I try to come up with something every Valentine's Day but this year I have said everything I wanted to say so I was about to skip it until I read something really interesting about marriage and divorce in Daniel Pink's When.
So here's something for you to think about this Valentine's Day.
a) It's not a good idea to get married if you are too young or two old.
If you marry at 25 years old, you are 11% less likely to divorce than if you were to get married at 24. Divorce rates drop as people marry at an older age until age 32. After which the rate of divorce actually goes up by 5% every year.
Once you are single for too long, it's hard to let go of that kind of freedom.
b) The more education you have, the better your marriage.
Marriage satisfaction is a lot higher if you complete your education prior to getting married. At comparable age, ethnic group and income, a couple that completes school tends to stay together.
c) Do your due diligence during the dating phase.
Couples who dated for at least a year have a 20% lower rate of divorce. Couples that dated for longer than three years are even less likely to split up. This makes dating a serious investment of a guy or a girl's time. Sort of makes all those discussion about why it's so goddamn rude to pay for a date kind of trivial once you see the big picture. Guys have a few years to demonstrate their capability as husband material.
Of course, no discussion of marriage would be entertaining without some interesting analytical data on divorce. Apparently divorce rates peak on March and August. The hypothesis is that some couples try to endure a failing marriage throughout the holiday season and March is around the time people lose patience with each other. August is likely because it is the end of the school year in America.
How does it all fit into your plans for financial independence ?
Well, an alpha male graduate at age 25 who aspires towards financial independence has about 4 years of uninterrupted work where he can work overtime and slave for his first $100,000. Thereafter, he can start dating at around age 29 for three years before getting married at 32.
This is a fairly compressed schedule and you may want to consider some of my more controversial ideas of leveraging a low beta high yield portfolio to speed things up a little.
Still, I don't think there's a need to go Dutch on a first date. Just go to a hawker centre and then be gentlemanly enough to offer to foot the bill.
Your financial independence will not skip a beat.