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Family and Life


The Urban Institute has issued a report stating the Millennial generation will have the lowest rates of marriage by age 40 than any previous generation. The report contemplates a variety of reasons for this shift, including a reduced role of marriage in a family household and the effects of the latest recession. But what does this mean for the financial future of today’s young mostly-singles?

Marriage certainly affects a couple’s finances. In many states in this country, certain effects are unavoidable by law. Nine states have community property laws, and in those states any money earned by either spouse or any property purchased bought by either spouse from money earned, if that money was earned while married, is owned equally by both spouses. But as a whole, this law doesn’t change the financial situation of the couple. If between two people cohabiting, the combined annual income is $150,000, that’s the case whether they’re married or not, whether they combine their bank accounts or not.

There may be some subtle differences. A non-married couple may need to buy separate health insurance, despite the fact that more frequently, employers consider non-married couples “domestic partnerships” and cover a domestic partner, regardless of the sex of the partner. Yet, if a partner is not covered automatically, health insurance for the family could be more expensive.

That, in itself, does not seem a strong enough reason for a researcher to make this argument, as she does in a news article about the Urban Institute’s report:

“The evidence shows that getting married increases wealth and income,” said Pamela Smock, a sociology professor at the University of Michigan.

Why would the act of getting married cause an increase of wealth and income? It may be true that wealthier people and those with higher incomes are more likely to get married in the first place, but that’s not what this researcher is saying. She is saying that marriage, independent of all other variables, not only correlates to higher wealth and income, but is a direct cause. I looked at the researcher’s list of recent publications, and did not see any articles or books focusing on wealth and income, those she has researched cohabitation extensively.

Marriage has a detrimental effect on an individual’s long-term wealth, and here are some of the more obvious reasons.

Couples who get married are more likely to have weddings. Weddings can be, but aren’t always, expensive events. Even otherwise frugal people are driven to spend more money than they could to make a memory for themselves and their families that matches the dreams they’ve had. Even with the best do-it-yourself wedding efforts, couples find weddings to be significant expenses that take resources away from other priorities, and in the worst case, pile onto already unmanageable debt.

A couple that decides not to get married can certainly opt to hold a ceremony to celebrate their togetherness, bringing friends and family together for a joyous occasion, but many do not. And if a lack of financial resources is one of the reasons to indefinitely delay a wedding, it wouldn’t make sense to hold a similar celebration for cohabitation.

I see nothing wrong with weddings, but I’d just like to encourage people to continue to think about their future financial security while planning them.

Couples who get married are more likely to have children. More and more, I’m seeing friends and family and their spouses opt to skip having children, and this reflects a national trend. And it must be related to what I’ve already mentioned in this article — as fewer Millennials get married before age 40, fewer choose to have children, even though there has been an increase of children born to couples who are not married.

Children are wonderful, and that’s what you’ll discover if you have children or if you ask any parent (who’s not dealing with a temper tantrum at that particular moment). But that doesn’t change the fact that children are expensive. The cost to raise a child to the age of eighteen can be $200,000 or more — and for most middle-class Americans, that’s going to be a gross understatement. Add any kind of prevalent developmental disability, like autism, and that total will skyrocket. And double your estimate if you plan to have two children.

Is it our duty to populate the world? Well, according to some beliefs, it is. But the choice to have children has a direct, measurable effect on the financial situation of a couple over the long-term, and it’s not positive. That’s not to say it’s a bad decision to have children; not all decisions in life rely on the financial outcome. In fact, the same people who propose the value of an education should be based solely on the return on investment seem to forget their dedication to that approach when you ask them whether their children have provided them with a good ROI.

Couples who get married are more likely to get divorced. This, and the other points above, should be obvious. No marriage means no possibility for divorce, and divorces are notoriously devastating for a couple’s finances, particularly when a couple has gotten into the habit of having only one adult bringing in an income. Add a child (or two or seven) to the mix, and a divorce can drive individuals to bankruptcy.

