My husband and I married a few years ago and we are very happy, praise the Lord. Our children are in college or on with their adult life, and we both had marriages that ended in divorce some years ago and had each been single, non-dating divorced parents for a very long time before we unexpected met and fell in love and pursued annulments, then Catholic marriage. Both of us were in not-so wonderful shape financially, as divorce and single parenting and not-shacking-up with another wage-earning adult tends to do that to a person.
I remember that people who would know said that because of U.S. laws and/or taxes, it was a financial benefit NOT to be married, but to instead live together unmarried. That was NOT an option for us, and I never wanted to know reasons why, lest they tempt me to resent the Lord’s way. Later I found that the my paltry social security that I am to receive someday could have been MUCH, much higher if I had not married, as I would have received my ex’s generous rate. And morally, I can tell you I deserve that. Just not legally entitled, now that I am legally remarried (as well as married in the eyes of God). So that is the one (big) one way I would have saved. (Though I know that God makes everything work together for the good, and that I cannot lose doing things His way, and I expect to receive some relief on earth and if not that, in Heaven, for sure.)
So my question is not on my behalf. A cousin who is dear to me is in such a situation.His wife unjustly left him years ago for a new guy, and took him for plenty of money. My cousin is hard-working, and very thrifty and conservative, or, “Scotch” as he calls it. And he was very alone but met a very nice girl he has lived with some time and is still with. He is now facing retirement in a very few years, maybe sooner. I remember asking him long ago why he did not marry her, and he explained back then that he saves a LOT of money by not marrying, because of government rules. (I preferred not to know the savings-details back then, so I didn’t ask.) More recently I asked his partner/girlfriend why they don’t marry, and she said, “you’ll have to ask your cousin”. I got a vague answer from him, and did not pursue it, but I am sure its the same.
So I am really wondering. How much does one save here in the U.S. by not-marrying? If I ever feel called again to bring up the subject of encouraging him to marry, I would like to know what I am saying he ought to give up… Plus, I just wonder, since its such widespread common practice, like two of my brothers… and so many others. What is the big financial incentive not to marry, and what exactly does it entail??
(FYI my cousin is not Catholic).