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A happy marriage is worth waiting for.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Something I have blogged about from time to time is how people who plan to get married and have children should be financially prepared first. 

Have a strong financial foundation and we would have less money problems in future.

I can understand why those who have children on the way must get married in a hurry. Oops. 

Otherwise, why should anyone be in a hurry to get married and have children? Hmmm.

I have blogged about how some people borrow money in order to have a wedding or to renovate their matrimonial homes. 

I have also blogged about how people ran out of money and had to borrow money from friends to pay the monthly installments on their matrimonial homes.

"I was told of a person in his early 30s who is married and has two children. He is regularly borrowing money from his family and friends. In fact, he would borrow from friends to pay the installments on the mortgage of his 5 room HDB flat as well. Amount? S$800 a month."
From: Not enough money to be married.

It is quite mind boggling and I wonder why some people just become stupid when they fall in love. 

Can being in love generate income to pay for everything? Hmm...

Of course, one thing that so many in Singapore complain about is how they cannot hope to ever retire because they don't have enough money. 

For some, if they are honest with themselves, they might not have enough money because they got married (and had children) too early in life.

Wealth needs a base and this base takes time to grow. 

If we spend all our money as soon as we make them, a base can never form and our wealth will never grow.

"... the sooner we realise the benefit of delaying gratification and the sooner we start investing for a more secure future, the better."
From: Delaying gratification and getting stuff for free. 

So, if we have a choice, it isn't so terrible a thing to push back marriage plans by a few years or is it?

"I transferred much of my CPF-OA money into my CPF-SA in the first 4 years of my working life. Then, I let the magic of compounding do the rest. This is something that anyone, especially those in their 20s, should seriously consider doing. It might mean putting off marriage plans by four years for some but it would be worth it."
From: How to upsize $100K to $225K in 20 years? 

Regular readers know that I do not believe in being overly pessimistic or optimistic. 

I believe in being pragmatic. 

In a world like ours, financial security must be of paramount importance. 

The pragmatic me tells me that this is a hard truth.

Taken during one of my visits to the National Museum.

Certain decisions in life have very long term or, indeed, life long consequences. 

They are not to be taken lightly or we might not ever see the light of day.

Related posts:
1. What is our attitude towards having children?

2. Financially prepared to be married?
3. How to have children and retire comfortably?


Singapore Man of Leisure said...



You die!!!

CPF likes you. But I don't think the big daddy dept tasked with the KPI to get Singaporeans married sooner and have more babies will be pleased...

Marring late and having babies after 35 is not making it easy :(

FFE said...

Hi AK,

Ah... a post on marriage.

I married early but kids took quite a while to come.

So I had the best of both worlds. (well that's me telling myself that there's always something positive in all situations)

Married early helped to give me stability. Because I married early, I did not have the chance to fritter away my earnings. Whatever I earn, it had to go into paying of the mortgage. So in that sense, I start early in property 'investment'. We were also fortunate that property was cheap in the early-mid 2000s.

Kids took a while to come. But a good thing that came out of it is that we were financially quite strong when the kids came along and this gives us options to get out of the rat race to spend time with them. If the kids came right after marriage, I doubt we will have the financial muscles like now. However there's also pros to having kids early.

So in my opinion, I wouldn't recommend couples to hold off having kids just so that they can build a big financial base. Wait a year or two to build a strong marriage is fine but wait for a certain amount of $ to accumulate doesn't sit well with me as I feel that its like putting a price tag to something intangible. But......... I believe that before having a child, the couple must at examine their financial habits and make sure that they have the basics right, eg no consumer debts, save more than they spend etc.

Anyway if you find what I share familiar, its because I used to occasionally comment on your blog but under another account. The reason why I am using a new account is because I have just started a blog as I want to chronicle the lessons I learnt particularly in the area of my family and education.


Sillyinvestor said...

Hi AK,

It's seldom about the timing of the marriage. It is the expectation/s of the marriage.

Especially need to communicate if both sides or either sides has a affluence family, because management of expectations will be tougher, although not impossible.

However, if there is "real love" and not "refuge" mentality in a marriage, it should work. No need to push back anything.

I eat my bread with my family in laughter today and for 10 years, still better than eat atas restaurant with family playing iPads.

Ray said...

but govt is singing different tune now compared to those campaigns years ago.
Now the PM is aggressively saying "go get married, don't worry about the hdb, we'll make sure you can afford it".

