To Be or Not to Be...Married

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
gazelle1991
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by gazelle1991 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:51 pm

Mr.BB wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:04 pm
I understand and appreciate the thoughtfulness of reviewing your future financial status. But marriage is about being in love and wanted to spend time and growing with that person not their savings account.
We got married 18 years ago (we did live together for a year first), we never, ever consider our finances (as poor as they were at the time ) an issue with getting married.

if this is causing you this much concern you need to really sit down and talk things over with each other.
I should mention that he and I are on the same page on this. This is something that bugs US, not just me. If it were important to him to get married, I would have done it no question asked. We just want to make the best decision for us as a couple and could not get over the fact that the system is set up to penalize marriage. We are in love and want to spend time with each other and grow together regardless of our marriage status.

nolesrule
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by nolesrule » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:52 pm

gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:37 pm

He and I have the same view. We are making this financial/contractual decision together. If it were important to him to get married, I wouldn't even ask. We both feel that the only thing that changes is the legality of being married and how ppl view us (not that I care - i think he cares more since it's mostly his family that lives close). We are committed.
You have talked about financial hardships of marriage. But have you reviewed the legal and financial advantages of marriage or the steps you would need to take to replicate those advantages while not married (at least for the ones that can)? Some can't even be replicated, like the marriage gift tax exemption, and the treatment of inherited IRAs by a spouse, spousal Social Security benefits... which might come into play considering the difference in income, among others. Others will require legal documents to give your the same rights such as in the case of medical incapacity.

Some or all of the points in this article may apply:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateashfor ... a20e90edf3

gazelle1991
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by gazelle1991 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:55 pm

daheld wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:11 pm
Getting married oftentimes doesn't make financial sense. Having kids, unless they grow up to be very wealthy, never makes financial sense. Most of us do those things because they make us happy. This is a personal decision, but if you want to get married, get married. If you don't, don't. Have a small ceremony with friends and family and keep it simple. Then start paying off that student loan. I hope with student loan debt like that, there's some corresponding earning potential that'll help make up for it.
I agree with this. I think i am leaning towards marriage even with the steep financial penalty. I am not 100% sure if it'd make me happier than just sharing the life without the marriage status so wanted to get everyone's thought on it. If we get married, the student loan will hopefully be paid off in the next 5 years. I have high earning potential. His income hasn't been that high but he is a frugal and motivated person and is committed to pay as much as he could on the debt.

KlangFool
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by KlangFool » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:56 pm

gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:43 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:34 pm
gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:13 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:04 pm
What is your income and net worth?
I make about $180K all in. Networth about $500-$600K
He makes about $60K. Networth -$200K due to the student loan.
gazelle1991,

The numbers are getting weirder by the minute.

1) So, he has 250K in student loan but the income is about 60K.

2) And, his net worth is 200K in spite of the student loan. So, he is choosing not to pay off the student loan.

In summary, you need to make sure that you are compatible with him financially. It is up to you to decide what that means.

KlangFool
yes, he has about $50K in the bank and in cars. He wanted to pay off the loan as quickly as possible to the best of his ability but I advised him not to given that he's still on the first 3 years of the income based repayment program where half of the interest is subsidized. I figured it'd be more beneficial to set aside the money and let it grow outside of the student loan. It took some convincing but he finally sees the benefit in doing so.

From a financial POV, I think we are quite comparable. He doesn't judge my "overly financially aware" attitude. Many would mistake my need to understand the #s and options as caring too much about money, but on the contrary, money isn't really the top of my priority. At the end of the day, I just want to make an informed decision that is best for our situation whether that is to marry or not to marry.
gazelle1991,

Then, his net worth is negative 200K. It is not 200K.

<< He wanted to pay off the loan as quickly as possible to the best of his ability but I advised him not to given that he's still on the first 3 years of the income based repayment program where half of the interest is subsidized. I figured it'd be more beneficial to set aside the money and let it grow outside of the student loan. It took some convincing but he finally sees the benefit in doing so.>>

Yes, but is that a good thing from his ego/self-esteem point of view?

<<but on the contrary, money isn't really the top of my priority. >>

Not necessary true. It is part of you. If not, it would not drive your decision to tell him not to pay off the student loan. If it won't matter to you, you would have said nothing. You would let him made the decision.

You are what you are. There is no getting around that.

In order for a relationship to last, we need to be honest as to what we are to each other.

