Security for your new life together – a life that properly begins after you’ve said “I do”. To remain financially secure throughout your marriage, you should take a proper look at your finances and pension situation. What will be different for you as a married couple and how can you both shape your future in a self-determined way? The following tips give you a comprehensive overview.
1. Take out life insurance
It’s the last thing you want to think about when you’ve found your partner for life, but life insurance is of vital importance in the event of an accident, illness or death. It provides financial security for your spouse and any children you may have. It means that they can continue to cover their costs of living and pay the mortgage should something happen to you.
Tip: endowment insurance can also be used as a savings investment that pays out in old age. What’s more, the payments you make into your personal pension scheme will be tax-privileged.
2. Insure against disability
Disability can have far-reaching financial consequences for a married couple, especially if they have children and/or one of them works part-time. You can protect yourself against such misfortunes by taking out disability income insurance. This allows you to continue to provide for you and your family if somebody is no longer able to work due to an accident or illness.
Tip: in principle, a distinction is made as to whether the disability is due to an accident or illness. While, in addition to the first pillar, mandatory accident insurance covers around 90% of the previous salary (up to a certain salary limit) in the event of a total incapacity to work, just 60% of income will on average be covered by the 1st and 2nd pillars in the event of illness. Many people are unaware that, statistically speaking, illness leads to disability far more often than an accident.
3. Review your retirement provisions
Most married couples hope to grow old together. To spare yourself financial worries when you retire, you should assess your pension prospects early on. Your overall pension will comprise the amounts you receive from the first two pillars plus any private provisions you make for yourself. If one partner earns significantly less than the other, or if one of you works part-time, you might want to talk about compensating for this, for example via supplementary retirement provision. Get advice from a specialist here.
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Facts & figures
The average age at which people marry for the first time in Switzerland is rising steadily and is now 32.2 for men and 30.3 for women. In terms of cantons, most marriages take place in Zurich and the smallest number in Appenzell Innerrhoden – this is due in large part to the size of the population. In 2022, there were 40 938 marriages in Switzerland.
4. Combine your household contents and liability insurance policies
In the vast majority of cases, married couples live together in the same apartment or house. Do you also have joint household contents and liability insurance? You should definitely combine them both, which will save you money.
Married couples have significant advantages over unmarried couples here, as contract termination will be arranged between the individual insurance companies and will not entail any fees. All you have to do is decide which policy you want to keep. Having just one household contents and liability insurance policy is not only cheaper but will save time when handling claims.
Tip: with regard to household contents insurance, it’s also vital to update the sum insured so that the actual current value of your property is covered and to avoid any underinsurance in the event of a claim.
5. Adjust your legal protection
As with household contents and liability insurance, a married couple can share a single legal protection insurance policy. However, this means changing the policy to the “family” type so that both partners as well as any children are covered. This makes living together cheaper and simpler.
6. Define account ownership
Mine? Yours? Ours? Your finances or our finances? Joint account or separate accounts? You should talk as soon as possible about how you would like to manage your money in the future – especially if your incomes vary significantly.
- Living together, separate accounts: however much they trust each other, many couples feel most comfortable with this solution. Planned expenses are discussed together and fixed costs divided up fairly.
- A joint account: this is recommended for couples where one person has a significantly lower income because, for example, they have cut back their working hours to look after children. A second account makes little sense if the person concerned is not earning very much. In this case, you’re best off taking a relaxed approach to the difference in income levels.
- Three bank accounts: a good mix of togetherness and financial independence. The married couple’s joint account is used to pay for fixed costs, while each partner’s private account is used for personal hobbies and other such non-essential outlays.
7. Save on taxes
When people get married, two sources of income are merged into one from a tax perspective. You should find out what this means for you as a married couple. Self-employed people, for example, have to calculate their taxable income differently from somebody employed by a company.
This is a good reason to have an expert look at this complex situation and make tax optimisations if necessary, for example by paying into pillar 3a via private savings and pension investments.
You can find out more about the financial advantages and disadvantages of getting married in terms of taxes here: Getting married: what are the pros and cons?
8. Re-register motor insurance
If both partners already have their own car, they have to change their documents after getting married. If one partner drives more often than the owner of the vehicle, this can lead to complications in the event of a claim. It is better to ask the motor insurance company directly about the exact insurance conditions for married couples and to provide very accurate and reliable information about the use of the respective car.