Every Serious Couple Should Talk About Spousal IRAs

There are myriad financial advantages to getting married. You might have access to higher quality health care thanks to a spouse’s benefits plan. You may have increased borrowing power from pooling incomes, making it easier to buy a home. You could have a lower tax burden (unless you’re both high earners, then it’s often higher).

Marriage in the US also unlocks an under-discussed retirement option: the spousal IRA.

Whether your employment situation changes because of layoffs, or you’re taking time off to care for a family member, return to school or just take a break, a spousal IRA offers a way to stay on track for a healthy retirement. Yet many people don’t know it exists.

It can take the form of either a traditional or Roth IRA; the key difference is it’s only available for married couples where one spouse elects to leave the workforce and is earning little to no taxable income.