RON HART: Ain’t no romance without finance

Published: Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 11:16 AM.

People get married later today. The average age is 31 for men and 29 for women. That is either good if they saved or bad if they borrowed. 18 percent of married couples keep separate checking accounts. Many are using the method of three accounts: one for each person’s expenses and one for joint expenses. The "yours, mine and ours" approach probably works in many cases.

Coordinating temperaments on spending is difficult, especially when money comes from one account and one spouse out-earns the other.

Student loans for “educations” of increasingly questionable worth now total over $1 trillion — more than credit card debt. Expensive educations are less likely to be followed by a commensurately paying job. The loan shark that is our federal government does not allow student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy. The reason college kids identify with Obama is that most are deeply in debt and are in their sixth term of a hopeless endeavor where they have learned little.

Some couples hide expenses from each other. Others manage the spouse’s reaction. Restaurant owner friends in Memphis had an old school relationship where she spent and he wrote checks. When Ann Taylor expenses kept coming up, he complained to her, "What’s this?" She immediately said Ann Taylor was her gynecologist.  He never said another word about it.

Yet with all its problems, folks still long for a marriage. A golfing buddy tells the story of a five times married, 75-year-old man. He had been single a few years, always ran hard, and most thought he was done with marriage. When my buddy found out he was once again engaged, he confronted the older gentleman and asked, “Dude, why the hell are you getting married again at 75?” He said, “I guess I just miss cheating.”

So get it right. It is a lot less trouble and expensive to stay married. And usually, divorcing for another just buys you a new set of problems. The LA Clippers’ owner is finding this out the hard way. The 81-year-old Donald Sterling got double crossed by his mistress who is less than half his age. When anyone tells you Viagra only costs $10 a pill, it’s not always true.

Ron Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator can be reached at or visit

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