5 reasons why marriage creates wealth

Dual incomes and greater motivation are among the drivers

In Summary

• Research has shown that married people tend to be happier than singles. It figures


With all the stories of divorce, domestic violence and marital infidelity, marriage does not have a rosy reputation these days. It is, however, a fact that married people live healthier and longer lives than single or divorced people.

Despite the ups and downs of marriage, almost every research carried out over the past 150 years shows that married people report having higher life satisfaction compared to singles. There’s one other advantage of being in a marriage.

Being married makes you wealthier in the long term. Of course not every married couple will become millionaires, but married couples are more likely to save money and invest in property compared to single persons. A study in the US conducted over a period of 15 years and involving 9,000 people found that those who stayed married built up nearly twice the wealth of people who remained single.

The data shows that divorce is not good for building wealth. Divorced individuals are likely to end up in debt, seek financial support from family and friends, sell personal assets or redeem financial investments. If the divorced couple had taken a loan to acquire property, such as land or a home, the disruption caused by separating could result in failure to keep up with repayments. The property might be repossessed by the lender.

Why is marriage financially beneficial in the long term?

1. Dual incomes: A household where both husband and wife are working will have two income earners, compared to a single-person household. A married person who gets into business can get financial or material support from the spouse, especially in the early stages of the business. Dual incomes make it possible for the couple to put aside some money as savings. In case a married person is unable to work due to illness, the income from the partner can sustain the household as he or she recuperates.

2. Dual heads: Obviously two people thinking about a problem will come up with better ideas than one person’s thinking. A single person may not have a source of feedback on his or her ideas. Married people tend to seek medical attention sooner than single persons because there’s someone pushing them to go to the hospital.

3. Expanded circle of contacts: A married person looking for employment or business prospects is not depending solely on his or her family and friends. The spouse’s network of contacts is also available. This gives the married a double advantage over persons who remain single.

4. Enhanced motivation: A German study reveals that married men feel less satisfied with their financial situation compared to single men. This dissatisfaction induces married men to work harder, something that eventually leads to higher incomes. Married couples are more likely to plan for the future by, for example, investing in a home.

5. Cuts labour costs: Not all married couples involve spouses in their business, but doing so helps cut labour costs. A spouse in your business will not demand a salary because he/she is a beneficiary of the business.

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