Here's a question: Is it okay to live together before you get married? Here's what experts have to say:
- #1: Living together before marriage increases your chances of divorce. Dr. Barbara Whitehead is co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University. And she says that couples who cohabitate are more likely to have serious trouble once they do get married because they often get married trying to "fix things," or because it's "expected." That's especially true if one or both partners lived with several different people before tying the knot.
- Next: Married people are healthier. A Cornell University study found that married couples rated their overall physical well-being higher than couples who lived together. But other studies show that any serious relationship - even a lifelong friendship - improves health, especially for men.
- And the final marriage versus living together fact: Married couples have more money than cohabitating couples. That's because marriage makes men more productive. Married men earn up to 40-percent more than single guys with similar education and work histories. Plus, the commitment that comes with marriage encourages more joint savings.