Unmarried households may be more transient, less permanent, but that doesn’t hold true for every couple. But overall, without marriage and an intertwining of finances, unraveling a relationship doesn’t have to mean there are any devastating financial consequences. There are fewer arguments over property, because all has always been owned by one partner or the other.

Where is the evidence that marriage increases wealth and income?

One potential reason a marriage might increase wealth and income is because of its status as a rite of passage. Despite changing society, many people feel that marriage is a necessary marker along life’s path, one that indicates a move towards an important stage of adulthood. And marriage, as well as having children, forces people to grow up. Maturing as an adult also means taking a more considered approach towards family finances. The stakes in a marriage are higher. You have more people to take care of, officially, and thus you are inclined to work harder at providing for your family.

And other people see this. It’s reflected in the attitude that one displays, consciously or not. Married men are more likely to get raises, promotions, and job offers, but married women are less likely to be awarded the same. Although society is changing, in married couples, men are more likely to have a job than women. These statistics play out in such a way that being married is good for a family’s economy.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that marriage automatically makes a man be more employable or have a higher earning potential; it could be that some men are both more likely to get married and more likely to be more employable, with some other variable having the biggest influence. But studies have shown that all other things being equal, if a supervisor infers that a man is married, he is more likely to be chosen for a positive career decision than if there is no inference.

In order to claim that getting married increases wealth and income, this employment bias would need to override the financial detriments listed above. Here’s how survivorship bias plays into this study, and will help make it seem like marriage is in fact better for a family’s wealth and income: couples who are divorced and remain so, and are therefore no longer married, disappear from the statistics. In other words, all the financial devastation brought on by divorce is missing from the data. This filter allows an interpretation that could be far from the truth. Even though most people getting divorced do in fact remarry, that marriage might occur after divorce-related financial problems, making that second marriage appear to be a good financial move.

Like any other research pertaining to families and finances, we all want vindication that we’ve made good choices. So it’s somewhat natural for married people to seek out data that validates the idea that marriage is a good financial move. College graduates want to believe that attending college (and attending their specific type of college, whether it’s Ivy League or a community college) was a good idea. We all seek out confirmation that the choices we make are good.

The path not traveled will always remain a hypothetical, though. Let’s all feel good about our choices, because there’s always the possibility that life and finances would have been much worse had the decision been different.

If you are or were married, has your marriage definitely resulted in more wealth and income? Whether or not you’re married, has the prospect for a better financial life influenced your decision?

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On Father’s Day, I visited my dad, who is in the process of moving out of the house he has shared with his long-time girlfriend for the past thirteen or so years; she had been living in the house for about forty years, if I remember correctly. We met at the house, which was clear of almost all of its furniture, and walked into town.

Maplewood is a township in New Jersey with a cute downtown area, with several good restaurants and shops. There’s a convenient train to New York City. It’s not a cheap place to live, though. In 2011, the mean price for detached houses in the township was $570,158, and property taxes are typical for New Jersey. In other words, high.

We walked to one of the restaurants, St. James Gate Publick House, for a Father’s Day dinner and proceeded to talk about life. To provide some context for the reader, I think my father and I have a good relationship. We’re not particularly close, but we check in with each occasionally and I take some time to visit him several times throughout the year. My parents were divorced around the turn of the millennium, but each has been in a committed relationship with their current partners for a long time.

The photograph you see here is from when I was about six months old.

I don’t normally write about my family on Consumerism Commentary. I started this website in 2003 to talk very candidly about my finances, and because of this type of exposure, I wanted to remain anonymous. And I’m still anonymous to a degree. Because I put a high value on my privacy, except for my finances until a certain point, I respect the privacy of people in my life. But I think it’s safe to share some aspects of the discussions within my family that could have an effect on me or other people who may be in similar situations.

The first thing I learned pertains to retirement. I actually already know the things that I “learned” during our discussion, but hearing from or observing one’s father can have a more direct impact than harboring any particular piece of knowledge intellectually.

Don’t wait until retirement to live your life.

