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Holiday Spending, February Edition, Part 2

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Now that we’ve looked at increasing Valentine’s Day expenses, we can determine if it’s all worth it. Allen Wastler tackles the marriage rate of return in his latest opinion column.

Marriage is the end result of the courting that involves singles gushing and spending for Valentine’s Day. If marriage pays off financially, then the average $100.89 spent on Valentine’s Day gifts is worth it. It turns out that marriage people do accumulate more wealth per person than single.

According to his review of 9,055 baby boomers, married folks 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.

In Wastler’s point of view, a marriage is similar to a business (when looking at the financial aspect). Courtship is a start-up cost, and once a couple of married, there are maintenance costs. Watch out when this “business” open subsidiaries (has children). He concludes that marriage is a worthwhile investment producing 16 percent growth. Not bad.

But watch out if the marriage goes into emotional bankruptcy — divorce. The wealth of divorced individuals declines 77 percent. Like a major market crash, ir could take decades to recoup.

Updated February 22, 2008 and originally published February 12, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

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