Millions of Americans in romantic relationships move in together as an alternative to tying the knot. But while money or debt can drive couples to shack up, a new study published in the Journal of Financial Planning suggests that cohabitation has long-term financial implications: People who cohabited had less wealth than those who’d never lived together before marriage. And people who were single but had previously lived with someone more than once had even less favorable financial outcomes.
One-time co-habiters had $26,927 less net worth than those who never cohabited, the study revealed and cohabiters who’d lived with someone two or more times were worth $33,809 less. Meanwhile, married people who had cohabited once had $16,340 less and married people who’d cohabited two or more times were out $18,265.
The number of US adults in cohabiting relationships hit 18 million in 2016 and about half of cohabiters are younger than 35, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.