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Money Experts Say When it Comes to Marriage, It Pays to Talk

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There are pros and cons of getting married, financial as much as anything else. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.

First comes love. Then comes marriage. But before you walk this walk, you definitely need to have a long talk about money.

"Even though you want to believe that marriage is all about love and butterflies and all those good things, finances should be one of the first things you should consider before you take that big step and get married," says Yahoo Personal Finance Expert Mandi Woodruff.

That's because like it or not, when you tie the knot, you wed your finances too and that could end up helping or hurting your bottom line.

For instance, one of the biggest gifts you may get could come from your employer in the form of health insurance for your spouse.

"Large employers, on average, pay about 85 percent of the premium both for their workers and their dependents, so you and your spouse will end up with a much more robust policy at a fraction of the cost if you had to buy it on your own," says Amanda Gengler, who writes for Money Magazine.

Putting a premium on marriage could help lower your car insurance rates as well.

"One of the funny things that happens when you get married is insurance companies look at you and say 'hey, this person is a little bit more stable' even though they may be 25, 26 years old and you may see your auto insurance rates decline," says Woodruff.

But what about the so-called marriage penalty? Could wedded bliss lead to tears at tax time?

It might, particularly if both spouses are high earners. However it's more likely that you'll find yourself with a "marriage bonus."

"You and the spouse might end up paying less in taxes than you would if you were both single. So the trick is to figure out which of the two categories you will fall into, and the good news is that the people who land in the marriage bonus category—who owe less taxes as a married couple—far outweigh the number that have to pay additional taxes," says Gengler.

While you are whispering sweet nothings, tell each other your credit scores. It only takes one of you having bad credit to affect the rate you get on a mortgage or car loan.

Finally, like your marriage, managing your money is a lifetime commitment. Keep the conversation going or the honeymoon will be over before you know it.

"My number one piece of financial advice is just talk about your finance. Do not be shy! So often what couples don't do is they don't communicate and that can really be what puts your marriage in jeopardy," Woodruff says. ClientIP: UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP