6 Things All Couples Should Do Before Getting Married
They’re the J to your Bey, and you simply cannot wait for them to put a ring on it. But hold up – just because you finish each other’s sentences, you’ve got a million shared interests and they’ve seen the contents of your ahem drawer, doesn’t mean you’re necessarily ready to walk down the aisle. It’s one thing to make relationship resolutions, but here’s a list of must-dos — from silly to serious — before you say your “I dos.” Plus, we got Dr. Michelle Golland, a Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist and all-around love guru, to weigh in.
1. Exchange digits. As in, the passcode on your smartphone. You know everything there is to know about each other, right? Well, “everything” includes the contents of one’s most precious technological device. Dr. Golland says, “If your S.O. keeps passwords on his phone, isn’t willing to have the hard conversations needed to move to the next step or is more concerned about [his parents’] feelings or thoughts than yours around big issues,” then he’s not ready to get married.
2. Watch each other’s favorite TV shows. As much as it pains you to indulge in the caveman etiquette that is him hogging the remote control, just know that you’ll soon be queuing up My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, to which he will inevitably also become addicted. Compromise is an important lesson to learn before you tie the knot!
3. Bump heads. No one likes to argue, but occasional squabbles can be beneficial: They show that you are two people with differing opinions and viewpoints who are willing to share them. “Conflict is healthy and normal. Learning how to handle differences is critical. The worst scenario is when one partner believes being married means things are always good,” Dr. Golland says. Plus, if you didn’t fight, you couldn’t make up.
4. Explore “cheating.” The definition, that is. Trust is huge in marriage. And since cheating means different things to different people, it’s important to get on the same page. “Emotional infidelity is a relationship killer, as much as sexual infidelity. There shouldn’t be anything you say about your partner to someone else that you are not brave enough to say to your partner yourself,” Dr. Golland says.
5. Eat this, pass that! Let’s be honest, the quickest path to intimacy is via garlicky pasta, slurpy ramen, Mexican food and all of their… shall we say, aftereffects. “If you can’t pass gas in front of your partner or they won’t in front of you, then you have some work to do around letting go of ego and awkwardness and the need to be seen as perfect, which will be a killer to the relationship. Gas happens, and life gets messy and stinky at times!” Dr. Golland says.
6. See a shrink together. Even if you get along swimmingly, every couple can gain insight by chatting with a professional. “Every person should be willing to come in and talk to an expert about their relationship and how to communicate best with each other. To me, having a shrink or therapist who is your go-to person around emotional challenges is no different than having a good mechanic or chiropractor,” Dr. Golland says.
Got something to add to our must-dos? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!
(Photos via Getty)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com