Taxes – Once married, you will have the option to file your annual income tax returns separately or jointly with your spouse. Filing jointly means that you will combine your income and deductions. Most couples file jointly because it is easier to submit one return than two, and some deductions and credits are only available to married couples filing jointly. It is always wise to consult a tax professional before making tax-related decisions.
Bank Accounts – When it comes to whether you want to maintain joint or individual bank accounts, every family is different. There are numerous options. You can maintain separate bank accounts and each pay a portion of your bills, deposit a set amount into a shared account each month and pay your bills using that account while maintaining separate accounts for your own expenditures, or pool all of your money in one account.
If you decide to hold any of your accounts jointly, keep track of your transactions carefully and communicate about them to your spouse. With two individuals using one account, tracking cash flow can be difficult.
Credit Cards – You should each keep at least one credit card in your name to maintain a separate credit history of your own. If you get divorced or your partner dies, it will be much easier to get a mortgage, loan or credit card with some individual credit activity.
Debt – If you or your spouse has considerable debt, work to pay it off so you can focus on other financial goals. The first step is to get an accurate picture of how much you owe. Next, review your budget and construct a plan to pay off your debt as quickly as possible. The more you can pay per month, the less you will pay in interest overall.
Retirement – A comfortable retirement should be a top priority for every individual. Since people are living longer than ever, retirement savings need to last longer. Develop a plan to ensure you are each contributing enough to your retirement funds to ensure the life you want during your golden years. Our retirement page can help you plan for the future.