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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am aware that I am walking on a potential minefield here, so let me start with a disclaimer that I do not think marriage is solely a financial decision. But as others have done in the parallel thread (How expensive are kids?), a non-financial decision can be seen as a financial decision (i.e., having financial consequences).

In this sense, marriage is definitely a financial decision with potentials for improving one's financial situation as well as potentials for leaving one in financial ruins. For example:

Benefits
- Potential for becoming a two-income household (with less than twice the expense).
- Tax advantage

Risk
- Potential divorce: Somebody in the "kids' thread" posted a link to the Canadian statistics, stating 50% of all first marriages end in divorce, 75% of second marriage, 85% of third marriage, etc. And I don't think I have to argue that divorce is a financial killer (One of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the US.)

There are many obvious others, but I can see marriage as a higher risk + higher return financial choice compared to staying single.

What are your thoughts on analyzing marriage as a financial decision? As I stated in the beginning I am not arguing that marriage is solely a financial event. I'm proposing this as some sort of a thought experiment.
 

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I am aware that I am walking on a minefield here, so let me start with a disclaimer that I do not think marriage is solely a financial decision. But as others have done in the parallel thread (How expensive are kids?), a non-financial decision can be seen as a financial decision (i.e., having financial consequences).

In this sense, marriage is definitely a financial decision with potentials for improving one's financial situation as well as potentials for leaving one in financial ruins. For example:

Benefits
- Potential for becoming a two-income household (with less than twice the expense).
- Tax advantage

Risk
- Potential divorce: Somebody in the "kids' thread" posted a link to the Canadian statistics, stating 50% of all first marriages end in divorce, 75% of second marriage, 85% of third marriage, etc. And I don't think I have to argue that divorce is a financial killer (One of leading causes of bankruptcy in the US.)

There are many obvious others, but I can see marriage as a higher risk + higher return financial choice compared to staying single.

What are your thoughts on analyzing marriage as a financial decision? As I stated in the beginning I am not arguing that marriage is solely a financial event. I'm proposing this as some sort of a thought experiment.
really good post, even if it is off the wall

Since I am old school - married for 41 years, I can say that we did it for love & it was what people did in the old days

It was also about having and raising a family out of pure unselfish love and less if anything about the financial considerations or consequencies (the love of money)

Given toodys modern age thinking, I (we) would not change a single thing and would still, having found the love of our lives would get married even in todays society

'The Number' are you married or considering geting married or are married and considering getting divorced?

As I said, an interesting bunch of nonsense you have poised in the OP
 

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There is only 1 winner in a divorce: lawyers

Maybe that's why the number of pre-nuptials agreements have skyrocketed, at least Stateside.
 

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For the question of "how expensive is a spouse" I'd say it depends on how they are with finances during the dating period. If they are spenders, they'll continue to be spenders. If they are savers they'll continue to be savers. I'm sure some people do change though. ;)

I think finances should come into play during pre-marital discussions, but shouldn't be a final "yes/no" decision.

For me, I had nothing going into marriage, except for a small rsp and pension account. She was in the same boat. If I had a larger net worth I may have looked into a pre-nup. After nine years we're still working on finances and a budget that works for all of us (we've since added 2 kids). We didn't seem to benefit from the dual income. We just spent more! (Eating out, travelling, toys etc.)

Also consider the alternative. Dating is expensive too. Even if you have a full time partner, if you are avoiding a common-law scenerio you are each paying for a "household" which can add up.
 

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Well, it's 2009. Surely these days things like setting up the two-income household, having each other's backs in career decisions, setting some financial goals and merging certain accounts happen a number of years before getting married for a large number of people. That was certainly the case for us and for most of our friends/acquaintances. So you should have no excuse for not knowing what you're getting into until after you get married.

This is all anecdotal of course, but most of my friends waited until after getting spliced to "trade up" in many ways: the house-with-a-garden instead of the rental apartment; the kids and the pets; life, disability, and home insurance; more pricy vacationing like the bosses; etc. These all add more to the monthly budget, but none of them are necessarily due to being married.
 

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Considering that one of the biggest risk is divorce, I spent a lot of time reading and listening to tapes about how to maintain successful relationships. It helps a lot!

In addition, I know that the risk of divorce increases as you move to another marriage, so it becomes more important to me to strengthen my first; because the stats show that it isn't going to get any easier or better!

