How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reasons?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills

Do financial considerations affect your decision in getting married?

Yes, I will not marry because of financial considerations
31
22%
Sort of, I am not ruling out marriage, but I will definitely get a pre-nup
41
29%
No, I intend to get married and will work out problems as they come
67
48%
 
Total votes: 139

Topic Author
AndroAsc
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How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reasons?

Post by AndroAsc » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:51 am

My impression of the typical Boglehead is someone who:
1) Understand the need for deferred gratification and saving for retirement, and
2) Have a strong control (relative to the general population) of their personal finances (budgeting, etc...)

I would hazard a guess that this makes 90% of the American population financially incompatible with the typical Bogleheads. I am not familiar with divorce statistics, but I can be pretty confident that financial incompatibility or financial infidelity problems ranks as one of the top few reasons for a failed relationship (it's probably up there with sexual infidelity).

In an average divorce in America, both parties lose 70% of their net worth ( it should be 50% for a clean split, but don't forget about the lawyers ). If a Boglehead would to enter a relationship with a typical American, a divorce likely means losing close to 70% of pre-marriage net worth. This loss is also not something that one can sit back and let it grow back, it is not like stock market losses that are paper loss. In addition, there is the risk of paying alimony or child support, which I admit I am not too familiar with, but it seems to be just like an indefinite debt to me. At least home prices historically provide 0% real returns, alimony and child support is an instant 100% loss.

The following considerations that I have listed out has led me to the conclusion that getting married in America is nothing but a financial liability and is probably the worst thing that one can do to jeopardize one's retirement plans. We all take risk in investments, but if I were to tell you that an investment has a 50% chance of a 70% *unrecoverable* loss and a 50% chance of getting market returns, would you take it? Cause that is what marriage is.

I've seen several posts here that discuss about pre-nups that supposedly can protect you in such situations. However, my opinion is that pre-nups are too weak. Firstly, it seems that pre-nups can be contested (especially if signed just prior to marriage), or your ex-spouse can simply contest it because she wants to drain your money ("if I can't get your money, I will make sure you won't have it too" mentality). Second, there doesn't seem to be any federal law framework for pre-nup unlike marriages. For example, if you relocate to another state, the pre-nup may no longer be recognized. However, a marriage is recognized no matter where you live in America. Lastly, as a male, I cannot help but perceive the current legal system involving marriage to be favoring women. It's usually the guy who pay for alimony and child support and not the other way around.

Therefore, my conclusion is that even pre-nups are not risky, and there is no reasonable means to legally protect oneself from the financial liabilities of marriage. In other words, don't get married. Perhaps a co-habitation understanding might work out better, but even those are risky as I've read about "common law marriages" whereby you become married "by default" after co-habiting with a partner after some time. This would also open you up to lawsuits by the person you co-habitate with. How do other Bogleheads feel about this?

mptfan
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by mptfan » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:02 am

You have ignored many of the financial benefits of marriage.... some that come to mind are 1) savings from economies of scale, 2) higher joint earnings, 3) your spouse may also have assets or savings to contribute, 4) stability of having multiple sources of income instead of just one, 5) some people are much better off financially after a divorce than they were before they got married (a famous and extreme example is Tiger Wood's ex-wife), 6) tax benefits, including the unlimited spousal exemption for estate taxes, 7) social security spousal benefits after 10 years of marriage.

These are some of the financial benefits that come to mind, I'm sure there are many others.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by mptfan » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:06 am

AndroAsc wrote:Lastly, as a male, I cannot help but perceive the current legal system involving marriage to be favoring women. It's usually the guy who pay for alimony and child support and not the other way around.
That is not a reflection on the legal system, because the legal system is gender blind...that is a reflection on the reality that usually the husband makes more than the wife. You can easily avoid that issue by marrying someone who makes at least as much or more than you do. (Admittedly if they stop working after you get married, that presents a dilemma).

