</li> <li>Car loans</li> <li>Personal loans</li> <li>Sometimes business loans</li> <li>Credit card debt</li> </ul> <h2>It All Depends on Your State's Laws</h2> <p>Many states are <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_property">community property states</a>, which means everything is split down the middle. If you live in a community property state, the student loan debt (along with all other debt) will be split 50-50. Even if one party will suffer financial hardships from the split debt, the court will still hold them liable for half of it.</p> <p>Of course, it is the court's discretion how they split marital property, and each state has unique rules in place. In <a href="https://www.legalzoom.com/knowledge/divorce/topic/equitable-distribution-community-property">equitable distribution states</a>, such as New York, each divorce is weighed differently. According to The Wall Street Journal, &quot;If it seems like one spouse will have high income after a divorce and another will struggle to make debt payments, the higher earner may end up having to fork over some <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304626804579363253873904162">temporary spousal support</a> to cover the ex's debt payments.&quot;</p> <h2>Consolidated Student Loans</h2> <p>Before 2006, married couples were able to consolidate their loans. Many couples did this to get a lower interest rate and save money &mdash; but for couples that did this, they had to permanently attach themselves to the loan.</p> <p>Unfortunately, if one party does not pay their assigned portion of their loan, the other party will still be held fully responsible. Married couples can no longer consolidate their student loans, so if you were married after 2006, then this does not apply to you.</p> <h2>How to Avoid Problems Before Marriage</h2> <p>No couple wants to think about divorce before they get married, but if student loan debt is worrisome to you, there are a few things you can do before tying the knot. First, it is important that both you and your potential spouse know how much debt you each have. Everything should be laid out on the table. Secondly, to protect yourself, sign a prenuptial agreement that states how debt is supposed to be split in the case of a divorce. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances?ref=seealso">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a>)</p> <h2>So How Much Student Loan Debt Will I Be Responsible for After Divorce?</h2> <p>When it comes to figuring out how much student loan debt you will be responsible for after a divorce, it all depends on your case and the state you live in. It is important for you and your spouse to know <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-after-bankruptcy-whats-next">the financial weight of your divorce</a> before committing to one fully. Talk with a divorce attorney to find out more information that relates to your specific case.</p> <p>If the court does hold you responsible for your spouse's student loan debt after divorce, then it is important to pay it. If you don't, you will be held liable, your wages could be garnished, and your credit score can suffer.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-divorce-affect-your-student-loans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-myths-about-divorce-and-money-debunked">4 Myths About Divorce and Money, Debunked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training consolidation court divorce loans marriage state laws student debts Tue, 08 Nov 2016 10:00:15 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1827231 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Smart Ways to Boost Your Social Security Payout Before Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/old_couple_retirement_78209735.jpg" alt="Couple boosting their social security payout before retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, <a href="https://www.ebri.org/pdf/briefspdf/EBRI_IB_422.Mar16.RCS.pdf">84% of U.S. workers</a> expect their Social Security benefit to be a significant source income during retirement. So, let's plan ahead with these six smart ways to boost that monthly Social Security check before retirement:</p> <h2>1. Check Reported Earnings on Your Social Security Statements</h2> <p>In September 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began mailing Social Security Statements to workers at ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 and over, who aren't yet receiving Social Security benefits and don't have a <em>my Social Security</em> account. You should receive those statements about three months before your birthday at each one of those ages.</p> <p>Once you receive one, check your reported earnings for each year to make sure they match your W-2 forms. The SSA uses your average earnings over your lifetime to calculate your benefit amount, so any errors on reported earnings may alter the benefit to which you're entitled. Since you may have many employers during your lifetime, you're the only person who can look at your earnings history and know whether it's complete and correct.</p> <p>If any earnings before the previous year are missing or shown incorrectly, contact the SSA right away at 1-800-772-1213 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on your local time). Have your W-2 or tax return for those years available when you call.