Wednesday, April 3, 2013

“Why Marrieds Tend to Be Richer”: I’ll Tell You Why

I have to say that when I recently saw a CNBC article entitled “Why Marrieds Tend to Be Richer: It’s Complicated” I can’t exactly say I thought the answer was really all that complicated.  As a married person myself, I can’t say I’m exactly “rich”; however, I’d definitely agree that it’s easier to save and stay out of debt with a financial partner at my side.  While I know that for many couples this isn’t the case, for our situation it is, and I’ll explain why.

Staying Married
Getting divorced can be expensive.  Having to split assets down the middle can cut the net worth of each couple in half.  And having to pay alimony or child support can get expensive too.

Coming from a broken home myself, I know the stress -- both mentally and monetarily -- that can come with such a situation.  Thankfully, the possibility of such results is not what holds my own marriage together.  Having a clearly defined relationship -- and defined expectations from that relationship -- as well as communicating about wants and needs regarding our finances before getting married let both sides know what we were getting into and has helped keep our relationship strong over a variety of financial challenges.

Combined Income and Experience
So as a married couple, we have the strength of a combined income, which many single people miss out upon.  With both of us being able to handle income earning jobs, and with my being able to work from home, it puts us in a favorable financial situation compared to some single people.  Not only do we increase our revenue compared to if we were each on our own, but since I work from home, I can handle the childcare aspects of our family situation, shaving tens of thousands of dollars off the expenses we might incur otherwise for such supervision.

From being able to make decisions as to whether we’ll take our own individual Social Security payouts in retirement or base our decision off the benefits of the higher wage earner, each of us having retirement accounts, and having increased jobs security and health insurance security through our partnership, the dual job, dual income situation serves us well in a number of ways.

The experiences of the two sides, as well as the strengths of weaknesses of each, can come into play in a marriage situation as well.  In our case, I have the much stronger financial education and have therefore strengthened my wife’s understanding of personal finance as well.  However, she’s better at handling certain aspects of our personal finances in which I’m not as adept -- like health insurance and medical costs.  Therefore, we tend to combine our collective knowledge regarding money and finances to act together as a team, being stronger than if we were each on our own.

Halved Expenses
While having two incomes is nice, we also enjoy being able to cut expenses through our marriage.  Sharing the costs of a vehicle, a home, utilities, food, entertainment, insurance, etc. pays off big time.  When we go on vacation, we might pay for things like transportation, a hotel room, food, entertainment, and similar items whether we were traveling individually or together.  While the prices might be the same as a couple or individually, such costs can be shared between us, in effect acting to cut many of them in half as compared to what they might be were we paying for them on our own.

Dual Families
The dual family aspect of being married might be a somewhat ignored reason as to why married couples could be richer.  With each couple possibly bringing its own family to the relationship, there is any number of advantages to the situation.  From the financial background and education that has been imparted by the families, to vacation location options through various family member’s homes or vacation homes, educational assistance in paying for college, wedding gifts, inheritances, and just general life lessons and support from other family members, having two families rather than just one can certainly help to bolster the financial support a married couple receives.


  1. As a single person, I would have to agree...

  2. This is good news for married people.