Topic Author
AndroAsc
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by AndroAsc » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:09 am

mptfan wrote:You have ignored many of the financial benefits of marriage.... some that come to mind are 1) savings from economies of scale, 2) higher joint earnings, 3) your spouse may also have assets or savings to contribute, 4) stability of having multiple sources of income instead of just one, 5) some people are much better off financially after a divorce than they were before they got married (a famous and extreme example is Tiger Wood's ex-wife), 6) tax benefits, including the unlimited spousal exemption for estate taxes, 7) social security spousal benefits after 10 years of marriage.

These are some of the financial benefits that come to mind, I'm sure there are many others.
I think (1) and (2) are the only real financial reasons to get married. However, these upsides are very small compared to the downsides. Even assuming with economies of scale, you can funnel more savings that would boost the growth of your portfolio, the downside of an irrecoverable loss of 70% of assets is wanting.

(3) assumes that you find a reasonably Boglehead-ish partner, which I've argued is statistically unlikely. (4) can be mitigated by having a larger emergency fund.
Again (5) is statistically unlikely and (6) is not a major concern for me as I have no dependents to pass my assets on to. I haven't considered (7) though...

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by mptfan » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:14 am

I agree that it is important to find a partner who is financially compatible. If you do that, you will avoid most of the financial problems that you cited.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by mptfan » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:19 am

AndroAsc wrote:In an average divorce in America, both parties lose 70% of their net worth ( it should be 50% for a clean split, but don't forget about the lawyers ).
Do you have a cite for that 70% number, or did you make it up?

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by brianH » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:27 am

I was married once for a short time (about 1 year), and I won't be walking down that road again. I woke up to the fact that marriage doesn't mean what it used to, as far as commitment, to many people. My ex was not interested in taking me to the cleaners, but it became clear to me that it could've been much worse if she wanted it to be.

I agree with the OP: marriage today represents an extremely unfair contract where one party can break it at any time for any reason and still collect 50% of the payout value. Many of the 'benefits' of legal marriage are starting to disappear as well. Many insurance (health) plans only require 'domestic partnership' (either gender) to provide coverage. The taxes aspect can help or hurt you depending on what tax brackets you were in before and after, but the difference is usually pretty small. Any other economies of scale can be obtained through other partnership arrangements besides legal marriage. Power of attorney, etc.

Overall, anyone in Gen Y or later needs to seriously consider what marriage means from a risk/reward basis. It's also important to realize there is a huge generational gap in effect. My parents/grandparents aren't able to see the vastly different culture that exists today. It's obviously a very personal decision, but I prefer not substantially increasing risk in my life if I don't receive outsized reward.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by socca » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:31 am

AndroAsc wrote:The following considerations that I have listed out has led me to the conclusion that getting married in America is nothing but a financial liability and is probably the worst thing that one can do to jeopardize one's retirement plans.
In some cultures:
(1) cohabitation outside of marriage is taboo
(2) children (and grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc.) are essential to a happy, healthy retirement
A person who has (consciously or unconsciously) adopted the norms of such a culture would view your conclusion as bizarre, to put it mildly. I don't agree with either of these rules, but I understand the perspective of those who do.

Since I'm unmarried and childless, I'm going to have to figure out how to die with dignity on my own terms when the time comes. Most folks who go the traditional marriage & children route assume that their children will allow them to exit-stage-right gracefully. I don't know how often this happens in practice. My support has been essential in allowing my grandmother to reach 99 years young in good health (physical and mental). I'm hoping that by the time I reach 99 we'll have robots to help the elderly perform routine daily chores. Human helpers can all too often financially victimize the vulnerable elders in their charge, so I'm less enthusiastic about this option.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by TedSwippet » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:35 am

mptfan wrote:You have ignored many of the financial benefits of marriage....
Also possible tax disadvantages.

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal- ... rriage-tax
It's the wedding present nobody wants: a high tax bill, post-nuptials. Many unsuspecting couples—particularly those who earn similar and relatively high incomes—find that they owe more money together than they ever did separately. ...According to Mark Luscombe, tax analyst for the firm CCH, that's a common scenario for high-earning, married couples.

