Is marriage still relevant in regards to finances?

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I'm having a dilemma in establishing the relevance of marriage in today's world. It seems everyday someone is getting a divorce. It's easier to say this when celebrities are divorcing in a blink of an eye. To the non-celebrity relationships (the rest of us) instead of regurgitating that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce because of money, I am going to take a different approach. Financial problems may not lead to divorce, but it does cause in the marriage. Although I don't know what goes on behind closed doors, and assuming there is no abuse or domestic violence, what's going on? Was the love lost? Infidelity? Money woes? Money is a hot topic in a marriage. Decisions arise about . Attitudes about money can differ among spouses leading to why finances can be a contentious issue.

Before I continue I will have you note I am not a marriage counselor and I'm not ridiculing the sanctification of marriage. Marriage is a PROCESS between two people who love each other. You make your relationship public and official to society—from a financial view—and awarded a financial incentive. Then there's the religious part of marriage declaring your union under G-d, which is great but that's not what today post is about. You make a momentous decision which impacts you financially. Assuming up until you were married, you and your fiancé where in a committed relationship, which in my opinion, shouldn't change in a marriage. In my view, you are taking the next step in your committed relationship.

Is there a tax incentive to getting married?

I wonder if people are getting married for the right reasons. I like to think so. But here's where I find marriage to be primarily about money. In the United States, if your taxable income is $50,000 and you have a tax rate of 25%. (The IRS says, "Your filing status is single if, on the last day of the year, you are unmarried or legally separated from your spouse under a divorce or separate maintenance decree, and you do not qualify for another filing status." Clearly your boyfriend/girlfriend relationship has no bearing on the IRS). If you are married filing jointly, your tax rate has dropped to 15%...a ten percent drop because you tied the knot. That's quite an incentive or a benefit to being married.

Here's the breakdown of the federal tax brackets in 2012

Tax BracketSingleMarried Filing Jointly10%$0 – $8,700$0 – $17,40015%$8,700 – $35,350$17,400 – $70,70025%$35,350 – $85,650$70,700 – $142,70028%$85,650 – $178,650$142,700 – $21,745033%$178,650 – $388,350$217,450 – $388,35035%Over $388,350Over $388,350

For simplicity sake, let's further breakdown a $50,000 taxable income (assuming after all deductions and exemptions). Here's how your taxes will be calculated:


($8,700 - $0) x .10 = $ 870.00

($35,350 - $8,700) x. 15 = $ 3997.50

($50,000 – $35,350) x .25 = $3662.50

Total: $8530

Married filing jointly:

($17,400 - $0) x .10 = $ 1,740.00

( $50,000 - $17,400) x .15 = $ 4890.00

Total: $ 6630

A difference of $1,900.00 in savings.

The government is giving a tax break for being married. Although, I don't have empirical data or stats to prove marriage is about money, I can conclude an employed person who is unmarried and has no kids is penalized in paying more in taxes. As a percentage of the taxable income the tax is 17.06% for a single filing status and 13.26% for married filing jointly status. Clearly, there's a tax financial benefit to being married.

(Note: this example is only comparing a single person to a married couple with the same taxable income. Not two single people to a married couple.)

Marrying Money?

Is it important to marry someone of equally high socioeconomic status? Getting married has its costs. Would you marry someone who was low on funds and poor employment prospects? This might be a significant impediment for women then for men. People who say they marry someone because you love them is missing an important aspect of money in a marriage. You need to be smart when it comes to marriage and money. There's an economic partnership interwoven in a marriage. As I research my information, I came across an article in that said:

"Sociologists Pamela Smock, of the University of Michigan, and Wendy Manning, of Bowling Green State University, found that socioeconomic status is a key factor in a cohabitating woman's expectation of . An analysis of a survey of family growth reveals that women living with men of lesser economic means and lower levels of were less likely to anticipate marrying their current partner."

Does this mean all women marry for money? Absolutely not. It reveals as women are juggling a career they want their current partner to be sufficient instead of possibly jeopardizing their financial future. On the other hand, you could question these women why they are living with "men of lesser economic means and lower levels of education." Nevertheless, you can't turn a blind eye that money plays a significant role in most marriages and potential marriages. As personal income grows you are less likely to fight over money and even increase happiness. According to a study conducted by economist Angus Deaton and psychologist Daniel Kahneman, as people earn more money their happiness increases. Eventually, it plateaus when income level reaches .

This could be a reason why cohabitation exists and marriages are postponed.

Whether there is an income threshold or not to avoid money problems and increase in happiness the fact remains money is interwoven in a marriage. Money brings stability and security into marriage . I do believe you should marry someone who you love and shares your attitudes and beliefs about money. It could be the smartest financial decision you will ever make. Your marriage can be the most valuable asset.

Do you think some people marry for money?

Do you think some people marry for money?

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