- Financial stability is a major factor in Americans’ decision to get married.
- We asked experts to weigh in on the biggest financial advantages of tying the knot.
- They said marriage comes with a number of monetary benefits, including potentially lower tax rates and better insurance options.
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When it comes to the qualities people look for in a mate, wealth alone is far from the deciding factor.
That said, there are several financially-related reasons people get married, from the tax benefits both partners receive to the professional opportunities that marriage can open up.
According to a survey by The Ascent, the most attractive money-related traits are those that pertain to conscientious financial habits — having savings goals, following a budget, and maintaining full-time employment took the top three spots on the list.
It’s no surprise, then, that financial stability is one of the biggest make-or-break factors in the decision to tie the knot for American couples.
We spoke to experts in personal finance and relationships to learn the biggest reasons walking down the aisle may make good fiscal sense. Here are the top money-related reasons people get married.
Lower tax rates
Married individuals who file their taxes jointly enjoy wider tax brackets than those who are single or married filing separately.
"These larger brackets keep more money at lower tax rates and allow couples to take advantage of a lesser tax burden on their joint incomes, resulting in a lower effective tax rate," Riley Adams, an accountant and personal finance blogger, told Business Insider.
In layman’s terms, you can earn more as a couple and pay less in taxes overall. For example, for the 2019 tax year, a single filer earning between $39,476 and $84,200 would be in the 24% tax bracket. However, a married couple could earn as much as $168,400 in combined income and still be in that same tax bracket.
The income tax benefits are most pronounced when one partner makes significantly more than the other, because the partner with the lower income will drop the other into a lower tax bracket.
A bigger standard deduction
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The standard deduction is the dollar figure you can subtract from your earnings before income tax is applied, assuming you don’t itemize your deductions.
"As with larger tax brackets, married couples also enjoy twice the size of standard deduction as single filers," Adams said.
The standard deduction for married couples filing jointly is $24,400 for the 2019 tax year, compared to $12,200 for single individuals.
Double the credit card perks
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If you know how to play the game, you can effectively double your credit card rewards points or miles.
Brooklyn Lowery, a senior manager with CardRatings.com, told Business Insider that married couples can start with separate credit cards to take advantage of welcome bonuses, then combine their accounts to pool their rewards points.
"For instance, if you’re interested in travel rewards, perhaps one of you applies for Chase Sapphire Preferred while the other applies for Chase Freedom," Lowery said. "Both cards earn rewards in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, so you can then combine your earnings under a single account."
Additionally, people with less-than-stellar credit can begin to build their credit score by being added to a well-qualified partner’s account.
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