The two income, but less expenses than two individuals is a huge advantage; especially considering that my spouse pulls in more income than I!

For most things that are important to me, I identify my fears and risks and try to learn ways to mitigate them. Another example would be stocks - one of the first 'risks' that people always mentioned would be 'bankruptcy', and then 'price declines', etc.

Identify the risk and minimize the chance of occurance. That's the best anybody can expect to do.
 

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Considering that one of the biggest risk is divorce, I spent a lot of time reading and listening to tapes about how to maintain successful relationships. It helps a lot!

In addition, I know that the risk of divorce increases as you move to another marriage, so it becomes more important to me to strengthen my first; because the stats show that it isn't going to get any easier or better!

The two income, but less expenses than two individuals is a huge advantage; especially considering that my spouse pulls in more income than I!

For most things that are important to me, I identify my fears and risks and try to learn ways to mitigate them. Another example would be stocks - one of the first 'risks' that people always mentioned would be 'bankruptcy', and then 'price declines', etc.

Identify the risk and minimize the chance of occurance. That's the best anybody can expect to do.
In that context Rickson, I suppose using the financial risk analysis in a relationship/marriage, could it not simply be defined as a business partnership - out of love or $ex?.

Marriage for the convenience of dual income or to share costs, even a warm bed, in putting that huge risk in front of the relationship in thinking that it may/will falter from the get-go leading to separation or divorce.

If so, then the inevitable outcome leading to the financial collapse of the business relationship, why bother in the first place getting married at all, even having children?

For those of you out there not yet married (or those already married), would you enter into a cohabitable business relationship with a pre-nuptual as insurance just in case, or not bother at all getting married in the first place and just have a 10, 15, 25 year financial committment - like putting money into an RRSP, Mortgage or buy a long dividend paying stock?
 

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Another perspective is sometimes no matter how hard you try to keep everything on the up and up, people's feelings and behaviours change over time and it would be in the best interest of everybody to cut your losses and move on...

If there are kids involved, things may be complicated. 3 guys in my team have gone through this phase over the past 5 months. It was a real sobering experience and you do your best to offer them support.

ethos1, to answer your question, we didn't sign a pre-nup when we got married 3 years ago, mind you I was fairly financially illiterate at the time and didn't have a significant net worth...but if the tables are turned, i think a pre-nup would not be a bad idea...When you exchange the vows, you expect to live with your partner until eternity but life tends to throw curve balls when you least expect it...I know i have used a lot of cliche here in my short paragraph but the last one is i guess we just have to take it one day at a time and do what you can within your control to make sure you are on the right course.
 

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ethos1, to answer your question, we didn't sign a pre-nup when we got married 3 years ago, mind you I was fairly financially illiterate at the time and didn't have a significant net worth...but if the tables are turned, i think a pre-nup would not be a bad idea...When you exchange the vows, you expect to live with your partner until eternity but life tends to throw curve balls when you least expect it...I know i have used a lot of cliche here in my short paragraph but the last one is i guess we just have to take it one day at a time and do what you can within your control to make sure you are on the right course.
Forgive me for this, Canabiz, 3-years in and its either not working or its all about individuality

What is yours is mine and what is mine is mine

how do those marriage vows go again

I, N , take you, N ,
to be my wife/husband,
to have and to hold
from this day forward;
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death us do part,


I guess a pre-nuptual should be the sacred agreement to a marriage and not some old dusty vow - for the love of money & nothing else

I must be way too old fashioned after 41 years of marriage

Total communication, trust & respect in a relationship/ partnership (business or marriage) is key to everlasting success
 

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From a financial standpoint I'd say its economical, and like we've pointed out already, its the dissolution of the partnership that causes the most problems. On top of that you have to take into account someone's financial pre-disposition to saving/spending etc.

Personally though I don't believe in marriage, so I see my relationship as a mutually beneficial investment, however I do not see it as being definitively long-term. People change over time. For example, my Brother and sister in law used to be financially savy, and conscious of how they spendttheir money. They had kids and now the wife is literally running them into the ground financially with her spending on their kids.

There are also social expectations that are come with marriage which I find are not necessarily in our best interests, yet we bend to them anyways, children, new homes, new cars, trips, etc.

In the end while I think it would be fantastic to maintain one partner for life, and I think for those who have, and will, its an amazing accomplishment. However great that sounds, I don't think its ever a horrible choice to plan for the potential negative outcome by having a pre-nup, etc.
 

