What Marriage (And Remarriage) Has To Do With Money

Pew has presented us with some really interesting new data about marriage, remarriage, and money. For instance, thanks to increased life expectancy and, one could argue, irrepressible optimism, more people are re-marrying than ever.

All told, four in 10 new marriages in the U.S. last year involved at least one partner who had been previously married, Pew said. Eight percent of newly married adults had been married three times or more. The findings highlight a long-standing trend toward remarriage, driven by climbing divorce levels as well as increased life expectancy — which gives Americans more time to form and dissolve unions over their lives.

Only 70% of U.S. adults have ever gotten married, compared with 85% in 1960, and yet divorced or widowed Americans are roughly as likely to remarry now as they were 50 years ago (57% of them had in 2013, compared with 56% in 1960).

Whether Americans remarry or not matters because marriage is correlated with financial well-being. Some 7% of remarried adults live in poverty, compared with 19% of divorced adults. The median annual personal income of remarried adults is about $30,000, $5,000 higher than for divorced adults.

That more men than women are remarrying suggests at least some of these divorced or widowed men are marrying women who have never been married — and who are probably younger. … Education, income and race matter too. About 9% of newlyweds with just a high-school diploma have been married at least 3 times. Newlyweds with a bachelor’s degree or more? Only 5%.

Basically getting married again is correlated with staying afloat, money-wise. It’s also correlated with being a (wealthy) dude.

Men are more likely to remarry or want to than women, 65% to 43%, which jives with everything we know about how marriage contributes to male well-being while making women wonder they’ve been sold a bill of goods. Maybe they also have more time and money to date while women are preoccupied with suddenly being single working mothers?

And yet, if they can get married again, it seems like they probably should? Because re-marriage for women is correlated with a number of positives, whereas uggghhhhh staying divorced for a woman can spell d i s a s t e r: “in the first year after divorce, the wife’s standard of living may drop almost 27 percent while the husband’s may increase by as much as 10 percent.”

Pick your source. They all say the basically same thing. According to Marie Claire, “women’s quality of life drops 45 percent after divorce.” According to the Social Security Administration, divorced women do not fare well, especially as they age.

20 percent of divorced women aged 65 or older live in poverty, compared with 18 percent of never-married women and 15 percent of widowed women. Differences in poverty rates are even larger at the oldest ages — 22 percent of divorced women aged 80 or older are poor, compared with only 17 percent of never-married women and 15 percent of widowed women (SSA 2010).

What’s that? No more depressing statistics; instead you’d appreciate some tips from Fox News about how to keep your husband happy so he won’t divorce you? (Which is bullshit anyway since women instigate a significant majority of divorces?) Why, here you go!

the rules of polite, kind, nice conversation that women try to follow often come off as indirect, manipulative and mysterious to men. Women often conclude that their husbands don’t care because they haven’t changed after a particular conversation. The solution: learn communication skills designed specifically to talk with men and spend more time doing fun activities.

Or you could get re-married to a woman this time. Someone who isn’t turned off by “polite, kind, nice conversation.” Sounds like a better answer to me.

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