Do People Save More After They Marry?

Publication Date: April 2019



Research Area: Economics

Keywords: Financing Retirement

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


Millennials marry later than previous generations. Since marriage is a major life milestone that often marks a line between youth and adulthood, a logical question is how this delay affects retirement saving. This brief uses data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation linked to W-2 records on defined contribution plan deferrals to determine the extent to which marriage affects retirement saving.

The brief is organized as follows. The first section provides background on marriage trends for young adults and considers why marriage could affect saving. The second section describes the data and methodology used to examine the relationship between marriage and retirement saving, and the third section presents the results. The final section concludes that while delays in marriage do delay saving, the size of any reduction in retirement wealth is likely to be small.