Topic Author
AndroAsc
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by AndroAsc » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:36 am

mptfan wrote:
AndroAsc wrote:In an average divorce in America, both parties lose 70% of their net worth ( it should be 50% for a clean split, but don't forget about the lawyers ).
Do you have a cite for that 70% number, or did you make it up?
I do not have the source, read about it over a year ago. But it's a believable number.

EDIT: Here's the secondary source: http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2006/02 ... lthy_.html
It quote some published studies some socio research. And it's 77% not 70%, my bad...
Last edited by AndroAsc on Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

mptfan
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by mptfan » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:41 am

I think it is good to consider the financial aspects of marriage, and it is a valid point that marriage involves some combination of financial benefits and financial risks. However, there are other aspects to marriage that make it beneficial and worthwhile to many people. People, even Bogleheads, are not computers, and some of us value things above money--some of us are willing to take financial risks for the non-financial rewards that marriage provides, above and beyond merely living with someone, which include a high level of legal, moral and religious commitment to one person above all others. Some things are more important than money, even for Bogleheads.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by Gray » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:43 am

LOL. I married at the age of 23 due to romantic reasons. Still married at 40. I married well, though.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by The Wizard » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:44 am

To the OP, note: you cannot "pre-nup" away any future Child Support obligations in any state, so far as I know.

I do not plan to RE-marry for many of the aforementioned reasons. My divorce was after 23 years and two kids. We did a pro se mediated divorce with minimal lawyer involvement and a fairly accurate 50/50 asset split.
There was considerable TENSION initially about who would keep the house, but I prevailed.
I still consider the whole experience the worst disaster of my six decades on Earth so far.

While I was not devastated financially, I see no reason to remarry at this juncture.
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by sscritic » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:44 am

mptfan wrote:
AndroAsc wrote:Lastly, as a male, I cannot help but perceive the current legal system involving marriage to be favoring women. It's usually the guy who pay for alimony and child support and not the other way around.
That is not a reflection on the legal system, because the legal system is gender blind...that is a reflection on the reality that usually the husband makes more than the wife. You can easily avoid that issue by marrying someone who makes at least as much or more than you do. (Admittedly if they stop working before you do after you get married, that presents a dilemma).
I fixed your post for you [added material in bold] :)

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by The Wizard » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:46 am

mptfan wrote:You have ignored many of the financial benefits of marriage....
I think you have this backwards.
Consider just a couple, no kids.
Taxes are HIGHER for a married couple making $100K each vs two single people.
Even health insurance is higher for a Family plan vs two Individual plans...
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by gkaplan » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:56 am

So many misogynists, so little time.
Gordon

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by csage » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:12 am

Yes, it is risky. Laws are aligned to the advantage of the fiscally irresponsible spouse. Financial compatibility is one of the most important aspects you should consider in a relationship. Don't let your marriage become a race to the bottom. That's when everyone loses.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by stoptothink » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:18 am

I was married for a little over a year, to a woman whom I had dated for 3yrs previously. We were "financially incompatible" and that was the sole reason for our split, never so much as had a disagreement about anything but $. I lost close to half of my net worth, she gained quite a bit as she entered into the marriage with substantial debt and no real assets. She essentially got all of her dental school paid for as I paid off her previous education debt and then paid out of pocket for her final two years. I readily admit that it may have been different if I was more flexible regarding financial goals, but it probably would have been a lifelong struggle. I thought I was doing what was best for our future.

