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Is the economy destroying love?

Many young people are delaying 'key life decisions' like getting married and having children.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 15, 2012 4:07PM

This post comes from Kimberly Palmer at partner site U.S. News & World Report.


U.S. News & World Report logoFor recent college graduates, the post-recession economy has meant a challenging job market, lower earnings, and a greater chance of moving back home with parents. As they progress through their 20s, it also means they're more likely to push off traditional milestones such as getting married and starting a family.


Woman on the Telephone © Radius Images, Radius Images, Getty ImagesA new survey from Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit dedicated to engaging young adults on economic issues, found that eight in 10 young women between the ages of 18 and 29 living in Florida say they've delayed "key life decisions" because of the weak economy. Three in 10 specifically mentioned starting a family as something they will either delay or possibly skip altogether, and two in 10 said the same about marriage.


Respondents also listed a variety of other life events they're skipping or putting off: vacations, attending weddings or family reunions, buying a home and saving for retirement. In a statement, Generation Opportunity executive vice president Amber Roseboom noted that young women's "careers and dreams have been interrupted."


The survey echoes similar national findings of both genders. Earlier this year, the Pew Research Center found that almost one in three young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 say they have delayed marriage or parenthood because of the economy. About half said they have taken jobs they don't want to pay bills.


When it comes to the biggest life decisions -- when and whether to get married and have children -- money undoubtedly plays a big role. But it's possible to find ways to make both events more affordable. Marriage can even help couples save money, especially if they combine expenses they previously paid separately, such as food, housing and transportation. Couples with very different salaries, or where one spouse earns a lot and the other earns little or nothing, can also find themselves paying a lower tax rate post-nuptials. (The opposite is often true for couples who earn similar amounts.)

Babies are a little trickier. They are expensive, and getting more expensive all the time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reported that babies born in 2011 will cost their parents $234,900 before age 18, which was a 3.5% increase over the previous year. That's because child care, education, transportation and food prices are all rising.


But as with marriage, there are ways to generate savings: Children can share bedrooms, parents can buy or borrow secondhand clothes and toys, and buying and cooking food in bulk can keep grocery bills down. Parents might even find that some pre-baby costs, such as restaurant meals and vacations, naturally go down with their new child-centric lifestyle.


Still, there's no avoiding the fact that marriage and parenthood often introduce new expenses into one's life. Based on the recent surveys, young adults appear to be keenly aware of that fact. Delaying either event can be the smart move for 20-somethings still struggling to find their own financial footing.


But for those intent on moving forward, either down the aisle or into parenthood, there's usually a way to make it happen without breaking the bank.


Have you delayed marriage or parenthood because of the economy?


More on U.S. News & World Report and MSN Money:




Nov 16, 2012 1:56AM

I ask you to also consider what this economic loss is doing to older people who have their life savings dwindling rapidly by high costs and interest rates that are next to nothing.  The friction that can build because of the worries of getting by is not pleasant.  It's not just the young who are having a hard time of it.  We worked hard all our lives, paid our taxes, raised our families, and now we are worried about becoming penniless.  There are no cost of living increases in SS and more is being taken out for Medicare every year.  We paid a lot of money into those programs and illegals are getting our share now. 


Nov 16, 2012 1:53AM
You're assuming that "love" exists in the first place.
And they say that money don't buy love.
Nov 16, 2012 1:39AM

Cooperatives not corporations; are the answer to the worldwide economic crises. This world is suffering because of ignorance in the fundamental principles of power, prosperity. and peace. The so called greatest generation are the most greedy, envious, hateful, proud, self-righteous, and hypocritical people to ever walk the earth: Insisting on maintaining an unsustainable standard of living, and willing to sell future generations including their own children into economic slavery. Cooperatives are  democratic business machines which seek the greatest good for both the producer and consumer: While corporations are fascist business machines which seek to be the middle men which monopolize markets in order to extract maximum profit from both the producers and consumers, by driving wages down and cost up, and providing an inferior product or service, thereby enriching the select united few at the expense of the divided majority. It is my honest hope and prayer that future generations will awaken to the truth about corporate perversion and build the cooperatives necessary to fix our economic problems and create a just society. 

Nov 16, 2012 1:32AM

Campercowboy - regarding your comment about the reality of the article.


Your generation wasn't any better or any more extraordinary than the rest of humanity.  The circumstances that surrounded your generation propelled a nation to come together and unite to survive.  When peoples lives are truly threatened they will unite and fight until the death. 

Nov 16, 2012 1:24AM
No, but "president what's his name" is destroying the economy.
Nov 16, 2012 1:22AM
No problems. Moved to Asia where the weak obama dollar is making me rich. 2010 weakest dollar, 2003 strongest dollar. Thanks AMERICA.
Nov 16, 2012 1:12AM

Someone explain Obamacare benefits to me, please.. Part of it is to make sure "everyone who doesn't have insurance has it in the future, and Will Be Punished if they do not have it"..


