Friday, October 9, 2009

Marry for money.

Marrying well is the smartest financial decision I ever made. Didn't know it at the time though. Young Army privates first class in 1967 earned $38.85 a week and received $12.25 for additional food and housing expenses if we were married. My bride is a saver, and squeaking money out of that income stream boded well for the next 40+ years.

But there is a lot of research out there that shows married people, and especially men, become wealthier than singles. One study finds the difference is as much as 27 percent. The researchers cheerfully admit they don't know why.

Thinking back over nearly 300 families and financial plans I've written about in The Kansas City Star Money Makeover series, I believe there's a bigger question. How? Some University of Michigan research earlier this year found that, as love would have it, tightwads and spendthrifts tend to marry each other. Opposites attract, or as research Scott Rick suggests, people look for partners without personality tics they don't like having themselves.

There's a ton of well meant advice out there about talking to your partner to head off money fights. Or you can learn ways to arrange your finances to keep peace. Good luck with that. Love may be eternal, but so it seems is the leading cause of married arguments - money.

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