Promoting marriage improves the economic situation for families, communities, and nations. Families are the core unit of any society culturally and economically. When the family is strong, the community and nation are strong, and the community and nation suffer when the family falls apart. Since every family should begin with marriage, it makes sense – and cents – to promote marriage.
The wisdom in promoting marriage does not come from this writer. All who have studied the social science of marriage know this to be true, and the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index have facts to prove it.
Buying a home and getting married, the two most common life experiences of U.S. investors, also rank among the top three for having a positive rather than negative effect on investors’ personal financial situations. This combination positions marriage and homeownership as the leading positive life events for most investors.
The index has many figures that show homeownership and marriage to be the two most important life events for a person’s portfolio. The birth of a child ranks third in importance on the index. Eighty-four percent of investors have purchased a home, eighty percent of them are married, and sixty-two percent of them have a child. So, this ranking makes sense. Homeownership brings responsibility and stability to one’s life, and most people wait to purchase a home until after marriage and particularly when children join the family unit. Therefore, one can make the determination that marriage and family have a great influence on the financial wellbeing of both people and their portfolios.
The statistics from the index do not show a bright future for coming generations. Millions of the rising generation put off marriage until their late 30s to mid-40s - or they never marry. Many of them have massive college debt and continue to live with their parents after graduating from college in order to pay off student loans. They feel that they cannot afford to get married. An editorial in Meridian Magazine explains why this is a bad decision.
When they do [get married], it confirms what groups like FRC have said for years. When people get married, they have a greater appreciation for social stability. Then, when those same couples buy a home, they become more aware of the factors that drive the economy and taxes. History – and most statistical data – also shows that young people tend to become more religious as they grow up, get married, and start families of their own. The growing pains of young adulthood usually translate to more thoughtful cultural engagement after they take on more responsibility. That’s importance since “the intact married family that worships weekly is the greatest generator of human and social positive outcomes.”
Studies about families and economics show that there is economic value in promoting marriage and families. Parents and other leaders would be wise to promote marriage and children – in that order – and homeownership. By doing so, families, communities, and nations are stronger.