The very people worst off from current economic life, unable to have something they want as protection, will be fined/taxed if they do not have it.. This fixes things? This is like making people at a food shelter pay FOOD to get in.. Huh?


It's the most ghastly fart/dump you've ever smelled, stinks to high heaven.. And is proud of it..

Nov 16, 2012 1:05AM

The question stated, have you delayed marriage or children, is undoubtedly yes.. I am not a 20 something, but a 40 something, with 20 something kids..


I have delayed re-marrying, my kids delay marrying.. The economic unrest, the re-electing a President who made things worse (yes, the table was set for failure, but.. he made it mcuh worse)..  We kept Israel out of trouble more than is noted, through words and big brother actions..


The current admin does not do that, either method.. We are at a crossroads people, and we failed to change leadership..  The Middle East will be a huge downfall, given current leaders roles in it, he has acted more self-serving than almost All of his predecessors, and.. WE are the ones who'll pay, not the politicians, but us.. We the People..

Nov 16, 2012 12:59AM

No! The love for Obama will destroy our economy.


No matter. Obama hates our economy anyway. Piece by piece and sector by sector it will slide into obscurity.

Nov 16, 2012 12:32AM
it is amazing in todays society all a guy needs is the love of a good woman to be happy but todays women need money first and formost till they find the next poor guy in a higher tax bracket  i grew up with my grand parents who grew up through the great depresion they never had much when it came to money but i never saw two people that were more in love
Nov 16, 2012 12:27AM
The Republicans voted down the Democrats jobs bill 30+ times, over the past 4 years, while the pain and suffering continued to grow year after year, The national suicide rate quadrupled over the last 5 years , Talk about having Blood on your hands the republicans party has no Value's for the 98%, that they try to control. Now only 49% of the voters still buy there snake oil salesman pitch, Only thing we can be leave in is our own senses watch as much c-span as you can then make wise choices, Trying to make the majority vote for your party threw pain and suffering will not work while your playing Republicans, If this party doesn't scare you yet better take a closer look no price is to high for the 1% to keep you down where they want you. Actions really do speak louder than words.
Nov 16, 2012 12:22AM
I suspect a lot of adult children living with their parents were dumb enough to vote for Obama.  Good job voting for four more years of living with (and off) your parents.  Way to go!  (And when Obamacare kicks into full gear in 2014, it'll probably kill even more jobs.)  It would be interesting to see exactly what percent of adult children living with their parents did vote for Obama.  And what percent of those play video games in their parent's basement?

Where are the surveyors when you really need them?  And where's the liberal media to break down the stats on who exactly it is that voted for Obama?
Nov 16, 2012 12:06AM

One can only hope.  "Love" is a cliche invented to sell Hallmark cards; the more people stop thinking with their heart and start using their heads, arranging relationships on the basis of sensible decision-making (or at least a spark of genuine passion) rather than maudlin cliches, the faster the divorce rate will start slacking off.  Romance is just a pretty word for stupidity, an adolescent fantasy that our species should outgrow and begin making its partnering decisions in a responsible and intelligent manner.

Nov 15, 2012 11:51PM
Look how bad this economy is and has been. Yet young people came out in droves in support of Obama's failed economic policies. One of the biggest reasons relationships fail is based on economics. Families are breaking apart and people committing suicide because they cannot find suitable employment. People can screech and point fingers back and forth but the bottom line is the lack a decent paying jobs. We need to hold all our political leaders responsible for this. They just have not done enough to get this economy rolling again. Could Romney have done better? We will never know that. What we do know is the last four years have swamped many families and the next four years will swamp even more if something is not done to create jobs.
Nov 15, 2012 11:48PM
And here I thought it was cause everyone is a liar, creep, weirdo, loser or just plain strange.
Nov 15, 2012 11:40PM
Of course that destroys not only love to all life .. So that the world's governments have to improve the economic the any country  so that no more people die and suffer. GOD HAS MERCY U.S.
Nov 15, 2012 11:39PM
I know a lot of women who delayed child birth. They had enough money to buy birth control pills and burn out their ovaries. Now they can't have children at all. I wonder if they can spell stupid.
Nov 15, 2012 11:32PM
But...... all these people avoiding the natural inclination to marry and have families will eventually grow old and then expect other people's children to provide for their needs through Medicare, Social Security or other "entitlement" programs.
Nov 15, 2012 11:25PM
This has been happening in other countries for years. It was only a matter of time before the economy significantly affected romance & marriage here in the US.
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