I will undoubtedly do it again, I want a family. I knew that my ex came from a completely different background than I and had no concept of saving or simply being financially responsible. I was naive and thought that love would conquer all, I believe she thought the same thing. Have been dating a woman I grew up with for the past year, since shortly after my separation from my ex-wife. She is very bogleheadish and it is more than likely headed towards marriage in the near future.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by Buysider » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:23 am

I'm going to have to figure out how to die with dignity on my own terms when the time comes. Most folks who go the traditional marriage & children route assume that their children will allow them to exit-stage-right gracefully. I don't know how often this happens in practice. My support has been essential in allowing my grandmother to reach 99 years young in good health (physical and mental). I'm hoping that by the time I reach 99 we'll have robots to help the elderly perform routine daily chores. Human helpers can all too often financially victimize the vulnerable elders in their charge, so I'm less enthusiastic about this option.
I think some unmarried folks just don't plan to live that long, whether through active means (suicide) or passive (smoking/abuse), there are ways for those who don't have a life partner or children to ensure they exit the earth while they still have relatively full control of their mind and body (and as the OP pointed out, a big bank book). The need to save money is basically eliminated if you plan on leaving before 70. SWR can be 30%, etc., etc.
1) Understand the need for deferred gratification and saving for retirement, and
2) Have a strong control (relative to the general population) of their personal finances (budgeting, etc...)
That might be true, but it is a big leap off a tall bridge to say that dying alone, dependent on people who either I pay, or the government pays, to keep me alive and in good health is a rational conclusion from # 1 and # 2.

This is a little tongue-in-cheek, but just a little :lol:

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by yobria » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:26 am

Getting married, like having children or eating a piece of chocolate, is a lifestyle decision that doesn't lend itself to cold analysis.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by Barefootgirl » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:39 am

I've been there and have the badge to show for it, lol.

That said, I believe in loving partnerships, but believe the legal requirements of marriage could pose a financial risk I may not want to take at this point in my life (poised to retire early).


Marriage and a commited partnership are not synonymous.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by hicabob » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:41 am

Barefootgirl wrote:I've been there and have the badge to show for it, lol.

That said, I believe in loving partnerships, but believe the legal requirements of marriage could pose a financial risk I may not want to take at this point in my life (poised to retire early).


Marriage and a commited partnership are not synonymous.

BFG
+1 - been there - done that - not again

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by imagardener » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:17 pm

Married men live longer and healthier lives than unmarried men. Never married women live longer healthier lives than married women.
Would this change anyone's decision?

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by serbeer » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:20 pm

"...is probably the worst thing that one can do to jeopardize one's retirement plans"
Maybe not. I think major chronic illness is worse in respect to retirement plans.

But I would, of course, suggest marrying someone with similar financial mindset and education. Then having the second income, perhaps higher than your own, higher rate of resulting accumulation due to economies of scale, safety of falling on second income in case of job loss would make it worth the risk IMO, just as investing into stock market. Also, let's not forget that divorce rate is only 50% for average couple, while it is much much lower for educated couples who married later in life. Especially if they are reasonable people who are willing to listen to each other and change their behavior if necessary. Boggleheads I think are much more likely to fall into this category than an average person.

Now, if you must worry about something, worry about the decision to have kids as it is really something that cannot be justified from financial viewpoint. That decision can only be made based on non-financial reasons. Yes, they may provide support/safety network when you are old. Or drain your resources instead. Yes, kids may have correlation to you divorcing vs staying married. But correlation can be positive or negative. And this is something that cannot be undone. But while the gains are not quantifiable, trust me, there are some very real gains (as some things are priceless). But pains too :)

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by HomerJ » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:31 pm

(1) My wife makes more than me... Losing 50% when she brings in 70% of our money seems like a good deal to me... :)
(2) If we did get divorced, my retirement needs would be a lot smaller, and I'd probably still have enough.
(3) We're not getting divorced.

Regarding #3... don't be so freaked out about statistics like 50% divorce rate... That's across all ages, all socioeconomic classes, etc.

Someone who gets married in their early-late 30s, college educated, etc. has a very low divorce rate compared to the rest of the country.

