Considerations for married couple living in two states

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Considerations for married couple living in two states

Post by buybuybuy » Tue May 15, 2018 3:03 pm

Hi everyone,
My wife recently got a great job offer to work in Minneapolis, MN. I have steady job in Chicago, IL and can't move right now due to personal reasons. We're recently married and don't have kids or pets. I expect that we will be living in two different states- at least in the near term (1-2 years).
Have any of you been through a similar situation? If so, what did you learn? What are some of the things that we should consider from a financial POV?
These are some of the things popped in my head:
- Tax planning - Any special considerations?
- Insurance - Both of us will be renting and both of us own a car as well - Will we need to get separate policies?
- Travel arrangements - Guess we'll need to plan our travel ahead of time and look out for flight deals

As always, I appreciate your insights :D

Posts: 501
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:26 pm

Re: Considerations for married couple living in two states

Post by Globalviewer58 » Tue May 15, 2018 3:31 pm

Tax Planning: For the years when you both live in separate states you will file one Federal MFJ return with the IRS. Then you can use a tool like TurboTax to prepare a Federal MFS return for each of you that allocates deductions and recognizes only your individual income to be taxed by your state. The 2 Federal MFS returns are never filed but serve as the tool that you then use to create the State tax return for your individual state taxes.

Insurance: Contact your current insurance carrier to ask how to adjust coverage based on one vehicle and primary driver in each state. The states may have different coverage minimums so talk to the agent to understand how the coverage works. They will want to know where each vehicle will be domiciled. Same with Renter's Insurance - talk to your agent. You can continue coverage but have 2 locations so you may be able to reduce the level of coverage in each location so your current coverage is similar to the sum of coverage for the two locations.

You will need a budget to plan your time and travel cost to maintain your relationship. Do your employers offer work from home time so you can be in the other city more than just the weekend? Your spouse may want to negotiate this before she accepts the offer to be sure she and her employer are aware of the expectations. I would be cautious about bringing this up with your employer if you are not certain that you will leave the area as it may limit your opportunities. She may decide the Minneapolis winter is not what she had in mind. Imagine Chicago as a warmer, shorter winter locale.

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