Many of us get married because we are in love. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage,” says Lao Tsu. But not all loving relationships lead to marriage.
If you are in a loving relationship and you and your partner are ready to take the next step, here is one more good reason marriage is a much better option than cohabitation: a new study published by the Journal of Financial Planning shows couples who cohabitate have lower net worth and financial asset accumulation than married couples.
Cohabitation, living with someone with whom you are romantically involved outside of marriage, is common for many couples, especially among the millennial generation, who have assumed large college debt. Many couples view cohabitation either as a path that leads to marriage or as an alternative to traditional marriage. Through cohabitation, couples can spend more time with each other, pool financial resources, and test their relationship. If the relationship doesn’t work out, cohabitation can be more easily and cheaply dissolved than marriage.
But because cohabitation can be easily dissolved, the study finds that those who “have cohabited many times may be less interested in long-term planning and more interested in current consumption in the form of non-financial assets such as furniture…and they are less willing to invest in long-term asset accumulation, such as the purchase of a home and saving financial assets for retirement.”