Marry, and marry well

I recommend marriage, and I have a few reasons.

Marrying may make you live longer

It’s weird, but fairly consistent in studies that married persons live longer.

Yes, there’s a selection effect, in which more healthy people choose to get married in the first place. But also marriage seems to have a protective effect on health.

And I think health is quite important for FIRE.

If you marry, and who you marry, is going to be critical to your life happiness, and economically critical to your Big Tech FIRE journey.

This point is so obvious I almost hesitated to write this, but it’s also so important, that I felt that I had to cover it.

Your marriage is likely to last

Your marriage is actually pretty likely to last. High divorce numbers are driven by a smaller group of serial monogamists that keep divorcing and remarrying racking up the stats.

For first time marriages to a college educated partner, the numbers are very good. You have roughly an 80% chance of being married at least 20 years.

Read the study.

Moreover, you have an influence whether you’re in the lasting-bucket or the non-lasting bucket.

Marry someone with a compatible lifestyle

Think about your FIRE goals and what kind of lifestyle you want to lead.

If you marry a partner who values having the biggest house, the nicest cars, and in general Keeping Up with the Joneses, that’s going to be a challege with FIRE.

FIRE is all about valuing freedom and time over luxury and status.

And it takes a reasonable amount of frugality. If your partner (or you) care very much about luxury and status, it will be very difficult to happily FIRE.

There can be tax benefits

There can be tax benefits to marriage in the United States, particularly if one spouse significantly outearns the other. See more details.

Warning: If both spouses earn almost the same amount, there’s generally a tax penalty to marriage.

There are economies of scale

In marriage there’s a ton of economies of scale. You can share a bedroom. You can share a car. You can share a bathroom scale.

And diseconomies of scale too - you two won’t agree on everything and there will be conflict and communication overhead.

But I’d argue - the communication overhead is part of the point of marriage.

Two economic oars in the water

With a partner, there’s literally two economic oars in the water. Regardless if you are both working a formal job or not, you are contributing together to the household.

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