Marrying for Richer Rather than Poorer

February 9, 2011  |  

(Bankrate) — Money can’t buy love, but love may bring you money — if you’re married, that is. Though marriage has evolved from a strictly businesslike arrangement to a more romantic union, an official partnership can result in decidedly pragmatic benefits: increased wealth.  A study completed in 2005 by Jay Zagorsky at Ohio State University’s Center for Human Resource Research followed subjects for 15 years and found that being married increases an individual’s wealth above and beyond that of two single people.  Single study subjects accumulated about $11,000 of wealth after 15 years. People who got married, and stayed married, accumulated about $43,000 in 10 years of marriage.  One reason married couples accumulate wealth more easily than their single counterparts is that they have lower overhead. It costs less to maintain one household than two. Similarly, couples can take advantage of economies of scale that make buying for two more cost-effective than buying for one.  For instance, grocery shopping for one can be just as expensive as buying for two.  “Larger quantities are usually priced lower per unit than smaller quantities. This also usually applies to health and auto insurance. It is easier and cheaper to add another person to a policy than to take out a separate policy,” says Michael Greaney, CPA, of Equity Expansion International in Washington, D.C.

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