Would we benefit financially if we got married?March 30, 2012: 6:00 AM ET
My boyfriend and I will retire in about six years. Would we benefit financially if we got married? —Rae, Richmond
Yes, most of the time. Married couples get many financial perks that are hard, if not impossible, for singles to duplicate.
As a spouse you can draw on your deceased partner's Social Security benefits, in most cases, as long as the federal government recognizes your marriage (knocking out same-sex couples). You might also gain spousal pension benefits.
Plus, you can give each other assets—now or in your will—without owing federal gift or estate taxes, says H&R Block analyst Gil Charney. And a spouse inheriting a traditional IRA can delay withdrawals until turning 70½. Other folks must start sooner.
Some minuses: If you both have big incomes, you may pay higher taxes. And any alimony you receive would be likely to cease.
—- Stephanie AuWerter
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