Now, my father has not waited until retirement to do many activities that he would enjoy. Even when he was young, he was exploring his world, with bike-riding trips, camping with friends, and cross-country road trips. Later in life, he embarked on cruises to Europe.

He’s several years beyond the traditional age of retirement now, but he’s only now starting to pull back his hours. He’s considering continuing to consult in retirement as well — not because he needs the money, but primarily because he’s not sure how he’ll be spending his time in retirement. To complicate the matter, I found out last year that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The symptoms are being controlled well by medication now, but physically — and this can apply to anyone as the years advance, anyway — he can’t handle the same activities he had handled well in the past.

There are many things I’d still like to do, mostly regarding traveling and experiencing the world. There’s little holding me back right now other than myself. Personally, although I put pressure on myself to work, the reality is that I don’t need to. If I wanted to take a few months and travel, financially, it is possible. It takes some planning, and perhaps that is what is stopping me. Another barrier is that most people I know do have to work, and that makes it difficult to have a traveling companion.

I could be living an exciting life right now — so I need to start figuring out how to make that happen before I get old.

Your education, regardless of your career path, is worthwhile.

But my dad might disagree. With my parents’ encouragement, I pursued a music education degree as an undergraduate. Entering the degree probably, although I was apprehensive about the big changes moving to campus would bring, I was passionate and dedicated to the idea of my calling to be a music teacher in a high school. I expected I would follow the typical career path of a teacher who was looking to be effective with students as well as experience career development; I expected to eventually move from teaching to administration.

It turns out I didn’t like the public school environment and moved away from the teaching field. The passion hasn’t fully left me — I recently began teaching rhythm to a group of special needs children, and find it very rewarding. Nevertheless, my life took a different path. I am, however, thankful for the education, and I think that the courses I took in college helped prepare for being a leader in the field in which I work.

My father considers my education to have been a waste of time, and doesn’t understand why I am currently giving back to my university community. Perhaps he read Matt Yglesias’s article in Slate dissuading alumni from financially supporting greedy universities. After all, these are organizations that are generally cash-rich and favor students who can afford the high cost to attend the schools. But my alma mater is not an Ivy League school and is not “well-endowed;” it is a private university while also a land-grant college; most of the funding for its programs comes from private money, yet it has the misfortune of having a public charter.

Not that any of this really matters — the bottom line is that I experienced an unfairness while I was pursuing a minor. I was required to take, and pay for, a credit course representing a non-profit internship. I was paying the university tuition so that I could work for an organization for free. I did receive a benefit — I ended up working full-time for the organization where I had the internship (though that may have been a bad idea anyway). This situation helped predicate my spiral into financial despair, all of which resulted in my life-changing run as the founder of this site, which I successfully sold several years ago. So it’s not all bad.

I’ve been giving back to my university in several ways.

  • I’ve established a stipend to help one student each year pay his or her bills while pursuing a required internship, opening up more opportunities for someone who might not be able to afford to take the best opportunity available, even if it is in an area with a higher cost of living.
  • I’ve been back to campus to address aspiring entrepreneurs in a speaker series. I can guarantee the students did not hear a story like mine before or after my visit.
  • I signed up to meet with high school students who are interested in the University of Delaware, particularly those interested in pursuing arts-related degrees, to share my experiences with the university and with life.
  • I am now a member-at-large on the alumni association’s Board of Directors.
  • I’ve been invited to be on a panel of Department of Music alumni to better prepare students for life after college.

I don’t see any problem with giving back to my university, even though they certainly received a lot of funds in the form of tuition from me (and my parents). Would my father had been happier if I had pursued an engineering degree, like him, and had a career path that took advantage of the specific education that degree would provide? Perhaps, but I think things worked out fine.

One of the reasons I’ve avoided being involved with the university since my graduation is the fact that my life has taken such a strange turn and I’m not doing what I intended when I was in school — teaching music. And I do feel quite a bit separated from the friends, students and professors, I had made while in college. But I’m really excited about getting involved again, and I think it will become a worthwhile piece of my life, and something I can be proud of.

