May 1, 2019

Benefits of Marriage

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Marriage is more than about love and happiness, surprisingly enough. There are plenty of legal, financial, and even health benefits you may realize if you get hitched.

Men and women both benefit from marriage differently, kind of going along with the "men are from Mars and women are from Venus" thinking. But marriage may even make you live longer, have a stronger heart, and save money on your taxes.

Keep reading to learn how marriage may benefit you.

Marriage and Its Benefits Aside from Love

What are the benefits of marriage for women?
Women who are in a good marriage tend to benefit from good health. However, they may not benefit as much as men may.

That's because men tend to lean on their wives for a majority of their support. Women, on the other hand, tend to have a larger network that they can lean on when needed.

While women may not benefit from marriage as much as men, they do generally have stronger hearts, healthier body weights, and fewer mental health challenges, according to a Cardiff University's School of Medicine study.

What are the benefits of marriage for a man?
Men benefit from marriage more than society believes. First, it helps men live longer. A good reason for it could be the stronger mental health. Men experience lower rates of depression, anxiety, and addiction issues when they are married.

Other lesser-known benefits include a higher rate of surviving cancer, according to a Harvard study, and a study from UCLA claims that men who marry after the age of 25 have stronger bone strength than men who either don't marry or marry before the age of 25.

What are the emotional benefits of marriage?
Both men and women tend to reap emotional benefits from marriage. Just having a partner there to listen to you can help decrease the risk of mental illness in both sexes. Men may benefit more because they don't have the social stigma of being the "tough guy without emotion" in the comfort of their own home. Both sexes experience lower levels of psychological stress, which can lead to fewer instances of anxiety, depression, and even substance abuse.

What are the health benefits of marriage?
Good health and marriage do have a relationship. It starts with the finances. When you have double the income, you may have better access to good healthcare. If you have higher income, you may have lower levels of stress, which can lead to better health.

When you have someone with you all of the time, it's easy to model good nutrition and exercise habits when working together. While marriage doesn't necessarily mean you will have good health, it certainly paves the way for it.

Can marriage make you live longer?
According to a study in the Health Psychology Journal, couples involved in a happy marriage reduce their odds of premature death by 20%.

What are the health insurance benefits of being married?
Marriage is typically a "life event" that enables you to go on your spouse's health insurance at work. Whether you are a single-income couple or you have high premiums at your place of employment, having the ability to compare policies and choose the one that is most beneficial can be a great benefit of tying the knot.

What are the tax benefits of marriage?
Even though there are significant tax law changes for tax year 2018, there are still tax benefits to marriage.

Many married couples enjoy the marriage tax bonus, which occurs in couples where there is a large difference in income between the two spouses.

You also get the benefit of standardized deductions totaling $24,000 as a married couple filing jointly. This is almost double the standard deduction for married couples in tax year 2017, which was $12,700. The standard deduction for a single filer for tax year 2018 is $12,000, half of that for married couples.

Married couples also benefit from the ability to transfer assets to one another tax free. If you transfer assets to anyone who isn't your spouse, you have a limit of gifting $15,000 before you face taxes.

Social benefits of being married

Is it cheaper to be married?
Being married definitely has its ways of saving you money. Let's take insurance, for example. Couples with more than one vehicle save money with a multi-car discount. In addition, married men have a lower risk of accidents, which decreases your premium.

Life insurance companies typically charge lower premiums to married couples as well. If you both have policies at work or even personally, you can choose between the policies that will provide the best coverage at the best price.

TIP: Thinking of proposing? You'll just want to make sure that you don't spend more than you need to spend on an engagement ring and put you and your future spouse into debt. Shopping at an online jewelry retailer, such as Blue Nile, can help you save. Learn more in our full review of Blue Nile diamonds.

Are the military benefits better if you are married?
As a spouse of military personnel, you stand to receive a multitude of benefits that can lower the cost of living for you.

If your spouse is active in the military, you may have access to Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS), healthcare benefits, and even shopping benefits.

The BAH and BAS help you with the basic cost of housing (excluding renter's insurance). You and your spouse may be eligible for healthcare through Tricare as well as assistance in paying medical bills outside of this care. Finally, you may receive discounts on everyday needs by paying cost for items versus getting monetary compensation.

How Marriage Benefits You in Other Ways

Does marriage keep you safer?
Women are five times more likely to be a victim of violence each year when they aren't married compared to when they are married, according to a Justice Department Report. Even men are at higher risk of violence when not married.

According to the report, men are four times as likely to be a victim of violence when they are bachelors versus when they are married.

Can marriage make your kids healthier?
Decades of studies continually show that children who live with their biological mother and father in a healthy relationship have better physical and emotional health. They also tend to perform better academically.

What are the legal benefits of marriage?
While you probably don't think of legal issues when you are getting engaged, there are certain legal benefits you earn as a married couple. For instance, you automatically earn the title "next of kin," which comes in handy should your spouse become ill or incapacitated in some way.

You can then make legal decisions for him or her. You also have the benefit of inheriting your spouse's estate without worrying about tax issues. If you weren't married, there would be tax liabilities from the inheritance.

Tips to a Successful Marriage

Now that you know the benefits of being married both physically and financially, how do you make your marriage successful? It's not as easy as it was in the past. According to Steven Nock, a professor at the University of Virginia and author, couples today are more independent of one another.

This can make keeping a marriage alive a bit of a struggle. Keep reading the top tips to keep your marriage intact.

What are the three most important things in a marriage?
Today, couples do need a sense of independence. That feeling of complete dependence to the point of mental health issues can be strenuous on any marriage. If each person in a marriage has their own things, it can be a great way to keep a marriage together.

According to Howard Markham from the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, couples need the ability to listen to their partners too. Showing care and concern for your partner's issues, whether they have to do with your marriage or otherwise, is a great way to make a person feel loved and wanted in a marriage.

Of course, every marriage needs love and commitment. Without it, you can't force a marriage to last.

What are the characteristics of a good marriage?
While every marriage will differ, there are certain characteristics of a good marriage that many couples can use to their benefit:

  • Friendship: According to John Gottman, a researcher, marriage is defined by friendship.

    You can't have a healthy partnership if you aren't friends. But it goes beyond being friends with one another; it also stems from being friends with your spouse's friends. Supporting your spouse and having positive interactions is a great way to have a successful marriage.

  • Ownership of behavior: Pointing fingers or blame doesn't help keep a marriage strong, according to Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott.

    Owning up to your own behavior and talking with your partner about how you can change it to help keep your marriage strong helps a marriage stay intact.

  • Empathy: You might not think of empathy when looking at a marriage, but researchers agree that we could resolve a large part of our angst in marriage if we just put ourselves in our partner's shoes for a while.

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