KlangFool

gazelle1991
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by gazelle1991 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:57 pm

nolesrule wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:52 pm
gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:37 pm

He and I have the same view. We are making this financial/contractual decision together. If it were important to him to get married, I wouldn't even ask. We both feel that the only thing that changes is the legality of being married and how ppl view us (not that I care - i think he cares more since it's mostly his family that lives close). We are committed.
You have talked about financial hardships of marriage. But have you reviewed the legal and financial advantages of marriage or the steps you would need to take to replicate those advantages while not married (at least for the ones that can)? Some can't even be replicated, like the marriage gift tax exemption, and the treatment of inherited IRAs by a spouse, spousal Social Security benefits... which might come into play considering the difference in income, among others. Others will require legal documents to give your the same rights such as in the case of medical incapacity.

Some or all of the points in this article may apply:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateashfor ... a20e90edf3
We did discuss though between my fiance' and I. It's not marriage now or never. We intend to marry at some point (maybe 10 years from now when I intend to semi-retire) when it makes more sense for us to get married. The benefits seem to be more in the distant future that we think we might have time (we are currently 27 (me) and 28 (him))

mmmodem
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by mmmodem » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:59 pm

gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:15 pm
Yinks wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:10 pm
Have a commitment ceremony and reception. Invite all your friends just like you would a wedding. But don't have a legal officiant and don't sign a marriage license. Heck even celebrate the day as you anniversary for years to come.

Then later when financially convienient, go to city hall and get married by a judge and sign the paperwork Would probably be a good idea to be officially married before having kids.

Best of both worlds if you ask me!
That was what I wanted but he and his family did not get on board with the idea. They thought it's weird to have a "wedding" without actually signing the paper. That would be my preference as well: best of both worlds lol.
Shhhhh... Don't bring it up again. My parents never asked to look at our marriage certificate. If they don't know, they can't judge you. You just need to convince him. $150,000 should be enough motivation.

I applaud you for doing your homework. We got married in December. While doing taxes a few months later, I was upset there was a marriage penalty?? We "rushed" to get married by the end of the year! I could've saved myself $500 that first year if I just waited a week to file the paperwork. No one cared when we filed the paperwork. We got married in December, that's all that matters.

KlangFool
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by KlangFool » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:01 pm

gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:57 pm
nolesrule wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:52 pm
gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:37 pm

He and I have the same view. We are making this financial/contractual decision together. If it were important to him to get married, I wouldn't even ask. We both feel that the only thing that changes is the legality of being married and how ppl view us (not that I care - i think he cares more since it's mostly his family that lives close). We are committed.
You have talked about financial hardships of marriage. But have you reviewed the legal and financial advantages of marriage or the steps you would need to take to replicate those advantages while not married (at least for the ones that can)? Some can't even be replicated, like the marriage gift tax exemption, and the treatment of inherited IRAs by a spouse, spousal Social Security benefits... which might come into play considering the difference in income, among others. Others will require legal documents to give your the same rights such as in the case of medical incapacity.

Some or all of the points in this article may apply:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateashfor ... a20e90edf3
We did discuss though between my fiance' and I. It's not marriage now or never. We intend to marry at some point (maybe 10 years from now when I intend to semi-retire) when it makes more sense for us to get married. The benefits seem to be more in the distant future that we think we might have time (we are currently 27 (me) and 28 (him))
gazelle1991,

So, does that mean you never plan to have any kids? That comes into play too.

KlangFool

gazelle1991
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by gazelle1991 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:01 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:12 pm
mptfan wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:58 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:56 pm
Here we go again with the judging of relationships by this forum based on extremely limited info. OP just need some advice regarding a financial marriage penalty not judging whether their relationship is strong enough for marriage.
The OP asked for input regarding her decision to marry... "I know this is a personal decision but I am just looking to see what everyone's thought is under the circumstance." I provided my thought. What's wrong with that?
The implication of your statement is towards the emotional aspects of the relationship for which OP has given no real info about and not the specific financial aspects.
This! I am 100% confident in the relationship and have no doubt that we will be together for a long time with all known information taken into account. Now if something was to surface in the future, I cannot account for unknown variables :) like if he turns out to be an abusive alcoholic SOB then...Nothing at the present suggests such a possibility so with 98% confidence interval I can declare I am ready for commitment of marriage. :D

dknightd
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by dknightd » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:01 pm

We looked briefly about the financial impacts of getting married. We had been living together for 8 years. I was taking a new job, and she was moving with me. Part of our reason for marriage was we both wanted kids one day, and both thought it was better to marry before we did that. Part of the reason, and this may sound horrible, is if we got married she could be on my health insurance. This was before the days of domestic partners being covered, and, we were not sure what type of job she may or may not get in the new location. Still happy about that 30 years later ;)
I do not think finances should be the primary reason to get married, or not. But it is good to think about it, and talk about it.

gazelle1991
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by gazelle1991 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:05 pm

Texanbybirth wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:41 pm
That's so strange. I'm a very logical person, and I never ran the numbers before we were married. Okay that's a lie, I got excited because my wife's employer at the time contributed 6% to her retirement with only a 3% commitment from her. (She's a SAHM now, woohoo!)

