125

My suggestion would be that you're looking at this the wrong way, though for good reasons. Once you are a family, you should - and, in most cases I've seen, will - think of things differently than you do now. Right now, your post above is written from a selfish perspective. Not to be insulting, and not implying selfish is a bad thing - I don't mean it ...


81

You remind me a lot of myself as I was thinking about marriage. Luckily for me, my wife was much smarter about all this than I was. Hopefully, I can pass along some of her wisdom. Both of us feel very strongly about being financially independent and if possible we both don't want to take money from each other. In marriage, there is no more financial ...


72

I started out thinking like you but I quickly realised this was a bad approach. You are a team, aren't you? Are you equals or is one of you an inferior of lower value? I think you'll generate more shared happiness by acting as a team of equals. I'd pool your resources and share them as equals. I'd open a joint account and pay both your incomes directly ...


46

Generally there are tax benefits from filing as a married couple, specifically if one spouse has a very different salary. It can pull you into a lower tax bracket overall since everything (brackets, deductions, etc.) is roughly doubled, so one spouse gets the benefit of any "unused" margin that the other would not get to use as an individual. That said... ...


39

Have her chip in for the regular expenses, utilities, food, etc., and a bit for "rent." Then tell her to be sure to deposit to her retirement account, preferably a matched 401(k). It's admirable to want her to build 'equity' but it's pretty convoluted. You can't actually give her ownership, and in the event you break up (I know you won't, but this is to ...


33

It's easy to get a rough but practical answer for this yourself. As an exercise, do your taxes now, estimating income or other factors through the end of the year, as if you were both single. Then do the same, but married filing jointly. Compare the results. I was married last year (for the 2nd time) and did this comparison "for fun" (it didn't impact our ...


25

First off, the decision about marriage should be first and foremost about what is best for the both of you personally, rather than financially. That said, my guess is that it's not in your financial interest to get married sooner, though you should look into it in more detail. Marriage has different effects financially depending on the differences ...


16

There is no simple, legally reasonable, way for her to build equity by helping out with your mortgage, without her having a claim to your mortgage. The only 'equitable' thing she can do is rent from you. If you want her to be building equity, have her start and fund a brokerage account for herself. If you have an affinity for real estate, have her buy ...


14

Now I have been trying to figure out how to split the money that we both earn. From what I can see there are several concepts but none of them really seems ideal to me. There is nothing fair or unfair in such arrangements. It is what you both agree. You can try and make this as scientific as possible. But then there is no golden rule. For example, your ...


14

Since you are married as of December 31, you cannot file as Single. You can choose to file as Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately. (You can only file as Head of Household in the rare case where you have been living apart from your spouse for the last 6 months of the year and you have a dependent.) The way the tax rates are structured, filing ...


13

I started this off as a comment to Joe's answer, but it got rather messy in that form so I'll just post it as a separate answer instead. I suggest that you read Joe's answer first. I believe you are overthinking this. First, you really should be discussing the matter with your girlfriend. We can provide suggestions, but only the two of you can decide what ...


12

Pre-nuptial agreements are typically used to protect assets that you have before a marriage in case of divorce. If you don't have a lot of assets to protect, then there's not much point. If you do have a lot of assets, then it might be worth having such an agreement, especially in the case of a second marriage where both spouses have kids from before, and ...


12

I will give a modified version of JoeTaxpayer's advice. First, congratulations on your marriage and house purchase. Next, do not use the Married Filing Separately (MFS) option unless you absolutely have to use it for very good reasons; and "our incomes are similar" is not a good reason.. The tax laws and tax rate schedules are written in a way that ...


12

Under the PAYE income-driven repayment plan, the monthly payment is based on the borrower's Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on his or her federal tax return. If you are filing married filing jointly (MFJ), the AGI will include both of your incomes, but if you file married filing separately (MFS), her AGI will not include your income. The catch, of course, is ...


