On Friday night, I licked some envelopes, added some stamps, and mailed
rights to my firstborn checks and paperwork to the IRS.
Tax season. My least favorite time of year. In a period of sky-high rent, an inflated cost of living, and absurdly priced groceries ($5 for a carton of almond milk?? Seriously, Hoboken?!), it’s no wonder so many are selling their earthly possessions and looking for extra side work and roommates.
Now that I’m working as an independent contractor, I have to estimate my taxes for the year, pay quarterly, and make sure every dime is accounted for or Uncle Sam storms into my apartment and goes through my drawers for extra loot (good luck!). I can understand why some might want to sign a marital contract simply to evade having to pay extra in rent, taxes, health insurance, social security, etc. It’s daunting. And while it’s nice to know that I can write off so many business expenses for the first time, this won’t happen until the end of the year after I’ve already forked over more than I should for everyday necessities.
I read an article recently about the price of being single in America told from the female perspective (also, just for clarity, I’m referring to people who aren’t married when I refer to singles in this post). I found many of the statistics particularly startling, especially when you factor in how much money you can save simply by getting hitched.
“If a single person dies without children, her money will—must—go into the system to be provided to whomever needs it most, which is good because that was the original intent of Social Security. However, if a married person dies, the money can be routed back to her family.”
Why isn’t a single person entitled to leave those benefits to his/her lover? Friend? Family member? According to the calculations in this article from the Atlantic, a single person earning $80,000/year could easily spend a million dollars more than his or her married peer over the course of a lifetime on healthcare, taxes, etc. Reading this article made me much more aware of the fact that the laws in this country discriminate against half the population–singles.
I also came upon another article published by the Huffington Post about what would happen if we began to look at singles as the new normal. Not only would we no longer have to answer the dreaded “when-are-you-going-to-get-married?” question at dinner parties, but it may also alter the way the travel, housing, and food industries treat the needs of half the population.
Today I stand with the Communication League for Unmarried Equality (CLUE) and many bloggers who are writing about the same topic. April 15th (Tax Day) was chosen as a symbolic reminder that the laws of this country need to be revised to help singles who aren’t entitled to the same benefits as their married friends. Many thanks to Eleanore S. Wells who turned me on to this important topic.
What do you think? I would love to hear your opinions in the comments below!