Question & Ethics: What if marriage will cost my Social Security benefits?


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In this episode of Question and Ethics, I answer a question about marriage and Social Security benefits. I once thought that this was a niche or uncommon problem. However, there is a rising number of senior adults who are foregoing marriage because doing so will cost them their social security benefits. There is an understandable (though incorrect) thought process for many of them as they are looking at their financial situation which may be precarious, especially if they lack family support. And this is especially problematic given that the state is unfairly penalizing and disincentivizing marriage. However, there are reasons that we should discourage this practice and encourage these seniors to marry and enter into the accountability and truth-telling that comes with those vows. Just as I would say to young adults who worry about their finances before getting married, I would encourage senior adults to get married and the financial matters will work themselves out. And this is a place where the church can step in and help bear one another’s financial burdens so that we encourage holy marriage and proper accountability within the community.

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