10

I won't answer in a detailed manner because most people at this site like answers with certain bias' on these questions, like pool resources always relative to which partner is asking. If you follow the above advice, you are hoping things work out. Great! What if they don't? It will be very messy. Unlike most of my peers, I did NOT follow the above ...


10

TL;DR version: Don't file separate federal income tax returns unless there are very strong reasons to not file a joint income tax return. The tax code is structured to encourage married persons to file joint Federal income tax returns (MFJ or Married Filing Jointly) rather than separate tax returns (MFS or Married Filing Separately). Thus, the tax brackets ...


10

There's no reason to file separately. And your situation is pretty simple. You can use the most basic level of tax software. In fact, given that we are less than 3 weeks to tax day, any tax guy worth going to will not have the time to take you on as a client.


9

In exit counseling, and the U.S. Department of Education, if the borrower of a student loan dies, the debt is cancelled and the loan is forgiven. If you, the borrower, die, then your federal student loans will be discharged. If you are a parent PLUS loan borrower, then the loan may be discharged if you die, or if the student on whose behalf you obtained ...


8

The IRS looks at your marital status on December 31st to determine at what rate you will pay taxes. We can assume that for this year you will file Married. The withholding tables which are triggered by the numbers and terms you put on the W-4 are used to get your withholding close to the eventual total amount owed. Of course the more complex your situation -...


8

I agree with everyone who has simply told you 'Dont' and 'You can't' and add a few more considerations that you don't want to deal with: Any rental payments towards the loan expense you collect from your girlfriend must be reported on your tax return as income, usually as a 1099 which adds to your marginal tax rate. You say you've purchased an 'apartment', ...


8

Every person has one personal exemption($4050 in 2016). They are either assigning it to their tax form, or they are acting as a dependent and assigning it to another persons tax form. So for 2016 (assuming you file jointly) your tax form will have two personal exemptions (spouse_1 and spouse_2). The IRS looks at your marital situation on December 31st (...


8

You are confusing a few things. There are two filing options for married couples: “Married Filing Jointly” and “Married Filing Separately.” (There is a third filing option called “Head of Household” that one of you might use if there are children involved.) Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) means that you file one (and only one) tax return for the both of you. ...


8

Having just done this, the tax benefits are minimal. We got married in December (to fit our schedules, not taxes), and have a big gap in salaries. I think we got around an additional 2-3% of our combined income back in taxes, but it's only due to the split in our income (split 13%/87%) and the effect of progressive tax rates. Overall, we saved a lot more ...


8

You're correct- the tax advice given in that scene doesn't make any sense, and it might actually make the scene even better if you know that. The advice was bad for three reasons: Even in 1949 (like today) there would be no tax at all on the inheritence. Estates may pay taxes before the money is distributed (and his brother's estate would have paid taxes), ...


7

You are correct. If you get married by December 31, you will file as married for this year (Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately) instead of Single. That could indeed save you some amount of taxes, if your situation is as you described. Some people do plan their date of marriage in such a way to optimize tax savings. Whether your marriage date ...


7

Yes. The Treasury just published updated tax guidelines for same-sex marriages, and the document specifically states that employees who purchased same-sex spouse health insurance coverage from their employers on an after-tax basis may treat the amounts paid for that coverage as pre-tax and excludable from income. Individuals who were in same-sex ...


7

As per Chad's request, I recommend that you keep at least one card in each name as primary card holder, with the spouse being the secondary card holder, most easily done by each adding the spouse as the secondary holder to his/her own card. Since credit reporting is usually in the name of the primary credit card holder, this allows both to continue to ...


7

Setting aside the morality and ethics of false wedding vows, yes, there are many things that can go wrong with this plan. Marriage is a merging of two people (and two households) into one, legally. You can't simply marry, but decide to keep everything separate; it doesn't work that way. Sure, a prenuptial agreement might help with the planned separation, ...


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