Marriage-ology

the study of marriage

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Stay married to build wealth, divorce and lose wealth

A study published in the Journal of Sociology by Ohio State University researcher Jay Zagorsky reveals that individuals who get married and stay married have a net worth almost twice as great as those who are single or divorced.

From a CNN/Money article:

Zagorsky, who looked at a group of about 9,000 young baby boomers aged 41 to 49, found that married individuals accumulated net worths that were 93 percent higher than single or divorced individuals. And married individuals tended to experience average wealth increases of 16 percent annually.

Single and divorced people accumulated wealth more slowly than married ones, with 8% and 14% annual increases respectively, according to the study.

Married individuals fared better building wealth, according to Zagorsky, primarily because they share expenses and may have two incomes.

And from a news article here on the study:
  • Those who divorce lose on average, three-fourths of their personal net worth.
  • People who divorced started losing net worth four years before their divorces were final. That could be because they had separated before divorcing, forcing them to support two households.
  • Men fared better than women after divorce, holding about 2.5 times the wealth. That's a difference of $5,124.

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