There has been a lot of discussion lately about whether marriage is preferable to an LTR. Over a series of posts I’d like to unpack the reasons why marriage is the *primary** female goal over and above any other relationship structure. This is not to say that other types of relationships are bad or don’t work for the people involved. But I want us all to be clear on what we are gaining or losing from the various life choices available to the Red Pill Woman.*
As a note: not every RP man *wants** marriage, and marriage does come with some risk, for both men and women. The purpose of vetting is to sift through men that are incompatible. No RPW should be trying to ‘lock down’ a man that is not at least open to the idea of marriage. No one here should specifically be targeting a man that comments on a RP sub either. It is important to understand the potential drawbacks of marriage from the male perspective, which makes these topics even more important to consider in the cold light of day. While I will certainly touch on areas where men benefit, my focus is to suss out the best strategy for women, regardless of whether or not it is the best strategy for all men. It is the responsibility of every man that wishes to avoid marriage, and no one can ever force another to marry. It is up to each couple to put all of the information together and decide what is best for them.*
Marriage provides financial benefits that are immediate (in the form of taxes), intermediate (how money is managed and saved) and long term (retirement and death benefits). I’ll touch on each. I’m only considering the financial benefits of a lifetime marriage and not addressing divorce in this post.
I’m focusing on the US in this post - the rules and regulations are different in each country and right now I’m only speaking for the place I know best.
There are a few areas of life where the cost will immediately decrease upon marriage. The benefit of this is obvious. If your taxes are lower and your bills are lower, you will have more money to either spend, save or pay down debt. This is minimal for some and more marked for others.
First: the tax code is setup to promote marriage and children. Simply by having “the piece of paper” and keeping everything else equal, your taxes will decrease. If you’ve ever looked at the tax tables (and I don’t know why you would) you can see that after $9,500 in taxable income, the taxes owed change based on whether you are single, married or head of household. Here is one way that plays out:
If an LTR couple each makes $75,000 & $25,000 per year they will each owe $14,528 & $3,290 in taxes. So as a LTR household they would be paying $17,818 to the government that year.
If a married man (sole breadwinner) makes $100,000 he will owe $16,536 per year.
If a married couple makes $75,000 & $25,000 per year, their household income is the same as the LTR but their taxes are $16,536 - the same as the sole breadwinner.
This may seem like a negligible amount but we’re looking at the taxes in the most simplistic way possible. The larger the discrepancy in income between spouses, the more marked a difference marriage makes. Tax credits and deductions are also impacted (usually positively) with marriage.
Also, a household can save more money into accounts that will lower their tax burden than single people can.
Other immediate financial impacts: all types of insurance costs decrease with marriage. Auto is of course the big one that most people are aware of. There can also be decreases in other types of insurance such as homeowner's or long term care (when you are older). Your health insurance options open up since both partners can be covered under one plan. This may or may not lead to a decrease but it certainly leads to more flexibility.
Marriage is currently one of the best indicators of lifetime success. If you follow the sequence: graduate HS, work, marry, have children you have a 97% likelihood that you will not be poor by the time you enter your 30s.1. The same study shows that among millennials the highest income levels are 1. Married and childless 2. Married and had children once married 3. Divorced with no kids 4. Never married and childless.
Where feminism complains of a ‘marriage penalty’ for women in the workforce, there is no disagreement that married men have on average higher incomes (a marriage premium) than their unmarried peers by about $15,900 annually. The marriage penalty is not entirely helpful either, as married women have family incomes around 73% higher than the unmarried ladies.2.
Finally, married couples tend to be about 4 times more wealthy than their unmarried counterparts. Some of the reasons for this will benefit a LTR couple as well - if you are living together you have two people paying for one dishwasher. But many cohabitating couples do not combine resources the way that married couples do, which decreases the benefits of the dual income. People who get married (and stay married) will each have about 2 times the wealth of someone who has never been married.3
Retirement and Beyond
I’m using ‘wife’ and ‘husband’ but the following is true regardless of gender unless noted.
If you are able to generate more wealth, as noted above, you will certainly be on track for a better retirement than someone with fewer assets. However, it goes beyond wealth generation. When Social Security was established, more women were SAHMs and worked little if ever. The system therefore determined that a wife is entitled to SS benefits as long as her husband worked. Even now if she works it is still possible that she will be able to claim a higher benefit against her partner's earnings. This is true in the case of divorce as well. Finally, when her husband dies, the wife is able to collect his benefits if his SS is greater than hers.
Pensions also tend to provide options that will provide for the remaining spouse when her partner dies. This benefit is not available to anyone but your spouse.
Money can be inherited or gifted between spouses with no penalties, limits or death taxes. Money can be inherited by a LTR partner but a portion will be lost to taxation. The wife will receive a larger sum of money upon the death of her husband than a GF upon the death of her BF.
If you are planning to be in a lifetime LTR there are certain legal steps that can be taken to mitigate the longer term impacts of not being married. This is what same sex couples did until the States started to put same sex marriage on the books. It is worthwhile to note that the statistics I’ve referenced show the most likely scenarios; there are going to be outliers there. Taxes and pension benefits, on the other hand, do not have the same sorts of workarounds and an LTR is almost always going to be at a disadvantage in those situations.
Next Week: But I don’t have to get married to have a baby…