People who get married at 19 are the ones who get divorced at a high rate.
Last edited by HomerJ on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by Helloeeze » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:35 pm

I'm the woman and I have greatly increased my husband's wealth over our 25 years of marriage. For most of those years I made double what he's made in salary. Also I inherited money that we will use for our retirement....plus I do all the cooking and 90% of the housework. My coworker, too, has made more money than her husband, and her husband's failed business has caused them to lose their paid-off home. Cuts both ways.

By the way, definitely don't have kids. They will eat into your retirement like crazy. :roll:

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by HomerJ » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:36 pm

The Wizard wrote:
mptfan wrote:You have ignored many of the financial benefits of marriage....
I think you have this backwards.
Consider just a couple, no kids.
Taxes are HIGHER for a married couple making $100K each vs two single people.
Even health insurance is higher for a Family plan vs two Individual plans...
One bigger house that costs less then two smaller houses. One cable bill that costs less than two cables bills, etc., etc. etc.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by NAVigator » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:41 pm

The Wizard wrote:I do not plan to RE-marry for many of the aforementioned reasons. My divorce was after 23 years and two kids. We did a pro se mediated divorce with minimal lawyer involvement and a fairly accurate 50/50 asset split.
There was considerable TENSION initially about who would keep the house, but I prevailed.
I still consider the whole experience the worst disaster of my six decades on Earth so far.

While I was not devastated financially, I see no reason to remarry at this juncture.
Identical situation here. Married 20 years, two children. My promise remained unchanged - until death. She developed other plans. Highly recommend a mediation rather than hire lawyers to fight the war. This was the worst experience of my life and wouldn't risk it again.

Jerry
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:45 pm

I married for romantic reasons as did my wife. However, we were not blind to our finances either - we went into it with our eyes wide open. That said, we both agreed we would not have gotten married if one was in substantial hock with no career potential/ability to exit in a timely manner to allow for normal living.
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by bottlecap » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:55 pm

Being a Boglehead is not a reason to abstain from marriage. On the contrary, being a Boglehead simply means that one plans ahead and chooses a spousal allocation from the available pool of potential spouses narrowed by considering only those with no loads, low-expense ratios and especially low potential for turnover, which, as will all know, reduces long term returns.

Once we've found the perfect spousal allocation, we stay the course.

That's the way I did it anyway...

JT

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by trico » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:05 pm

I value companionship more than I value money. One can be replace and the other cannot. So I would give up all my money to keep my wife.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:13 pm

Any man who thinks that he will be able to screen his future wife for financial prudence should first read Dan Ariely's "Predictably Irrational". Go straight to Chapter 6, "The Influence of Arousal : Why Hot is Much Hotter Than We Realize."

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by The Wizard » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:16 pm

rrosenkoetter wrote:
The Wizard wrote:
mptfan wrote:You have ignored many of the financial benefits of marriage....
I think you have this backwards.
Consider just a couple, no kids.
Taxes are HIGHER for a married couple making $100K each vs two single people.
Even health insurance is higher for a Family plan vs two Individual plans...
One bigger house that costs less then two smaller houses. One cable bill that costs less than two cables bills, etc., etc. etc.
Yeah, well, but it's only money, right?
And lots of couples have a 2nd home someplace...
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by The Wizard » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:24 pm

trico wrote:I value companionship more than I value money. One can be replace and the other cannot. So I would give up all my money to keep my wife.
Easy to say until you've done it.
Try it some time and report back. :twisted:

I suspect in my case that if there were no kids involved and the ex-wife took off after 15 years or so that I would've "gotten over it" lots faster.
But we had a FAMILY situation, with both kids going into their teens. I think that was the big difference, to me...
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by HomerJ » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:31 pm

trico wrote:I value companionship more than I value money. One can be replace and the other cannot. So I would give up all my money to keep my wife.
Yeah but sometimes you lose the companionship AND the money.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by HomerJ » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:32 pm

The Wizard wrote:I suspect in my case that if there were no kids involved and the ex-wife took off after 15 years or so that I would've "gotten over it" lots faster.
But we had a FAMILY situation, with both kids going into their teens. I think that was the big difference, to me...
Yeah I don't think it's the money per se.