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One supposedly lives longer if married. Single people tend to die earlier. For a long-term investor such as ourselves, married makes more sense when building wealth. ;)
 

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I must be way too old fashioned after 41 years of marriage

Total communication, trust & respect in a relationship/ partnership (business or marriage) is key to everlasting success
ethos1, congrats on your 41 years and best of wishes on your next 41.
And you are not too old fashioned either. I, in my late 30's, agree with everything you said.:)

Marriage is a leap of faith. If I worried about that 50% divorce rate, I would've never met the love of my life.
The_Number, remember that "money issue" is the number one reason for divorce, and NOT the number one reason for marriage. So, start communicating!

PS: Nice to see those marriage vows again :)
 

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59 per cent of wives would leave their husbands (if they could afford it)

Sorry guys - reality is a bi_ch sometimes

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-508804/59-cent-wives-leave-husbands-afford-it.html#

59 per cent of wives would leave their husbands (if they could afford it)

By LUKE SALKELD

Last updated at 23:27 17 January 2008


They may have promised to have and to hold for richer and for poorer.

But wives are most interested in the richer part, it was claimed yesterday.

In a study of married men and women, the majority of wives - 59 per cent - said they would divorce immediately if their future economic security was assured.

Scroll down for more...


Unhappy: Millions of Brits won't leave their miserable marriage because they fear financial and emotional hardship (picture posed by models)

The survey also found than half of husbands thought their marriage was "loveless".

And among both sexes, more than one in ten wished they had wed someone else.

Responding to the astonishing results, relationship experts warned couples to avoid getting stuck in a rut - or risk the trauma of divorce.

The survey of 2,000 adults by a firm of solicitors revealed that 12 per cent would stay in an unhappy relationship just for an easy life.

Almost 30 per cent said they were staying in a doomed marriage to save themselves going through a massive upheaval.

Thirty-seven per cent said they were staying for the sake of the children.

Some said they were worried about what they would lose if they left their partner, with 42 per cent fearing they would have to give up their home if they split.

Almost a third of those polled were concerned they would be left with absolutely nothing if they walked out on their marriage.

And 30 per cent of men said they were scared that they would have to leave without their children.

Nearly half of those questioned, both men and women, would stay with their partner for the sake of the family unit.

The survey was commissioned by solicitors Seddons after a rush of divorce applications in the first week of the new year.

Overall, 12 per cent said they were in a loveless relationship and more than a third (35 per cent) believed their marriage would turn stale in the near future.

A shocking 56 per cent admitted they were not completely happy in their relationship - and more than half said they had considered splitting from their partner.

A spokesman for the marriage counselling service-Relate said: "It's so easy for married couples to get stuck in a rut once the realities of paying the bills and getting the children's breakfast sets in.

"Relationships inevitably change over time. Couples who address their problems and talk to each other when they feel they may be taken for granted stand a better chance of pulling through.

"Divorce impacts on every single area of a person's life. Dividing up the family home, pets and everything they own is just part of the process."

Half of those surveyed would consider going to see a counsellor in an attempt to get their relationship back on track before heading for the divorce courts.

However, one in five thought it would not be worth the hassle.

A quarter said the thought of high legal fees prevented them from having a divorce and six in ten hadn't heard of mediation for divorce settlements.

Deborah Jeff of Seddons said: "Sixty per cent were not aware of how mediation can be used to improve communication between parties, minimise the impact of divorce and keep legal fees to a minimum."
 

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It seems to me that financial compatibility may be even more important than other sorts of compatibility, and probably the best bet is when both partners are relatively frugal. The worst combination is likely spender-saver and two spenders will likely only be happy if they make enough money to support their lifestyles. Its something that much more attention should be paid to before partners get married.

To get to the thread question: For savers, marriage tends to be a good thing financially because it means splitting costs and therefore improving the lifestyles of both parties rather than being an expense.

Fortunately both my wife and I are savers.
 

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HAHA I have not YET read this whole thread but i just think the title is hilarious.....and since I am getting married this summer it might be a good think to look at haha
 

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HAHA I have not YET read this whole thread but i just think the title is hilarious.....and since I am getting married this summer it might be a good think to look at haha
just let your about to be spouse read this thread and see if they see it at hilarious


Mockingbird's post hit right on the point that marriage is not about money or divorce, unless of course that is the game plan from the get-go
 
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