Big Wedding or Big Retirement?

06.15.17 | Personal Finance

Destination Wedding or Fully Funded Retirement?

Something to think about

Every year I am invited to 3 or 4 weddings and I love attending every one. But I’ve noticed a few trends lately and I thought I would put together some things for today’s couples to think about as they are about to tie the knot. Here is what I found:

Top 2016 Wedding Statistics

A survey of nearly 13,000 US couples married in 2016 uncovered the costs and trends of weddings today and discovered that:

In 2016, the average cost of a wedding reached an all-time high at $35,329, while the number of guests dropped.

Custom guest entertainment has more than tripled, from 11% to 41% since 2009, with photo booths (78%), games (18%), musical performances (12%) and fireworks (8%) at the top of the list.

Most Expensive Place to Get Married: New York City (Manhattan specifically), with an average cost of $78,464

Least Expensive Place to Get Married is Arkansas, with an average cost of $19,522 average spend

Average Spend on a Wedding Dress: $1,564

Average Number of Guests: 141

Average Number of Bridesmaids: 5

Average Number of Groomsmen: 5

Most Popular Month to Get Engaged:
December (15%)

Average Length of Engagement: 15 months

Percentage of Destination Weddings: 20

Parents are Absorbing Much of the Cost

Surprisingly – at least to me – is that parents still pay for a majority of today’s weddings. On average, the bride’s parents contribute 44% of the overall wedding budget, the bride and groom contribute 42%, and the groom’s parents contribute about 13%.

Fully Funded Retirement?

Instead of spending the average of $35,329 for a wedding, what if couples were married at their local court house instead? Let’s say they spend an average of $100 on a marriage license and then another $229 on a nice lunch. For the remaining $35,000, they could:

Pay off most of their student loans – the average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt

Have a healthy down payment on a brand-new house – the average cost to build a new 4BR house comes in at $291,354 – so $35,000 is a 12% down payment

Buy a 2017 Audi Q3 or 2017 Lexus NX or 2017 Infiniti QX30 or 2017 Cadillac ATS

Invest in an S&P 500 index fund, wait 35 years, and assuming an average annual return of 11%, watch their “wedding investment” grow to $1,350,119 in retirement savings

Wishing you a lifetime of love, happiness, funded retirement and millionaire status.

Copyright © 2017 RSW Publishing. All rights reserved.

Distributed by Financial Media Exchange.

Material in this publication is original or from published sources, and it is believed to be accurate. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of such information and assume no liability for any resulting damages. All expressions of opinion reflect the author’s judgment at the date of publication and are subject to change without notice in reaction to changing market conditions. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Midwest Capital Advisors, LLC. This material is provided for general informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment or financial advice or an offer, solicitation, recommendation or endorsement of any particular security, product or service. Readers are cautioned to consult their own tax and investment professionals with regard to their specific situations.

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