Putting kids in the mix is devastating. I don't how I would function if I could only see my kids every other weekend some like divorced dads... It might destroy me.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by brianH » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:37 pm

imagardener wrote:Married men live longer and healthier lives than unmarried men.
Even for men, this oft-quoted stat is largely false because it doesn't control for confounding variables. It also implies no causality: if I marry, I'll live longer. Men that don't marry may ride motorcycles or skydive more often, for example. The other far more troubling aspect of this for men is divorce. Divorce has been shown to be far more devastating for men from a health perspective. So, even if marriage had some positive aspect for mens' health (it doesn't), the risk of divorce has a massive downside. A bit like playing Russian roulette...

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by The Wizard » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:42 pm

rrosenkoetter wrote: Putting kids in the mix is devastating. I don't how I would function if I could only see my kids every other weekend some like divorced dads... It might destroy me.
Correct.
That being said, we're veering a bit off topic with the kid angle.
That's because even in 2012, I think that 90% of "responsible" couples who say they want kids will be (getting) married.
Even if you're one of those couples who don't marry but live together and have kids, you STILL have the same financial Child Support obligation. I'm pretty sure about this...
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:50 pm

The Wizard wrote:
rrosenkoetter wrote: Putting kids in the mix is devastating. I don't how I would function if I could only see my kids every other weekend some like divorced dads... It might destroy me.
Correct.
That being said, we're veering a bit off topic with the kid angle.
That's because even in 2012, I think that 90% of "responsible" couples who say they want kids will be (getting) married.
Even if you're one of those couples who don't marry but live together and have kids, you STILL have the same financial Child Support obligation. I'm pretty sure about this...
That is an accurate statement.
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interplanetjanet
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by interplanetjanet » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:17 pm

mptfan wrote:
AndroAsc wrote:Lastly, as a male, I cannot help but perceive the current legal system involving marriage to be favoring women. It's usually the guy who pay for alimony and child support and not the other way around.
That is not a reflection on the legal system, because the legal system is gender blind...that is a reflection on the reality that usually the husband makes more than the wife. You can easily avoid that issue by marrying someone who makes at least as much or more than you do. (Admittedly if they stop working after you get married, that presents a dilemma).
It's also a reflection, with child support, of who takes the most time with the children. Child support in most states is at least partially based on the amount of time each parent has physical custody of their children.

My own example - I am divorced and separated in 2008. My ex and I have essentially a 50/50 split of child custody, but because I make quite a bit more than him I pay alimony and child support. I didn't have to be forced to do this, it's just how the calculations came out (we worked out what it would take for him to be able to support them and filed everything without lawyers). I pay it gladly, though it is a major drain on my own finances it makes it possible for our children to have their basic needs taken care of, wherever they are at the moment.

-janet

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BigD53
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by BigD53 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:20 pm

Very simple advice: Don't do it. :lol:

(Once was enough for me. Never again.)

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by PreserveCapital » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:21 pm

How many Bogleheads do not marry and erroneously attribute the non-marital status to financial reasons?

(I suspect there might be a lot of "false positives" here.)

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by The Wizard » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:28 pm

interplanetjanet wrote: It's also a reflection, with child support, of who takes the most time with the children. Child support in most states is at least partially based on the amount of time each parent has physical custody of their children.

My own example - I am divorced and separated in 2008. My ex and I have essentially a 50/50 split of child custody, but because I make quite a bit more than him I pay alimony and child support...
-janet
Essentially the same as my situation through 2007, but no alimony.
We have guideline formulas here, so I computed the amount due to the ex if she had 100% custody and to me if I had 100% custody, then combined 50% of those two cash-flows. This was a complicated computation, over the heads of both the ex and the mediator.
Would have been nice for the final four years, while younger kid was away at college if the monthly $$$ I paid to the ex could have been paid to the COLLEGE instead, to reduce the loans incurred by the kid.
But the ex had grown FOND of her monthly entitlement check and said NO...
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by Barefootgirl » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:52 pm

I kind of have to snicker at these people who make comments suggesting that divorce can't/won't ever happen to them.