</p> <h2>2. Sign Up for a my Social Security Account</h2> <p>There's no need to wait five years before getting your next Social Security Statement. By creating you're my Social Security account at <a href="http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount">www.ssa.gov/myaccount</a>, you'll be able to check your reported earnings once a year to verify that those posted amounts are correct.</p> <p>Additionally, you'll receive updated estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits. If you meet certain requirements, you'll also be able to request a replacement Social Security card through the my Social Security online portal.</p> <h2>3. Reach Full Retirement Age</h2> <p>When you have earned the necessary 40 credits (individuals with disabilities, recipients of survivor benefits, and some minors may need fewer credits) to qualify for retirement benefits, you can start receiving those benefits as early as age 62. Whether you receive a digital or paper copy of your Social Security statement, you'll receive an estimated benefit of your retirement benefits at age 62.</p> <p>You'll quickly realize that the estimated benefit at age 62 is much lower than the one at your full retirement age. For example, if you were born between 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age would be 66. If you were to start getting retirement benefits at age 62, they would be <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/1943.html">reduced to 75%</a> of what they would be four years later. For every month that you delay retirement past age 62, you would gain an additional 0.4% in retirement benefits until you reach your full retirement age. Depending on your birth year, your full retirement age ranges from <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/retirechart.html">65 to 67</a>.</p> <h2>4. Obtain Delayed Retirement Credits</h2> <p>According to estimates from the SSA, about <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/planners/lifeexpectancy.html">one out of every four</a> 65-year-olds today will live past age 90, and one out of 10 will live past age 95. If you have a family history of longevity, consider delaying retirement until age 70.</p> <p>Individuals born 1943 or later receive an extra <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/delayret.html">2/3 of 1% increase</a> on their retirement benefits for every month that they delay retirement past full retirement age. If your full retirement age were 67, you would increase your retirement benefit to 132% by waiting until age 70. You can only gain delayed retirement credits until age 70.</p> <h2>5. Evaluate Spousal Benefits</h2> <p>Spouses can claim retirement benefits based on their own earnings record or receive up to 50% of the higher earner's benefit, whichever is higher. For example, if your own retirement benefit and your spouse's were $600 and $1,800, respectively, you would receive $900 (50% of $1,800).</p> <p>However, taking the spousal benefit as early as age 62 reduces your payout. A spousal benefit is reduced 25/36 of 1% for each month before full retirement age, up to 36 months. If the number of months exceeds 36, then the benefit is further reduced 5/12 of 1% per month. For those born 1960 or later, a $900 spousal benefit would be reduced to $585 when taking it at age 62.</p> <p>If you're divorced from a marriage <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html">lasting 10 years or longer</a>, remain unmarried, and have a retirement benefit smaller than the one you would receive from your ex-spouse, then you can receive spousal benefits on your ex-spouse's record even if he or she has remarried. However, you'll only be able to keep collecting benefits if you keep single. To learn more details about spousal benefits for divorced spouses, consult the SSA website.</p> <h2>6. Plan Ahead With Your Dependents</h2> <p>Talking about relationship updates later on in life, keep in mind that you can receive additional Social Security payments when you have dependent children <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/yourchildren.html">under age 19</a> living with you during retirement.</p> <p>As long as your biological child, adopted child, stepchild, or dependent grandchild is unmarried and under age 18, then he or she can receive up to one half of your monthly retirement benefit. The benefit can extend until graduation date or two months after the 19th birthday of a dependent who is a full-time student (no higher than grade 12), whichever is earlier.</p> <p>While each one of your qualifying dependent children can receive a benefit, generally the total amount you and your family can receive is about <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/yourchildren.html">150% to 180%</a> of your full retirement benefit. Depending on your child's age, you may find it advantageous to retire earlier than you originally planned to take advantage of a higher total family benefit.