Marriage Advice from an Economist

The CNBC.com article “‘Yes, marry for money’: A Harvard economist shares the surprising financial benefits of marriage” offers surprising advice in this era when many people enter into marriage for romantic and person fulfillment. The article’s economic expert freely admits that he thinks the marriage is better than being in a long-term partnership and says, “Yes, bartering for love sounds heartless…But we humans have the capacity to fall in love with lots of people. And there’s no shame in targeting your swooning on someone who can provide you with a higher standard of living.” The article proposed that while being married can bring a higher tax bill in some cases, there are valuable benefits to being legally married. Some spouses will be able to benefit from collecting Social Security benefits that they would not get from being with a long-term partner. There are also more immediate benefits like being included on your spouse’s insurance. But before you think this article is just trying to push people into marriage, there is a warning about the large numbers of marriages that end in divorce. Readers are advised to get a prenup so that both parties are protected if the marriage doesn’t last. There is a practicality to considering the advantages of marriage and there is also a practicality to protecting yourself financially before a marriage begins. Neither we nor the article is advocating that people seek out marriage partners solely based on financial resources. Anyone who lives long enough can see that change is always on the horizon. Wealth can come and go. It is advisable to think about the kind of lifestyle you want and the likelihood of achieving that lifestyle with a certain individual. You are not just looking at the amount of financial resources a person has but considering their financial decision-making skills. ©Bring Clarity to Your Finances™. Marriage Advice from an Economist is a post from Bring Clarity to Your Finances™

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Claire Emory, MBA, CFA, CFP®

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