The national marriage age is increasing, but not for this group of people
Although the data show that delaying marriage allows women to make more money over time, marriage provides economic benefits as well, according to an article on Yahoo Finance.
Some of the direct benefits are a sharing of expenses, lower home and auto insurance, and security if one of the spouses becomes unemployed.
Ruch sees marriage as a chance to work together with a partner to overcome financial challenges and a way to build a strong emotional support system with someone you trust.
“I think that if you find the person you want to be with for the rest of your life, it’ll make you happier in the long run to have them with you throughout that journey to support you and help you,” Ruch said of her own experience with marriage.
A personal decision
In addition to financial challenges, some data show that divorce rates are higher for those who get married in their early 20s, according to Hymowitz. A Pew study found that the states with the youngest median age for first marriage also had the highest divorce rates. However, Hymowitz doesn’t believe such data should affect people’s decisions if they believe getting married is right for them.
For the millennial women who married young and were interviewed for this story, the benefits of a stable relationship outweighed the financial hardships and other risks.
“I have an amazing relationship with my husband. I have such a true joy in my life. Having someone that always supports, encourages, and loves me is what keeps me going every day,” said Mary Wilden, who got married at 18. "If I let (financial) stability stop me from being married I would probably still be single."
Indeed, the choices of marrying young or marrying older each have costs and benefits.
Women who delay marriage or don't get married at all are often more successful professionally and financially. Meanwhile, those women who choose to marry are more likely to maintain constant levels of happiness during times when happiness would usually fall, according to a study from Michigan State University.
“There is no cookie cutter answer for when a person should get married. Life is all about balance,” Wilden said.
Several of Wilden's acquaintances warned her that young marriages are doomed to fail, and Linton was the only one in her friend group that chose an early marriage, so they know they are in the minority. However, they believe they made the right choice for them, even if it isn't the right choice for everyone.
“I am very strong in the idea that if you wait until you’re 30 or 40 to get married, or until you’re 25 to get married, that’s great," Linton said. “People constantly compare us to other people who might’ve gotten married too young, and my perspective is that regardless of what age you are, whether you’re younger or older, everyone has that kind of right time to get married, and I kind of feel like only you and your significant other know when that time is right.”
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