Not everyone will have children or a family of his own.

One day while in college, someone who knew me well looked at me and said, “You’re going to make a great father.” Today is almost twenty years since that moment, and I still haven’t proven her right or wrong. I’m thirty-eight years old, and I don’t have a family I thought I might have had by now. It’s really my own fault; although my relationships tend to be long-term, I’ve never “settled down.” Today, I’m in a relationship that’s still relatively new, and things are going well despite the distance between us.

During our dinner, my father suggested that maybe I just won’t have a family of my own. There’s nothing wrong with that path, and single people live their lives just as well as married folks, and in many cases, they live better, more complete lives. You can’t really generalize; every individual is different. Having a child now means I’ll be no younger than 56 when he or she graduates high school.

I can’t really look back and say that I wish I had children ten years ago; my life was in a vastly different situation at that time.

There are two choices — decide to change and actively make choices to put that change into effect, or come to terms and learn to enjoy the current situation.

Even if I disagree with my father in some respects, our discussion gave me a few things to think about. It’s good to have these discussions once in a while. At the end of dinner, to which I treated him, we walked back to the house he’d soon be moving away from. I was then on my way back to my own home, an apartment where I just renewed the lease for another year (with a break-away option) with more to think about.

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This story has all the makings of something viral. It fits right in with our fascination with people doing things that normal Americans wouldn’t even consider doing. We gawk at reality television shows and follow the stories about their stars, like the recent news about the couple from the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” show who recently pleaded guilty to fraud. This story has the added element of millennial-shaming. We like stories when a young individual upholds the generally-held stereotype of entitlement.

If the judge doesn’t throw out the suit from the beginning, some of the facts will eventually come out. But from media reports, it appears that the eighteen-year-old Rachel Canning, identifying herself as a cheerleader and an honor student, willfully left home after not wanting to live by her parents’ rules. These rules included contributing to household order through chores, obeying an eleven o’clock curfew, and breaking up with a boyfriend who didn’t meet the parents’ approval. The girl moved out to live with her friend’s family — and the father in this friend’s household is funding the suit.

The parents, who had been saving some money for their child’s college education, are now refusing to cover the tuition for the expensive college the girl would like to attend and to pay the remaining balance for her enrollment in a private high school.

The story, traveling quickly across the internet, is giving millions of readers the opportunity to ridicule her as a product of the Millennial generation.

I’d like to say that the situation has an obvious eventual conclusion. The child, when she voluntary moved out of her parents’ house after turning eighteen years of age to avoid their rules, signaled that she intended to live without their support. And in fact, she could do just that by switching to public school, getting a job, and if she likes, paying for her own education at a less expensive college. The student, however, is determined to have her parents continue supporting her and her life choices.

The young adult made her own choice and should have to live with the consequences, and those consequences, like forfeiture of support, seemed to be pretty clear from the beginning.

But because this is in New Jersey, the case might have some merit. The courts in this state have ruled in the past that parents are still responsible for supporting their children after the age of eighteen if a child cannot support his or herself. There may not be a reason to think a bright and talented student wouldn’t be able to support herself if she wanted, but working for a living and paying one’s own way through college isn’t as convenient as having living expenses covered by one’s parents. A court will probably have to decide whether the young woman can support herself in the manner to which she’s accustomed. Given that a court in Texas recently that “affluenza” is a reasonable defense, there’s no telling what might happen in court in New Jersey.

Parents have no legal obligation to pay for their children’s higher education expenses. The ability for a child or young adult to receive a college education for free is not a right or entitlement. It’s great when parents can contribute to their children’s education, and I’ve benefited from parental financial assistance for (and after) college. I would never in a million years consider financial support from my parents to be an expectation after the age of eighteen, but I hope to be able to help my children afford the education they want when and if I have children.

