Millennials Left Behind: Will Delaying Your Retirement Planning Until Marriage Cost You?

 In 401(k), Millennials

Graduating from college and finding a dream job in your chosen field is a milestone for most Millennials. Your four years of hard work has finally paid off and you’ve made Mom and Dad proud. But what is the next step? Should you follow your ambitions solo or should you find your true love and get married?

A recent article suggests that Millennials save more for retirement after they have walked down the aisle1. However, if you decide to delay marriage by five years, the differences in contribution rates and account balances between these groups of Millennials is not as vast as one might think.

Research indicates that married Millennial men contribute 0.3% more of their salary than their single counterparts. Married Millennial women contribute 0.8% more of their salary than single women in the same age group.

1 Sanzenbacher, T.G., & Hou, W. (2019). Do People Save More After They Marry? Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, April 2019, Number 19-7

After marriage many couples find a two- income household may allow the financial security and confidence to proactively direct more income toward retirement savings, even though retirement can be 30 years away. On the opposite end, Millennials who wait a little longer to marry should not fret that they will not be able to save as much as their married friends.

Despite the increased contribution rates of married Millennials, researchers project retirement balances at age 65 between the groups to be very close.

How close? Instead of getting married straight away, some Millennials may have chosen to focus on their careers, save for a down payment on a home, or travel a bit instead of settling down.

Regardless, at retirement age Millennial men who delayed marriage by 5 years only trailed their married friends by $8,490. Likewise, Millennial women who delayed marriage by 5 years were only $7,679 behind their married friends.

No matter your decision about when to marry, it is never too soon to begin planning for you’re the future. Contributing to your employer sponsored retirement plan at a consistent and increasing contribution rate is one of the best ways to work toward retirement readiness.


Located in Denver, Colorado with a satellite office in Metairie, LA, LT Trust is a low-cost 401(k), open architecture 401(k) recordkeeper that helps financial advisors and plan sponsors to achieve retirement readiness. With a focus on small business 401(k)s, LT Trust is on a mission to provide cost-efficient retirement plans without compromising quality or customer service.

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