Marrying Late? NBD. Here Are The Pros (And Cons) Of Delaying Your Marriage
If you are in no rush to get married in your early- or mid-twenties, you are not alone. According to SingStat, the median age for marriage among women in Singapore in 2018 is 28.5.
The top reasons given by those who chose to marry later were financial concerns, desire to focus on their careers and being mentally unprepared for marriage.
While the decision to get married is a personal one that should only be between you and your partner, it’s good to know what you are getting into so that you can determine if tying the knot later is the best decision for you. Here are four pros and cons for you to think about.
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Text: The New Savvy
Additional reporting: Karen Fong, Valerie Toh
Images: Envato Elements, Unsplash
Pro #1: You have plenty of time for personal growth
With marriage come responsibilities. Regardless of how organised you are, balancing the time you spend on yourself, your studies/work, and your new family can be quite a daunting undertaking.
Delaying your marriage can give you enough time to devote to your personal growth before taking on this new challenge. Further your studies, get an MBA or experience different cultures in other parts of the world. Or simply enjoy your youth.
Con #1: You may find it difficult to conceive
Couples who put off getting also married usually put off having children until later in life. As you age, you may encounter more problems in conceiving a baby. Your offspring may be at higher risk for Down syndrome and other health problems.
Pro #2: You can focus on pursuing higher education and establishing your career before you settle down
If your current goal is to further your educational degree or advance your professional status, then it may be best to focus on your studies or work before taking those vows. Studies and work eat up a lot of time and energy. Delaying marriage could give you the opportunity to get another degree, climb the corporate ladder or start up your own longed-for business.
Hopefully, these ventures also bear the capital you’ll need to pay for your dream wedding and other big expenses like a new home.
Con #2: Single people may build less wealth than married people
While delaying your marriage can give you more time to focus on your career, being married can also improve your ability to build wealth. Married couples can accumulate money more quickly than their unmarried peers. Incomes get combined, and expenses get shared. This results in an improved balance sheet that can help you and your spouse more easily qualify for a mortgage, car loan or business loan.
Pro #3: You are less likely to divorce
According to a study, putting off marriage until you are 32 years old decreases your chances of divorce: The data shows that “each additional year of age at the time of marriage reduces the odds of divorce by 11 percent.” This is presumably because as you age, you mature in your thinking and your behaviour. As you grow older, you reflect more effectively on what you want from a lifetime relationship.
Con #3: You may miss out on government incentives
Aside from the wealth-building advantage of marriage, there are some government incentives that you will be eligible for through the Marriage and Parenthood Package. The government offers a broad range of measures from tax deductions and housing incentives to baby bonus schemes and childcare options to encourage marriage and parenthood.
For example married people can claim Spouse Relief and reduce your taxes. Furthermore, you may be given priority for Housing and Development Board (HDB), Built-to-Order (BTO) flats, and Sale of Balance flats, and even rent this flat at a discounted rate while waiting for your property to be ready for occupancy. There are also various CPF Housing grants, such as the Family Grant and Additional CPF Housing Grant, which married couples can apply for to easily afford public housing.
Pro #4: You will be in a better financial position to deal with any unexpected expenses
If you get married when you are just starting out in your career, you may find it difficult to cope when there are unexpected expenses such as you or your partner falling sick or getting retrenched. It may also be tough for you to pay your monthly financial committees and take care of your parents’ needs should they need your help. Being more financially secure later in life means that you can be in a better position to deal with any emergencies when they arise.
Con #4: You may be less willing to compromise
After being on your own for so long, you may be set in your ways and are less willing to adjust your lifestyle to fit another person’s needs and preferences. You may also be used to making decisions on your own and find it tiring having to consult your partner on every decision you make now. Although there’s bound to be friction in any marriage, it may take a longer time for you to smooth out the differences and learn how to share your life with your partner.