You aren't being illogical, you're being human. Money is a small (though not insignificant) part of our life together (with kids), and I can't imagine an analysis like this swaying us away from getting married. In fact, we paid off a significant student loan balance once we were married. I've never once stopped to calculate what that cost us in PV/FV/FCF. (I also believe marriage is a significant social good, so know that's an assumption in the background of my post.)
That is true. This is exactly the type of answer I am looking for. :) Thanks much! At the end of the day, I know why the $100K seems like a lot of money, at the end of the day, it won't matter that much in the long life we are building together. Perhaps, it is worth the intangible benefits that comes with marriage. While not advantageous financially, it could come in other forms (social one like you said as an example).

BeneIRA
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by BeneIRA » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:07 pm

If your Domestic Partner is on your health insurance, then the deductions are coming out as after tax, not pretax, so that is a lost benefit. You are also probably getting smacked with imputed income for having your DP on coverage, too, so that would be one small benefit of marriage.

gazelle1991
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by gazelle1991 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:09 pm

MnyGrl wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:30 pm
gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:13 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:04 pm
What is your income and net worth?
I make about $180K all in. Networth about $500-$600K
He makes about $60K. Networth -$200K due to the student loan.
That is a fairly large income discrepancy - you're a high earner and he is not. You also seem to have a lot of other assets. How old are you?

Is your reluctance also about being the primary "breadwinner"? If you are making most of the money it will be hard for you to stay home with kids (if that is what you want) unless you keep your expenses low.
My reluctance isn't about being the primary "breadwinner". I do want to spend time with kids but we keep our expenses low-ish (I think we get by with 5K/month for the both of us excluding his student loan payment) and my job is WFH (work from home) so I am not too worried. I am 27 and he's 28.

PinotGris
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by PinotGris » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:11 pm

That is true. This is exactly the type of answer I am looking for. :) Thanks much! At the end of the day, I know why the $100K seems like a lot of money, at the end of the day, it won't matter that much in the long life we are building together. Perhaps, it is worth the intangible benefits that comes with marriage. While not advantageous financially, it could come in other forms (social one like you said as an example).
There are financial and other benefits as well which we realize in our retirement years and may or may not be meaningful to you right now. For instance in estate planning?

gazelle1991
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by gazelle1991 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:11 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:48 pm
gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:33 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:39 pm
OP,

If you are my daughter, I would ask you to find a good answer on the 250K student loan first before getting married or stay together.

KlangFool
What kind of answers would I be looking for? I am not worried about the 250K student loan. I just want to make the best decision for the both of us as a couple. If the only way to be with him is to take the financial hit, I am not worried. It only bugs me because i think he and I would be together anyways married or not so to take on the financial hits seems irrational.

Thanks for the advice!
gazelle1991,

The issue is not with the loan itself. It is with the attitude and mentality behind him, that ended up with the 250K loan. Are you compatible with that kind of thinking?

1) Why would a person take a 250K student loan to earn 60K per year?

2) Why would a person have a net worth of 200K but not paying off the student loan?

3) Is the person counting on loan forgiveness?

Are you comfortable with that kind of thinking and mentality? You would have to live with that person. And, you would have to live with the consequences of his financial decision in the future. Are you compatible with that kind of thinking?

<< i think he and I would be together anyways married or not so to take on the financial hits seems irrational.>>

It seems to me that you are short-sighted in term of whether you should be married to the person. There is a lot bigger question than that. There could be a lot more financial hits just to stay together.

Both of my nephews got married and divorced in less than 2 years later. They knew their ex-husbands for 6 to 8 years.

Nephew A got stuck with a toddler and a house with a mortgage. Ex-husband not paying child support.

Nephew B got stuck with a house with a mortgage. The house was flooded with a 50K damage. Thank goodness that the extended family pooled our money and send her the money to fix the house.

I wish you nothing but the best. But, please make sure that you are compatible with him financially.

KlangFool
Correction: He has a networth of negative 200K :) not 200K

Rupert
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by Rupert » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:20 pm

Marriage definitely benefits men. Married men live longer and tend to have more successful careers than their unmarried peers. Unfortunately, the opposite is true for women. So I'm actually having a hard time coming up with a good argument to convince OP to get married. Love and companionship, I guess, are it. But you already have that, don't you, OP?

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Watty
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by Watty » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:28 pm

A few financial factors that you may not have considered;

1) Some benefits like healthcare may be less expensive for a spouse to get through the other spouse's employer.