It's not one of those situations that you enter into expecting it to ever end, so I can bet that if you asked all the divorced people here if they were surprised, many would say yes.

In our current culture, no one is immune - regardless of college education, regardless of age, etc.

It takes two people to stay married, but only one to end it.

I prefer to focus on what I can control - only my own actions.

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William Million
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by William Million » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:05 pm

The purpose of being a Boglehead is to make correct financial decisions in order to better achieve our life goals, such as retirement, house, marriage, vacation, hobbies, kids, entertainment, etc. If you narrow the life goals by taking marriage/kids out of the equation, that doesn't make you more of a Boglehead. It's a personal lifestyle decision.

I earn more because of my wife. She helped me get my act together. You're not going to find many men in highly successful professional positions who have not been married.

You can certainly find happy people who never had kids. However, there's a reason so many people spend tons on fertility and adoption. We can quantify how much it costs to raise a kid. But we can't quantify how much we get out of the process.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by The Wizard » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:11 pm

William Million wrote:The purpose of being a Boglehead is to make correct financial decisions in order to better achieve our life goals, such as retirement, house, marriage, vacation, hobbies, kids, entertainment, etc. If you narrow the life goals by taking marriage/kids out of the equation, that doesn't make you more of a Boglehead. It's a personal lifestyle decision...
Yes it is.
But sometimes I think it's like walking along the edge of an empty swimming pool: thinks might go OK or (OOOPS!!!) they might not.
Bogleheads also talk about keeping an eye on RISK, so I think folks need to be informed about this area...
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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by confusedinaz » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:23 pm

imagardener wrote:Married men live longer and healthier lives than unmarried men.
Relevant excerpt from a recent study:

"We found that differences between marriage and cohabitation tend to be small and dissipate after a honeymoon period. Also while married couples experienced health gains -- likely linked to the formal benefits of marriage such as shared healthcare plans -- cohabiting couples experienced greater gains in happiness and self-esteem. For some, cohabitation may come with fewer unwanted obligations than marriage and allow for more flexibility, autonomy, and personal growth" said Musick.

I personally have avoided marriage primarily due to the potential risk and downsides mentioned in this thread. However, based on this study, I may be better off cohabiting than getting married anyway.

Link:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 101335.htm

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by yobria » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:49 pm

William Million wrote:You can certainly find happy people who never had kids. However, there's a reason so many people spend tons on fertility and adoption. We can quantify how much it costs to raise a kid. But we can't quantify how much we get out of the process.
I'd say 100 million years of evolution demanding we pass down our genes is the main reason people procreate. There's a reason so few people adopt, despite all the needy kids out there.

Nick

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by Rebecca_S » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:39 pm

AndroAsc wrote: I would hazard a guess that this makes 90% of the American population financially incompatible with the typical Bogleheads.
I believe I am emotionally, tempramentally and mentally incompatible for a long term relationship with 99.9% of people. That does not mean that marrying my spouse was a bad idea.
While our incomes currently subject us to a marriage tax penalty, we have had many financial benefits to our partnership and I can't imagine giving those up.

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Re: How many Bogleheads do not marry due to financial reason

Post by HomerJ » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:42 pm

yobria wrote:
William Million wrote:You can certainly find happy people who never had kids. However, there's a reason so many people spend tons on fertility and adoption. We can quantify how much it costs to raise a kid. But we can't quantify how much we get out of the process.
I'd say 100 million years of evolution demanding we pass down our genes is the main reason people procreate. There's a reason so few people adopt, despite all the needy kids out there.

Nick
I'm sure you understand the difference, but just to clarify, evolution doesn't demand anything... People who don't want kids remove themselves from the gene pool, so over time, naturally, people who want kids pass on that trait, and people who don't want kids don't pass on anything.

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