What is the FINANCIAL Case Against Marriage?


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“Two can live as cheaply as one.”

This old saying is mostly true. However, when it comes to death, divorce, and taxes; two people are probably better off financially if they don’t marry. Intentionally or not, many federal and state laws reward couples who choose to live together without marriage.

So - What is the FINANCIAL Case Against Marriage?

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Dr. David E. M
21 months ago

2 answers


I view this question as a "red herring" in that the basis for marriage isn't financial, but fundamentally relational and a form of submission to the way God ordained family life and establishing a life and legacy that blesses future generations. The discussion around financial drivers for marriage are inherently selfish and made increasingly topical only because we have an intrusive government attempting to behave as a substitute "head of the household" that creates many financial wrinkles to complicate and discourage the enduring, resilient family commitment we're all called to.

Don Barefoot
21 months ago
Well, OK - Dr. David E. 21 months ago

Insurance and Tax Examples

My colleague Rick Kahler CFP, alerted me and  suggests that laws relating to Worker’s Compensation insurance are one example of this.

Someone whose spouse has died in a work-related accident may be eligible to receive a monthly benefit, paid for the rest of his or her life. However, most state laws provide that the benefits end if the recipient remarries. This puts a real cost to remarrying.


Consider as an example a woman who at age 50 loses her husband to a work-related accident and receives a settlement of $2,000 a month for life. Assuming she will live another 35 years and could invest the proceeds in a 3% bond, the present value of that income stream is $520,000.

That means a person would need $520,000, invested at 3%, to give a monthly income of $2,000 for 35 years.

Therefore, if this woman fell in love and wanted to remarry two years into receiving the payments, the remaining 33 years of monthly payments she would forfeit has a value of $502,000. This puts a rather quantifiable cost on one’s social, emotional, and religious values.

Dr. David E. M
21 months ago

Have some input?