2) If you decide not to get married then you should really set up all the needed legal paperwork which would require you each to have their own lawyer and would cost at least several thousand dollars. You should really have this paperwork reviewed periodically in case there are changes in your situation or the laws change

3) If one of you dies then the inheritance rules for retirement accounts are a lot better for spouses.

4) If one of you dies and has a pension then the survivor may get nothing if you are not married.

5) Being married gives you a lot more options when you start receiving Social Security.

6) If you get married and divorced you need to be married for 10 years for a spouse to get benefits based on the ex-spouse's earnings. There can be lots of unexpected twists and turns in life which would make this important. Getting married sooner rather than later will start the 10 year clock earlier.

7) If you are married and one of you is disabled or developes mental problems the spouse is pretty much required to at least financially take care of them. If you are not married then you could easily split up and the person with the problems could be in a very bad situation.

There are likely a lot more factors too.

At least for the financial considerations you may want to have a fee only financial advisor review your situation to figure out what the financial impact of getting married is.

You may also want to have professional couples counseling to talk over what this means for your relationship. Every relationship goes through some rough patches and without being married I would be more concerned that the relationship would be less likely to get through the rough patches.

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Toons
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by Toons » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:31 pm

Agree The Heart not the Head.
:happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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GoldStar
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by GoldStar » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:33 pm

Not all decisions in life are financially driven. If they are - then no, you shouldn't get married nor should you have kids.

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DanMahowny
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by DanMahowny » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:35 pm

People that ask strangers on the internet if they should get married or not probably don't have a very high success rate in marriage.
Funding secured

gazelle1991
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by gazelle1991 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:46 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:35 pm
People that ask strangers on the internet if they should get married or not probably don't have a very high success rate in marriage.
Not asking whether I should get married or not. Just asking everyone's thought on the matter as in if it was their situation, what types of things people consider and if anyone ran the #s before getting married and what their thought process were. I just want to make sure I consider everything (most of it at least) as opposed to making a big decision without thinking things though. I guess I see it as a distinction.

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Tamarind
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by Tamarind » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:56 pm

gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:26 pm
bhough wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:37 pm
OP,
I understand why you’d want to “run the numbers” about getting married, but I’d like to encourage you to go ahead and do it regardless of the numbers. I love being married and it gives you benefits you don’t realize.
Congratulations.
B
Could you elaborate more on the benefits? I am committed to this relationship and feel certain we are in it for the long run. It's just tough to take take the financial hit given that nothing seems to change for us married or not. We live together and he's on my insurance plan as a domestic partner. We plan on having kids and live the married life, just without the marriage certificate. We also plan on creating wills, POA on finances and health. Maybe there are benefits I haven't thought of.
Hey, OP, kudos for thinking this through. I have your same view, though I did recently get married anyway and find I enjoy it emotionally more than I would have thought. Little else but finances changed after 9 years together.

For info on the practical benefits of marriage that cannot be reliably had even with wills, POA etc, see the lists that advocates for same sex marriage released before it was widely legal, including here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights_ ... ted_States

Some (financial) rights cannot be accessed nor duties enforced without a marriage certificate. Many other rights that depend on others to recognize your relationship may be capriciously withheld from you based on the confusion or disapproval of others. The most serious ones relate to the connection between you, your partner, and any children you have - ability to make medical decisions in emergencies, assumed parentage, and inheritance.

If you remain domestic partners the risks of loss of rights are higher for your partner than for you, particularly in the event you split up, because you would have the stronger legal claim to the lions share of income, assets, and to any children. That could be viewed as a plus or protection for you, or you might find it unacceptable. Depends how one views these things.

Thegame14
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:58 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:48 pm
gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:33 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:39 pm
OP,

If you are my daughter, I would ask you to find a good answer on the 250K student loan first before getting married or stay together.

KlangFool
What kind of answers would I be looking for? I am not worried about the 250K student loan. I just want to make the best decision for the both of us as a couple. If the only way to be with him is to take the financial hit, I am not worried. It only bugs me because i think he and I would be together anyways married or not so to take on the financial hits seems irrational.

Thanks for the advice!
gazelle1991,

The issue is not with the loan itself. It is with the attitude and mentality behind him, that ended up with the 250K loan. Are you compatible with that kind of thinking?

1) Why would a person take a 250K student loan to earn 60K per year?

2) Why would a person have a net worth of 200K but not paying off the student loan?

3) Is the person counting on loan forgiveness?

Are you comfortable with that kind of thinking and mentality? You would have to live with that person. And, you would have to live with the consequences of his financial decision in the future. Are you compatible with that kind of thinking?

<< i think he and I would be together anyways married or not so to take on the financial hits seems irrational.>>

It seems to me that you are short-sighted in term of whether you should be married to the person. There is a lot bigger question than that. There could be a lot more financial hits just to stay together.

