If you are reasonably attractive, your shortest path to wealth could be to marry for money. But should you? The old joke is to marry some rich old man (or woman) and marry for love after they die. But that only makes you a glorified prostitute.
Since Valentine’s Day just passed by, let’s explore the options.
Marrying for love without the money
A close friend of ours married the man of her dreams. I can tell from the gleam of her eyes when they’re together. The problem is the guy seems to be a total loser. Having no marketable skill, he jumps from one odd job to another, staying home to watch over the kids, playing video games while she’s away to toil, blood, sweat, and tears.
The family was renting a room in a house that her sister owned. Everything was going well until the sister decided she wanted to sell the house. Our friend panicked and asked us for a loan so they could pay for a downpayment for a home. We said no, not only to protect ourselves but for them. The worst time to buy a house is when you’re broke!
As parents, our greatest fear is for our daughter, who’s turning 16, to fall in love with a loser. We constantly remind her about the virtues of waiting and not falling for the first one that comes along. I told her, “Never rely on a man to support you, but you don’t want to marry a parasite either.”
After all, money disagreements, especially the lack thereof, are a common reason for divorce.
Marrying for money without the love
The other extreme is to marry a rich person you don’t love. It’s a kind of relationship that is doomed from the start. And I know at least two that ended in divorce.
I had a friend who married a wealthy businessman. He showered her with gifts: expensive jewelry, clothes, bags, and even a new Mercedes-Benz that’s been selling for well over $100,000. Whether or not she loved the guy, I don’t really know. But she flaunted her stuff so much on social media, it made me think she loved him for his money.
So tumultuous was their relationship that it involved both financial and sexual infidelity. Not only was he secretly channeling money to his sister; he was also having an incestuous relationship with her. Yuck! No wonder my friend ended up divorcing him.
The other was a “mail-order” bride who married my American friend. He petitioned to get her a green card. One day, she told him that a relative from the Philippines was visiting and needed a place to stay. It turned out, the relative was actually an old boyfriend.
I felt sorry for my friend, of course. I can only imagine what the “cousins” did in his castle while he was away. Of course, not everyone from my home country acts this way. There are scums everywhere you go.
Everyone ought to marry for love and money
Yes, you can marry for love AND money! Who says it has to be mutually exclusive? I did. Although our marriage is far from perfect, I couldn’t be happier.
When my wife and I first dated, I had to fly to Dallas to meet her. After a few dates, she offered I sleep on the couch at her apartment instead of staying in my hotel room. Being a cheap guy, I accepted the offer. Not to mention she was oozing with sex appeal.
The next day, while she was away for work, I saw a document lying freely on her desk. I got tempted to take a peek, and I did. It was tax season, and it was her W2 statement. That’s how I discovered she was earning $60,000 as a registered nurse. Not a large salary, but certainly a respectable one, considering this was in 2003.
I was earning more than her. But my eyes glowed with dollar signs, nevertheless— it was additional income we could potentially invest together!
A whirlwind romance followed, I proposed and got engaged shortly after. We got hitched a year later.
What followed over the next decade or so was an effective wealth-building partnership that would not have been possible without combining our finances and sharing each other’s goals.
Contrary to Robert Kiyosaki, the best leverage you can have on money is YOUR SPOUSE— not debt or OPM (other people’s money). Marry the right person, and you can leverage your financial life on two fronts: income and spending. Marry the wrong one, and you can totally mess up your plan.
To my single readers out there, good luck finding that special someone. Hopefully, someone you’re compatible with, financially.