But this isn’t charity. When I offer to help pay for college, there will be conditions. The parents involved in this lawsuit are free to require their child to exhibit appropriate behavior in order to receive support, even beyond the age of eighteen. Unless the parents invested the money set aside for college education in the daughter’s name, it would take a court’s decision to force the parents to pay that money. The funds for the private high school education might be different; if the parents signed a contract to pay the tuition, they might have to pay, regardless of the living situation.

A just judge should recognize that the student could easily finish her high school career in a public high school, and private school tuition should be seen as an extra, not a baseline requirement.

What do you think about this story? Does the eighteen-year-old have a case against her parents? Should the parents continue to support her after she refused to live by their rules and voluntarily moved out of the house? What would it have taken for you to sue your parents when you were eighteen?

Update: In the initial hearing the judge did not throw out the case but expressed concern about setting a precedent in which parents would be afraid to set rules of the house. The judge refused an emergency order for the parents to begin paying the teen $600 a week. A hearing on April 22 will determine more.

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Since before the recession, an increasing number of mothers say they’d like to work full-time. The Pew Research Center analyzed new data from the U.S. Census Bureau and conducted a survey to discover this and other family financial dynamic trends.

In 2007, 20% of mothers called full-time employment their ideal situation, while by 2012, that number increased to 32%. Over the same period, the percentage of mothers who would like not to work at all decreased from 29% to 20%.

The new report contains a variety of interesting statistics like the above. While just over half of all respondents, including men and women, say that children are better off with a mother who stays home without a job, only 8% believe that a father’s staying home with children has a positive effect. If I were a father, I might take offense that society considers full-time parenting ineffectual or even negative in the development of children.

The report results seem to confirm that most Americans maintain traditional beliefs about parental roles while reluctantly accepting that society has been changing around them.

Pew Research also analyzes the trend of single mothers.

On the topic of single mothers, most Americans (64%) say that this growing trend is a “big problem”; however, the share who feel this way is down from 71% in 2007. Also,
young adults are less concerned than older adults about the trend. About four-in-ten adults under age 30 (42%) view it as a big problem, compared with 65% of those in their 30s and 40s and 74% of adults who are 50 and older.

The public’s opinions about unmarried mothers also differ by party affiliation and race. Republicans (78%) are more likely than Democrats (51%) or independent voters (65%) to say that the growing number of children born to unwed mothers is a big problem. Whites are more likely than non-whites to view it as a big problem (67% vs. 56%). The views of men and women on this issue are the same.

When mothers are the primary income sources in a household with children under the age of 18, 63% of the time, they are single mothers. Otherwise, they are women who earn more than their partners. In total, mothers earn the primary income — or the only income — in 40% of all households with children. That’s a dramatic shift over the past half-century; in 1960, only 10% of households with children consisted of mothers as breadwinners.

New parents are faced with this critical question. Who stays home with children? The household situation could have an important effect on the emotional development of a child, and conscientious parents can find themselves struggling with determining an answer to the question. And when the discussion comes up, statistics offered by surveys such as this Pew Research Study aren’t helpful, because every situation feels unique.

What support do you have?

Having family and close friends nearby helps. With grandparents available to help once in a while, new parents will, in theory, be less stressful as they adjust to life with their first child. Saving the cost of a babysitter is one benefit, but the emotional support from family members, close in both physical and emotional proximity, can make it easier for a couple to decide to be working parents. That’s particularly if the financials determine that both parents need to generate incomes to avoid financial problems due to the increasing cost of raising kids.

Having a wide network of support also helps from a daily expense perspective. Close family and friends can help provide some of the materials you’ll need as new parents as hand-me-downs. It seems that inheriting clothes from family friends or children wearing the same clothes their older siblings wore has fallen out of favor recently. It may because, relatively to incomes, clothing is a lot less expensive now than in prior generations. But cribs, car seats, strollers, and other baby needs are more expensive, and young families can benefit from items that have been used by friends and family.

Do your children have special needs?