Both of my nephews got married and divorced in less than 2 years later. They knew their ex-husbands for 6 to 8 years.

Nephew A got stuck with a toddler and a house with a mortgage. Ex-husband not paying child support.

Nephew B got stuck with a house with a mortgage. The house was flooded with a 50K damage. Thank goodness that the extended family pooled our money and send her the money to fix the house.

I wish you nothing but the best. But, please make sure that you are compatible with him financially.

KlangFool
I am pretty sure his Net worth isn't $200K it is NEGATIVE $200K

BuckyBadger
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by BuckyBadger » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:59 pm

Didn't we JUST have this discussion in a thread about getting a divorce over something like $1500 a year in tax savings?

OP - search for that thread. There are social and monetary benefits to being married, especially if you have kids. No reason we have to rehash the whole thing again.

Seriously, it was less than a week ago I think.

Thegame14
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:05 pm

How did he take out $250K in loans but only makes $60K, is he a resident doctor but will make $200-$300K in a few years. If he took out $250K in loans and is like a bank manager, then I don't see how you and him can be a fit. He seems terribly incompetent financially, while you seem like you have all your finances in order, no loans, make a great income, have all your ish together...... It just doesn't match up that you would fit with someone so financially opposite. I just cant wrap my hear around someone taking out that much in loans unless they are going to be a DR or went to some ivy league school or a top law firm and would be making that money back in income in the first few years...

mouses
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by mouses » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:06 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:34 pm
gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:13 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:04 pm
What is your income and net worth?
I make about $180K all in. Networth about $500-$600K
He makes about $60K. Networth -$200K due to the student loan.
gazelle1991,

The numbers are getting weirder by the minute.

1) So, he has 250K in student loan but the income is about 60K.

2) And, his net worth is 200K in spite of the student loan. So, he is choosing not to pay off the student loan.

In summary, you need to make sure that you are compatible with him financially. It is up to you to decide what that means.

KlangFool
No, there's a minus sign in front of the 200K.

cj2018
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by cj2018 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:07 pm

gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:02 pm


Additional Info that some people had asked for:
Income and Net-worth:
His: 60K/year, net worth negative 200K - Age 28
Hers: 180K/year, net worth 500-600K - Age 27

I glanced through entire thread so far and just can’t help not responding anymore.

Wow - what a great deal for your fiancé financially. He’s a true winner for bringing up the proposal and force you to make the decision now.

Seriously though, why rush to marriage when everything you outlined is negative and no no, financially?

I don’t want to judge your romantic relationship but strictly financially speaking, she is the loser and he is the winner in this potential marriage assuming his income ability doesn’t dramastixally improve. Is he a doctor with so much debt or some idealistic liberal head with BS and MS in arts or history? Sounds like you don’t mind carrying the guy financially in this marriage and what a lucky dude but think for your self first - don’t be a millianial and think only idealistically.

I only gave you this harsh guidance because you are making 180k/yr with half a mil in NW and I don’t want to see a smart yong soul’s accomplishment so far or perhaps her parents years of cultivation and generous gifts go down the toilet.

Your money and your life!

gazelle1991
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by gazelle1991 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:16 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:05 pm
How did he take out $250K in loans but only makes $60K, is he a resident doctor but will make $200-$300K in a few years. If he took out $250K in loans and is like a bank manager, then I don't see how you and him can be a fit. He seems terribly incompetent financially, while you seem like you have all your finances in order, no loans, make a great income, have all your ish together...... It just doesn't match up that you would fit with someone so financially opposite. I just cant wrap my hear around someone taking out that much in loans unless they are going to be a DR or went to some ivy league school or a top law firm and would be making that money back in income in the first few years...
He's a chiropractor, has only been out of school for 2-3 years. Hoping to make 100K+ in the next 5 years or so but there's a wide variation in income in his profession. Top earners could make 140-150K and I guess he took out the loan with that target in mind. I am not sure if he will be one of those top earners so I am not counting on that for now, but I think if he has to do it over, he wouldn't take out that much loan to become a chiropractor. It's just the type of things someone do at 21-22 that you wouldn't do looking back.

gazelle1991
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by gazelle1991 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:22 pm

cj2018 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:07 pm
gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:02 pm


Additional Info that some people had asked for:
Income and Net-worth:
His: 60K/year, net worth negative 200K - Age 28
Hers: 180K/year, net worth 500-600K - Age 27

I glanced through entire thread so far and just can’t help not responding anymore.

Wow - what a great deal for your fiancé financially. He’s a true winner for bringing up the proposal and force you to make the decision now.

Seriously though, why rush to marriage when everything you outlined is negative and no no, financially?

