Last week I covered how marriage can improve your financial health. Naturally, the question came up about whether marriage can be harmful to your financial health. There are a few areas of caution, but you shouldn’t let it stop you from marrying the one you love.
With that said, here are a few ways that tying the knot could be detrimental to your financial standing.
Cost of wedding – be careful not to splurge and wrack-up too much debt.
Debt and wealth acquired during marriage is co-owned in community property states.
Liability for judgments, liens, during marriage.
Benefit loss if widowed, and former spouse was a high-earner, remarrying may jeopardize survivor’s pension or benefit.
Loss of aid – if relying on aid (i.e., Medi-Cal/Medicaid) your new joint income may push you above thresholds that allow you to qualify.
Higher tax burden, ‘marriage penalty’ – if both spouses are high earners, you may be pushed into a higher income tax bracket.
Overall, marriage is a boon to your financial well-being. However, there are a few instances like those noted above that should be considered prior to marriage. If the loss of the benefit is minimal compared to what you are gaining by marrying, by all means, proceed happily down the aisle. Just be sure you are aware of how marriage can change your financial life.
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