Post image for Why Marriage Really Isn’t Obsolete

Why Marriage Really Isn’t Obsolete

by Guest on January 5, 2011

The Pew Research Center recently released a new study that details some interesting and potentially alarming facts. The survey, performed in association with Time, found that among the 2,691 Americans polled, nearly four in 10 believe marriage is becoming obsolete.

Notwithstanding the obvious ethical and spiritual value of marriage, the union of man and wife has long been considered a financial strategy as well. So why do a majority of today’s adults view marriage as a dying trend and what are the financial implications of such a belief?

Financial Benefits of Marriage

Among the numerous advantages to getting married, such as showing commitment to the one you love and providing your children with a stable two-parent household, there are plenty more financial pros to getting hitched:

Tax Deductions: Married taxpayers who file jointly have the opportunity to share benefits like tax deductions for dependents and mortgage payments.

No Estate or Gift Tax: The tax benefits don’t end there. Unlike gifting or leaving an inheritance of sizable value to family members, giving to your spouse is exempt from taxation.

Affordable Benefits: Instead of paying single policy premiums for things like health insurance, families can enjoy reduced rates for group coverage.

Social Security: In the event the husband or wife dies, the surviving spouse is entitled to their partner’s Social Security benefits if they are higher than their own.

Why Marriage Is Considered “Obsolete”

According to the study, 29 percent of children under the age of 18 are living with an unmarried parent or parents–15 percent of whom have divorced parents. Could this be the reason marriage is becoming less popular?

Perhaps grown children have taken a step toward social change and don’t want to repeat their parents’ mistakes by entering into a marriage for the wrong reasons. After all, 67 percent of survey participants are optimistic about the future of marriage and family, so the value of marriage hasn’t changed much. It seems the difference lies in why people choose to get married or remain single.

Marrying for Love, Not Stability

Economic stability has often been a top factor in prompting couples to tie the knot. Interestingly enough, however, those polled in the study who earn under $30,000 per year and/or have a high school education or less were the most likely to view marriage as a dying institution. This means that today’s adults who are most vulnerable to financial struggles are the least likely to get married. Apparently, people don’t marry for money anymore.

In fact, money is the least common reason for marriage. According to ABC News, the reasons respondents cited for getting married are as follows:

  • 93 percent: Love
  • 87 percent: Making a lifelong commitment
  • 81 percent: Companionship
  • 59 percent: Having children
  • 31 percent: Financial stability

These findings can be viewed as both positive and negative. On one hand, the all-important institution of marriage seems to be on a downturn with those who aren’t already divorced opting out all together.

Yet, there is a spark of hope because those who do get hitched are doing so for all the right reasons, not simply to balance the household budget.

Perhaps this new trend in thinking will not lead to the decline of marriage after all, but rather a new version of it with a lower divorce rate and happier couples.

This guest post was written by Casey Bond from Go Banking Rates, a website that brings you informative personal finance content and helpful tools, as well as the best interest rates on financial services nationwide. Follow them on Twitter at @GoBankingRates.

Google+ Comments

Related Posts