I don’t want to judge your romantic relationship but strictly financially speaking, she is the loser and he is the winner in this potential marriage assuming his income ability doesn’t dramastixally improve. Is he a doctor with so much debt or some idealistic liberal head with BS and MS in arts or history? Sounds like you don’t mind carrying the guy financially in this marriage and what a lucky dude but think for your self first - don’t be a millianial and think only idealistically.

I only gave you this harsh guidance because you are making 180k/yr with half a mil in NW and I don’t want to see a smart yong soul’s accomplishment so far or perhaps her parents years of cultivation and generous gifts go down the toilet.

Your money and your life!
Haha he's definitely a winner financially in this marriage but I am a winner everything else non-financially. He contributes to the relationship in more way than I had imagined or could have hoped for. I am happy where I am at and wouldn't change a thing. That said, I am not an idealistic millennial. I definitely think about risk and worst case scenario a lot and will take steps to make sure I am ok with the worst case scenario outcomes before rushing into marriage.

SoAnyway
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by SoAnyway » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:34 pm

gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:02 pm
My fiance' and I live together and at first I could careless about the legality of being married, but once he proposed, I can't seem to shake the feeling of wanting a wedding.
The bit in red above surprised me. I can think of a lot of good reasons one might want to get married, and a lot of good reasons one might not want to get married, depending on one's situation. That said, if "because I want to have a wedding" is the best reason that you personally have for wanting to get married now vs. later/ever, OP (since you said you don't really care about the social aspect), you might want to give it a bit more thought. A wedding is one day - albeit with time/$ sunk into the planning. A marriage, by contrast, is in most cases 'til one spouse dies.

BTW, if you DO decide to get married - as you said, it's a personal decision and I respect that - I'd definitely get a pre-nup, esp. if you're in a community property state. I take you at your word that you're both totally committed, btw. I know a number of unmarried couples who've been together for decades (some with kids, some not). It can work just fine, and in some cases, better for the individuals involved. Just as with the markets, though, nobody's crystal ball is perfect. Best wishes no matter which direction you two decide to go.

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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by Nate79 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:42 pm

If you decide to not get married then don't commingle any finances, don't have kids, don't buy a house together, etc. Keep everything completely 100% separate. This is from a legal perspective. If that's how you want to live your life then so be it. But I would not delude myself into thinking I could have a married life and all of the legal protections and benefits that come with the marriage contract compared to staying single.

I also doubt most of the calculations. I think you have exaggerated all of the costs and then to make them sound even greater you have done a present value calculation of future amounts to magnify the numbers. I also notice you completely failed to list any financial benefits in your calculations to you and your significant other.

As a couple if you married you would have a great income together, you could knock the debt out asap. I'm sure his income will practically double as well giving you a great household income and life.

maggabelle
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by maggabelle » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:52 pm

Marriage is a legal contract with the government, not the commitment you make to each other. Your commitment is what you decide it is. Marriage is just a piece of paper. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but like the OP, my significant other and I are on the same page about what it means.

My husband and I actually considered getting legally divorced for the tax gain. He has student loans and lower income, so we have to file separately to not be screwed on that front. But filing separately means that we can't directly contribute to a Roth IRA and we don't qualify for subsidies on the exchange for health insurance even though his income is very low. I wouldn't qualify anyway, but he would be almost completely covered.

We're young still (28F and 29M), so the being married for ten years for SS thing doesn't matter to us. We could always get re-married later.
Last edited by maggabelle on Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dknightd
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by dknightd » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:53 pm

Some random thoughts/questions that may or may not be relevant.

There are many reasons same sex partners fought for the right to be married (which by the way I support). One of them is probably financial. You might look at what their reasons were.

Were you together while he was taking out his huge student debts? If so, did you support it?

How do you make $160k from home? Do you want an apprentice ?

If you think about financials before you have kids you may never have them. Probably more people should think about financials before they have kids. I know we thought about it, but figured we'd find a way to make the money work. Money be damned! Of course there was always the possibility we could not have kids. We stopped at 2 ;)

With some married couples there is a tendency to quit trying to keep the partner happy. Since you have a contract, there is the possibility to not try so hard. I know that we (spouse and I) have to occasionally remember to make an effort to keep the other happy. Probably something we'll have to remember for the rest of our lives. YMMV

good luck. do what makes you happy.

dknightd
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by dknightd » Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:55 pm

gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:22 pm
I am happy where I am at and wouldn't change a thing.
Then just be happy where you are. Change something when you think it will make you happier.

randomguy
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by randomguy » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:03 pm

delamer wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:11 pm
Why would your taxes go up if you had kids as married versus single?

You can file taxes separately even if you are married.
Married filing separately is not remotely the same as 2 singles filing and in most cases it results in a worse outcome than MFJ or 2 single people filling as singles.