AK71 said...

Hi guys,

I am packing my bags and taking the next flight out of Singapore to any faraway destination... -.-"

Ray said...

Why? to secretly get married? :D

AK71 said...

Hi Ray,


Dun tell you. ;p

coconut said...

ak! need to smack your head on this one!

people are getting married too old nowadays already and you still encourage them to delay?!

nature had his way of wanting us to be sexually active when we are teen, getting too late having children will have big unwanted consiquenses!!

tong said...

man can wait but women cannot because the older they are the higher the risk of defective birth which lead to more costs unless abort. so the question is how much money base to produce healthy baby?

eeming said...

Govt always have their own agenda to meet their white paper population debate not long ago. More foreigners having kids here too and causing pre-school childcare services in demand. Therefore, we need more early childcare teachers to supplement this industry. So cost of children education went up more as much as 3000% over 25yrs than property prices. Thats the reason why we have lesser kids and smaller families are under one roof. Small flats then become expensive too as well.

AK71 said...

Hi coconut,

Alamak! I should have taken a flight to a faraway destination that doesn't have internet connection. Now kena smacked... Cham... -.-"

AK71 said...

Hi tong,

I think delaying marriage by 4 years is OK. Females should still be in their 20s. Quite safe in terms of child bearing. ;p

Siew Mun said...

I been struggling for years lol. Nonetheless, it has been a joy to be a father of 4 children.

AK71 said...

Hi Siew Mun,

I always say that, from your actions, you are an exemplary parent. Gambatte! :D

Mr Chua said...

very interesting article, AK

Well, perhaps my views might offer your readers a new perspective.

As a relationship coach, I have seen many singles, couples, divorcees, single parents with their fair share of relationship challenges - how to get hitched, how to communicate, career crossroads, finance challenges, partners' infidelity, kids, etc

I have fair share of singles sharing with me that they are afraid to commit for a marriage because of so much uncertainty such as :
1. I can't even sustain my own lifestyle , how else to support my partner?
2. Wedding costs a bomb, I probably need to cut 3 meals to save for that kind of money
3. So and so looks so loving yet also divorced, better not for me lah.........

Are they right or wrong? It depends on their perspective and what they want in life. There is nothing wrong if they have made a choice to stay single and are happy with it. From my ground work and empirical research, a growing number of singles are feeling more and more dissatisfied as they get older and one by one their single friends got hitched and settled down.

The unison of 2 individuals working towards a common goal like building a family together is a beautiful journey but it may not necessarily comes easy for some, especially when finance is tight. More importantly, the love for each other and wanting to live their desired dream could be both compelling and provide a source of encouragement for them.

We fear too much as I would sometimes said to my clients. Open the paper each day and there would be more negative news than positive ones. Over time, our mind, poisoned by these thoughts slowly take shape and affect our thinking , our speech pattern and eventually how we act out in life.

As parents of 2 young kids, I know how challenging it can be, so much work yet so little time. From not liking to do housework, I now cook, wash , fetch kids, etc. I am coping well and what truly drives me is the love I have for my family over the daily chores I have to do. Similarly, money may seems like a stumbling block to couples who wish to tie the knot but if their vision of their future life is strong and vivid, going through it together would foster their relationship and it is an experience that no money can buy.

Focus - one can focus on the current high costs of living (probably it would get higher as time passes) , the ongoing slaughtering in the job markets,depressed housing market, etc and find it too terrifying to make a move, less one wrong move would detonate a land mine or something.

I made and are still making mistakes and I think it is fine as this is how we all learn. Some are fast learners while others like me may take longer time to "wake up". In my opinion, if serving the Army make boys to men then, getting married would make a man learn what true responsibility and commitment are.

To some, it may be first have this (example money) then you can do that (have kids or getting married in this context). The chines has a saying : 成家立业

Men no matter how old they become are somehow playful by nature and marriage can be a driving force, a motivator for them to "settle down in life" and stop drifting and work towards a common goal together. Only this way can they progress to the next stage of live and learn to manage a family including finance matters.

Thank you.

AK71 said...

Hi Mr. Chua,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us here.

I cannot agree that "only this way can they ... learn to manage... including finance matters".

There are probably other ways but I believe that the most prudent way is to learn financial management and be good at it before getting into a major commitment (like marriage) that involves lots of money over a long period of time.

However, I am sure your well written comment has enriched the discussion here in ASSI. :)

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