SMART MONEY MOVES

Why it might pay to WALK UP THE AISLE

Good Housekeeping (UK) - - Front Page -

More of us are choos­ing not to marry – the lat­est fig­ures re­veal that more than 300,000 peo­ple aged over 65 are liv­ing to­gether as un­mar­ried cou­ples. If money is the de­cid­ing fac­tor for say­ing I Do, read this...

❖ In­her­i­tance tax (IHT) Mar­ried cou­ples en­joy more ben­e­fits than co­hab­iters. They can pass their wealth to the sur­viv­ing spouse free of IHT and trans­fer un­used tax. Co­hab­iters can­not. A new rule also ben­e­fits mar­ried cou­ples when they pass their es­tate on to di­rect de­scen­dants, en­abling them to pass on their £175,000 nil rate al­lowance to their spouse. As­sum­ing an IHT of 40%, be­ing ex­cluded from this scheme puts co­hab­it­ing cou­ples at a £70,000 dis­ad­van­tage.

❖ In­come tax There are two tax al­lowances for mar­ried cou­ples: the old one, worth up to £844 a year; and a new one, in­tro­duced in April 2015, worth £230 a year in 2017/18. A co­hab­it­ing cou­ple who missed out on the Mar­riage Al­lowance in each of the three years since it was in­tro­duced has al­ready lost £662.

❖ State pen­sion Those who reached pen­sion age be­fore 6 April 2016 re­tired un­der the old state pen­sion sys­tem, which in­cludes rights for hus­bands and wives. An older mar­ried woman could see her state pen­sion boosted by £2,500 a year fol­low­ing the death of her hus­band; this is not the case for a co­hab­it­ing part­ner.

There are mon­e­tary ben­e­fits to be­ing a mar­ried cou­ple

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