Sometimes life doesn’t fit your plans. You may be financially secure enough to raise a typical child on one income, but later determine your child has special needs that change the course of your life. For example, a child with autism may increase expenses more than $25,000 a year, not including what might be covered by insurance. That’s as much as a part-time job might provide, or a full-time salary in some jobs.

At the same time this extra income is needed to cover the expenses that come along with special needs, the demand for being home with children increases. It’s no surprise that parents of children with special needs often adjust their own life goals, becoming advocates for research, cures, or support for those facing the same challenges. It may be the only way for some to handle the financial and emotional requirements of being a parent for a child with special needs.

Is working financially practical?

Life decisions are often about more than just numbers on a spreadsheet, but you can’t make a good decision without thinking about the finances. It’s not enough to just compare the parents’ lowest individual salary with the cost of child-care. Even with this comparison, values come into play. Imagine a spectrum of child-care options spanning from full-day care in an overbooked facility to a live-in nanny who stays with the family for many years. What is the most basic level of child-care that you would consider acceptable?

Compare the cost of the child-care you wish to provide with the cost of losing an income. You can’t do this comparison without considering the full cost of losing an income. It’s more than just the salary. It could include a loss of benefits. It could include a loss of future opportunities. These should be factored in to the decision, even if it might be difficult to come up with a precise value.

The numbers can only help inform decision, not determine it. You could estimate that your household net worth would accumulate $5,000 more each year if one parent chooses to work and pay for child-care rather than staying home and providing his or her own full-time care. That annual $5,000 could be saved in a college fund for the child, adding up to a substantial amount to help pay for education 18 years later. But if $5,000 a year doesn’t make financial survival difficult, parents may choose to forgo the increased net worth in favor of staying home anyway.

How many children do you or will you have?

With more children, costs escalate, as do needs for child-care. If you are relying on both parents’ careers to afford to raise your children, at what point will the increasing child-care needs prevent a family from maintaining several jobs?

What sacrifices can you make to shift your budget?

Having children requires personal sacrifices. Whether it’s no longer partying at clubs every Friday night, putting aside hobbies, or spending less time at the office, children change life’s priorities. The changing priorities should be reflected in your budget or spending habits.

If you’ve been saving money for a vacation, a new child might change the type of vacation you’re planning, or it might inspire to redirect the savings towards a different purpose, like child-care. You may need to delay traveling the world until your children are grown and earning a living on their own. You may not be able to start the business you were planning.

How did or will you decide who stays home to raise your first child, if anyone? How did your priorities and your budget change? What advice could you give to new parents or potential future parents?

Pew Research Center
Photo: Flickr

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6 Milestones for Entering the Middle Class

by Luke Landes
Child reading

If you’re wondering about the chance your child has to breaking into the middle class by adulthood, a new study by the Brookings Institution provides some clues. The study breaks down the financial development of a person from childhood through adulthood into a number of milestones. With the achievement of each milestone, success for the ... Continue reading this article…

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Pay Your College Tuition By Selling Companionship

by Luke Landes
Love

When I was an undergraduate in college fifteen years ago or so, I convinced my girlfriend at the time to stay enrolled. She was interested in moving back to her home state and pursuing her degree at a less expensive school, but for some reason, I encouraged her to stay at the university with me, ... Continue reading this article…

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Betterment Gifts: A Better Gift Registry

by Luke Landes

I introduced Betterment to readers last year as an alternative method of maintaining a brokerage account. For an annual fee of 0.15 percent to 0.35 percent of your assets invested with Betterment, the company provides a goal-focused way of investing for retirement and saving for future financial goals. The service handles asset allocation automatically based on goals, ... Continue reading this article…

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Moving to Another Town to Find Singles (Rich or Otherwise)

by Luke Landes
Philadelphia Love

There are many reasons to move from one city or town to another. I would expect moving for a job is one of the most popular reasons. If you have a great job working for a company, but they decide, with or without your agreement, that you would benefit the company more working for a ... Continue reading this article…