Having a family/living together without getting married is doable. It just requires a bunch of legal documents. The soical issues are a lot more complicated.

gazelle1991
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by gazelle1991 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:06 pm

dknightd wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:53 pm
Some random thoughts/questions that may or may not be relevant.

There are many reasons same sex partners fought for the right to be married (which by the way I support). One of them is probably financial. You might look at what their reasons were.

Were you together while he was taking out his huge student debts? If so, did you support it?

How do you make $160k from home? Do you want an apprentice ?

If you think about financials before you have kids you may never have them. Probably more people should think about financials before they have kids. I know we thought about it, but figured we'd find a way to make the money work. Money be damned! Of course there was always the possibility we could not have kids. We stopped at 2 ;)

With some married couples there is a tendency to quit trying to keep the partner happy. Since you have a contract, there is the possibility to not try so hard. I know that we (spouse and I) have to occasionally remember to make an effort to keep the other happy. Probably something we'll have to remember for the rest of our lives. YMMV

good luck. do what makes you happy.
No I was not with him when he took out the loan. If i were with him, I would have made sure he did not do that.

I work for a consulting firm. Most people travel a lot so working remotely was an option when i don’t travel. I guess I am just lucky i haven’t needed to travel that much.

Yea - I do think abt the finances of having kids which is why i decide 1 kid is enough. Having kids is something my parents always wanted and i guess i want that too to a certain extent so i figure the cost is worth the emotional need. I don’t see marriage in quite the same light and my parents didn’t seem to care if I get married legally so signing the dotted line on the marriage certificate takes me a little bit more “acting with your heart not your head” to pull the trigger.

R2D2
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by R2D2 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:06 pm

I'm glad the OP is considering the financial impact of marriage, and I'm glad some people are helping her out.

I'm disappointed by the tone of some of the other responses though, especially those people chastising her for asking internet randos for advice. This is the entire point of this forum.

But this seems to have become a recurring issue on this board.

In any case, I just wanted to point out one thing:
delamer wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:11 pm
You can file taxes separately even if you are married.
This is a true statement but I want to make sure that it's not misinterpreted. If you get married, then yes, you can file MFS, but it's not the same as being unmarried. As soon as you get married, you lose the option of filing as a single person. The result is often (as the OP pointed out) that your taxes go up. And filing MFS typically makes it even worse than filing MFJ.

It is a very common misconception that "there's no such thing as a marriage penalty since you can always file separately". Yes you can file separately, but you have to use a different tax schedule and it usually makes things far worse than if you were unmarried.

dknightd
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by dknightd » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:22 pm

gazelle1991 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:06 pm
which is why i decide 1 kid is enough.
I thought 1 would be enough. My wife tricked me into thinking 2 is not much more work work than 1.
She was wrong. But I do not regret having 2. It is probably good for a kid to have a sibling. Or maybe not. Who knows.


Edit: You are both probably smart people. Smart people need to reproduce. You should probably have two kids. One to replace each of you. Or more if you think you can afford it ;)

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:36 pm

I still haven’t wrapped my mind around how the Child Tax Credit wouldn’t help your situation, or how his SIMPLE IRA kiboshes your IRA contributions. Could you provide clarification?
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

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whodidntante
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by whodidntante » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:46 pm

Marriage is similar to a futures contract. No one quite understands it, it's probably more risk than you counted on, the terms are standardized, and it can be quite expensive if you take delivery. Sometimes you get a nice gain though.

gluskap
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by gluskap » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:50 pm

I think if marriage is important to both of you then you should get married and not think about the financial implications. But if being married is not that important to you then there's no point in taking a financial hit. However, I do think that changes once you have kids. But there's nothing wrong with just having a long engagement so I would recommend going that route.

When I got married, I had more in assets but not as big of a difference as you. He also started grad school after I got married while I finished my grad school before so we paid for his student loans out of "our" money. So technically, I lost out financially by marrying him. But I don't regret marrying him at all. We had a kid shortly after the wedding which is what we planned on so our situations are different.

TallBoy29er
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by TallBoy29er » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:58 pm

greg24 wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:59 pm
I strongly caution you against getting married. Why enter a legal contract with the government?

Just live together in happy bliss. Have children.

By avoiding marriage, you can quickly split up if and when you grow tired of each other.
Bwahahahahahahaha,. "Have children......quickly split up if you grow tired of each other." "Why enter a legal contract with the government?"

I'm fairly certain the judicial system will be involved on that quick split. Maybe you can make your non-spouse promise not to ask for child support?

Bwahahahahahaha.

jerkstore
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by jerkstore » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:04 pm

maggabelle wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:52 pm
Marriage is a legal contract with the government, not the commitment you make to each other. Your commitment is what you decide it is. Marriage is just a piece of paper. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but like the OP, my significant other and I are on the same page about what it means.

