9.02.2016

Marriage is Good for Family Wealth

New research finds that while money and arguments over it can tear couples apart, those who marry and stay together tend to amass more wealth than those who never marry, who divorce, or who live together without marrying.
 
According to an Iowa State study reviewed in Money by Elizabeth O'Brien on August 23, 2016, marriage is good for a couple’s finances. 
"Married people do better," says Amelia Karraker, assistant professor at Iowa State University and co-author of a recent working paper on marital histories and financial security in midlife. Specifically, people who stay married to their first spouse enjoy higher net worth on average.

The Iowa State study looked at people's finances when they hit the 51-to-56 age bracket, a point in midlife when income and assets frequently peak and retirement planning needs to be in high gear. People who never married are at 3.3 times greater risk of experiencing "negative wealth"-that is, having debt that exceeds their assets-compared to continuously married individuals, the study found. And people who are separated or divorced have between a 2.2 and 3.0 greater risk of experiencing negative wealth than people who stayed married.
Maybe that is why Understanding Realistic Reconciliation in an Age of Divorce has been downloaded nearly 200 times.  Couples who stay together keep more of their wealth.  

And maybe this is also why the article entitled Why Marriage is Still the Best Default in Estate Planning Conflicts has been downloaded more than 100 times. Family finances benefit from marriage.  

That may also be why pro-marriage policies are strongly promoted by the states (see Marriage, State Domestic Regulations Power, and Family Strength).  When families are financially healthy, so are the communities in which they reside.  

Marriage is good for family wealth.  On Labor Day weekend when America celebrates hard work, maybe marriage is one of those institutions we should celebrate as very well-worth the hard work.

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