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Smart%2520Ways%2520to%2520Boost%2520Your%2520Social%2520Security%2520Payout%2520Before%2520Retirement.jpg&amp;description=6%20Smart%20Ways%20to%20Boost%20Your%20Social%20Security%20Payout%20Before%20Retirement"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Smart%20Ways%20to%20Boost%20Your%20Social%20Security%20Payout%20Before%20Retirement.jpg" alt="6 Smart Ways to Boost Your Social Security Payout Before Retirement" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-social-security-you-shouldnt-panic-over">5 Sobering Facts About Social Security You Shouldn&#039;t Panic Over</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-falling-for-these-6-social-security-myths">Stop Falling for These 6 Social Security Myths</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-start-claiming-your-social-security-benefits">5 Questions to Ask Before You Start Claiming Your Social Security Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-claim-social-security-before-your-retirement-age">3 Reasons to Claim Social Security Before Your Retirement Age</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-tax-day-is-april-15-and-other-weird-financial-deadlines">Why Tax Day Is April 15 and Other Weird Financial Deadlines</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement benefits dependents full retirement age marriage payout social security spouses ssa Wed, 12 Oct 2016 09:00:06 +0000 Damian Davila 1810488 at http://www.wisebread.com Can Your Spouse be a Dependent on Your Taxes? http://www.wisebread.com/can-your-spouse-be-a-dependent-on-your-taxes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-your-spouse-be-a-dependent-on-your-taxes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_calculator_bills_17400550.jpg" alt="Couple learning if a spouse can be added as a dependent" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a common scenario: One person in a relationship brings home a much higher salary than the other. For couples in this situation, the higher earner typically handles the majority of the expenses.</p> <p>To lower their tax burden, some may want to claim their lower-earning spouse as a dependent. In other situations, the earner's spouse is disabled and unable to contribute to the family's income. However, while you might think that labeling a spouse as a dependent is a smart decision, it's actually not allowed by the IRS.</p> <h2>What the IRS Says About Dependent Spouses</h2> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf">IRS Publication 17</a>, your spouse can never be claimed as a dependent. Other people, such as siblings, children, or other relatives can be dependents, but no matter the circumstance, your spouse cannot.</p> <p>In the IRS' eyes, a dependent is defined as a child or qualifying relative. The person does not have to be related by blood &mdash; they just had to live with you for the year and not have gross income.</p> <h2>Spousal Exemptions</h2> <p>While a spouse cannot be a dependent, you may be able to <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/can-i-claim-my-personal-and-or-spousal-exemption">claim an exemption</a> for your spouse, thereby lowering your tax burden. You can go this route if you are married, and your partner has no gross income to report.</p> <p>If your spouse is physically challenged, you may be able to claim credit for expenses related to the care of your spouse. This option would be a possibility if you needed to hire help to care for your spouse so you could go to work or search for employment.</p> <h2>Marriage and Taxes</h2> <p>To minimize how much you owe on your taxes, it often makes the most sense to file jointly, rather than separately. To encourage couples to file together, the IRS gives joint filers some of the largest standard deductions, allowing them to deduct a big amount from their taxable income.</p> <p>Joint filers can typically claim two exemptions and more easily qualify for other tax credits, including:</p> <ul> <li>Earned Income Tax Credit</li> <li>Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit</li> <li>American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Education Credit</li> </ul> <p>If you file jointly, there is also a higher threshold for taxes and deductions, meaning you can qualify for more credit and tax breaks for a higher income than if you filed separately.</p> <h2>When It Makes Sense to File Separately</h2> <p>Filing separately only makes sense in very specific circumstances, such as in the case of large out-of-pocket medical expenses. Because the IRS only allows you to deduct 10% of your adjusted gross income (AGI), filing separately can help you save more money.</p> <p>While you may hear some professionals recommend claiming your spouse as a dependent, it is not permissible by the IRS. Instead, you can claim your partner as a personal exemption in particular circumstances. To lower your tax burden, consult with a tax professional to make sure filing jointly makes the most financial sense for your situation and get all of the deductions and tax breaks you are entitled to.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-your-spouse-be-a-dependent-on-your-taxes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-marriage">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement">6 Smart Ways to Boost Your Social Security Payout Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-clever-tax-shelters-anyone-can-use">5 Clever Tax Shelters Anyone Can Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-most-common-tax-questions-for-beginners-answered">The 7 Most Common Tax Questions for Beginners, Answered</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes deductions dependents exemptions filing jointly filing separately marriage spouses tax credits Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Kat Tretina 1796981 at http://www.wisebread.com