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It’s More Expensive to Raise Kids Today

by Luke Landes
Teddy Bear

Despite low or stagnant measures of inflation, at least as those numbers are reported by the government, families are faced with expenses that continue to rise. It’s been a while since I last wrote about the Department of Agriculture’s calculation of the cost of raising a child. The last time I wrote about this was ... Continue reading this article…

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Seven Great Gifts for College Graduates

by Luke Landes
Graduation

If there is a college graduate in your life, he or she will likely receive a number of gifts. The first gift will be the realization that it can be difficult to find a job in this economy right now — if the goal is to get a job in the same field of study ... Continue reading this article…

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Men Choosing Fatherhood Over Careers

by Luke Landes
Child and father

Last week, I acknowledged recent survey findings from the Pew Research Center showing that women are beginning to value success in their careers more than men value their own. It’s a historical twist, brought about by the idea that women entering the workforce is no longer related to a necessity, but an innate desire. Women, ... Continue reading this article…

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More Women Than Men Value Career Success

by Luke Landes
Career woman

A new survey by the Pew Research Center shows women have surpassed men in placing value on career advancement. Among 18 to 34-year-olds, 66 percent of women consider being successful in a high-paying career or job is one of the most important things or very important, compared to 59 percent of men. In 1997, 56 ... Continue reading this article…

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Will You Financially Support Your Parents?

by Luke Landes

My recent article on Business Insider points out that more families are living in multi-generational households with the recent shaky economy. While we are technically in a recovery period, the effects of the recession are still present in families. Taking care of elderly individuals is an expensive business, and those who did not save expecting ... Continue reading this article…

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Prenuptial Agreements for Cohabitants

by Luke Landes
Relationships couple

I’ve discussed whether couples should sign a prenuptial agreement before marraige recently. A good prenup can protect both individuals in the couple if a marriage were to result in irreconcilable differences. Signing a legal document of this type could be helpful if the couple owns substantial assets or if there is a wide disparity in ... Continue reading this article…

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The Dangers of Motivating Kids Through an Allowance

by Luke Landes
4614048392_9cfb472301_b[1]

Parents who offer their young children an allowance or pocket money are helping to introduce the concept of money at an age when they are susceptible to ideas they will hold for the remainder of their lives. It’s a good idea to allow kids to gain exposure to to concept and application of income and ... Continue reading this article…

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The Role of Money in Choosing a Relationship

by Luke Landes
Relationships couple

Do people have any kind of control over whom they fall in love with? Perhaps Cupid’s arrow strikes randomly, and there is no choice but to obey the heart — or chemicals in the brain — or sexual urges. But once that initial response has subsided, if you and your partner are headed for a ... Continue reading this article…

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The Lonesome, Pet-Free Life

by Luke Landes
Rupert

For almost as long as I’ve been living without a human roommate, I’ve enjoyed the company of my cat, Rupert. I adopted Rupert from my friend who determined his newborn daughter was allergic to cats. He had already owned Rupert for a long time, and I knew I’d be the cat’s new owner for the ... Continue reading this article…

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Five Conversations Before Moving In Together

by Aloysa
Couple

This is a guest article by Aloysa, a creator of My Broken Coin. In this article, Aloysa offers five conversation starters for couples considering moving in together. Based on my own personal experience I can tell you that expectations of your significant other change as soon as you move in together. All of a sudden, ... Continue reading this article…

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Materialistic People Less Happy in Marriages But Have More Money

by Luke Landes
Wedding Couple

Money and things have never been important to me. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? (That is, assuming the statement is about you, the reader, not me, Flexo.) If you do agree with this statement, according to a new study released by Brigham Young University and William Paterson University, you would be more ... Continue reading this article…

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8 Tips for Talking About Money With Your Significant Other

by Margaret

About the author: Margaret is a recent college graduate who, with her boyfriend, plans to save up money to get married, pay off student loan debt and head to seminary. Money is one of those things you’re not supposed to mention in polite conversation. But if you’re married or in a serious relationship, you have ... Continue reading this article…

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