My husband and I actually considered getting legally divorced for the tax gain. He has student loans and lower income, so we have to file separately to not be screwed on that front. But filing separately means that we can't directly contribute to a Roth IRA and we don't qualify for subsidies on the exchange for health insurance even though his income is very low. I wouldn't qualify anyway, but he would be almost completely covered.

We're young still (28F and 29M), so the being married for ten years for SS thing doesn't matter to us. We could always get re-married later.
Nope. Marriage is a union based upon a mutual pledge or oath to be together for life. It is a pledge taken publicly or privately before God, family/friends...or just family/friends. Which is later registered with the state to be recognized. You're conflating marriage with a marriage certificate or marriage license recognized by the state.

There is a BIG difference between feeling committed, and MAKING the commitment...between discussing a future together vs. making a VOW to be together. Whether the state recognizes the marriage is secondary to the actual commitment.

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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by travellight » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:08 pm

I think it is good that you are aware of all possible ramifications. Whatever you decide, I hope it all works out well for you. I would probably wait and not get married until it is time for kids.

gazelle1991
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by gazelle1991 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:09 pm

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:36 pm
I still haven’t wrapped my mind around how the Child Tax Credit wouldn’t help your situation, or how his SIMPLE IRA kiboshes your IRA contributions. Could you provide clarification?
So the child tax credit decreases the overall tax bill compared to not having kid. However, it increases the gap between having kid filing as single and having kid filing as MFJ.

As for the Roth IRA, I currently do backdoor roth using after tax dollars to contribute. With his simple ira, I figure the pro-rata rule would apply but someone mentioned earlier in the thread, IRA might be assessed individually so I will have to look into that unless someone knows off the top of their heads.

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GoldStar
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by GoldStar » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:09 pm

maggabelle wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:52 pm
My husband and I actually considered getting legally divorced for the tax gain.
What state do you live in? In most states you need a reason to get divorced and "for the tax gain" isn't an acceptable choice (so you would be committing perjury and fraud in most states).

TallBoy29er
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by TallBoy29er » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:16 pm

Having not read all of the responses to your question, I'm not sure if you've realized some of the left column benefits to marriage that other groups (eg lgbt) have fought for with social unions? If your significant other is dying, who gets to sit next to them, and make medical decisions for them? Who gets to choose where they are buried? Who gets to sue for wrongful death? Loss of consortium? Pretty sure it isn't their live in partner. Who gets the ss spousal benefit? Who gets to possibly attach themselves to another's insurance? Who gets estate inheritance benefits? IRA inheritance?

I still love the viewpoint above that one can have children and then easily separate without the state getting involved. That will keep me rolling for at least a few more minutes.

Tribonian
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by Tribonian » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:18 pm

Have you considered a destination wedding abroad?

Whether or not a wedding in a foreign jurisdiction is valid is a determination made by your State Attorney General (typically, this requires that the marriage complied with the local law which could be a huge PITA) but most AGs are probably not going to undertake such an analysis without being asked, and less likely still to litigate given the judicial preference to uphold marriages (favor matrimonii).

You could potentially have your wedding cake and it it too if you get married abroad but do not legally act on it in the US until it suits you. If you are keeping your names and are not moving, you don’t have to notify the Social Security Administration or file a change of address with the IRS.

My spouse and I were the inverse you: we had a net worth of nada when we married overseas but didn’t want the hassle of paperwork so made a friend get ordained on line and had a secret ceremony.

Wishing you and your man a long happy life together.

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GoldStar
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by GoldStar » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:18 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:16 pm
Having not read all of the responses to your question, I'm not sure if you've realized some of the left column benefits to marriage that other groups (eg lgbt) have fought for with social unions? If your significant other is dying, who gets to sit next to them, and make medical decisions for them? Who gets to choose where they are buried? Who gets to sue for wrongful death? Loss of consortium? Pretty sure it isn't their live in partner. Who gets the ss spousal benefit? Who gets to possibly attach themselves to another's insurance? Who gets estate inheritance benefits? IRA inheritance?

I still love the viewpoint above that one can have children and then easily separate without the state getting involved. That will keep me rolling for at least a few more minutes.
My favorite post of the day award goes to TallBoy29er

michaeljc70
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:21 pm

It sounds like there is no reason to rush. However, if you are waiting for all these "penalties" to go away, it seems like that is probably 15 years away! If you are both really on the same page, I'm not sure why he proposed.

Jill07
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Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

Post by Jill07 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:27 pm

I don't think you are ready for marriage or children.
It's not all about money.

There are no guarantees in life. You or your future spouse can get sick .. require care. You can have a child that has special needs. Put those options into your calculations. Life isn't all about money.

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