More Men Than Women Are Now Single. It’s Not a Good Sign

Almost a third of adult single men live with a parent. Single men are much more likely to be unemployed, financially fragile and to lack a college degree than those with a partner. They’re also likely to have lower median earnings; single men earned less in 2019 than in 1990, even adjusting for inflation. Single women, meanwhile, earn the same as they did 30 years ago, but those with partners have increased their earnings by 50%.

These are the some of the findings of a new Pew Research analysis of 2019 data on the growing gap between American adults who live with a partner and those who do not. While the study is less about the effect of marriage and more about the effect that changing economic circumstances have had on marriage, it sheds light on some unexpected outcomes of shifts in the labor market.

Over the same time period that the fortunes of single people have fallen, the study shows, the proportion of American adults who live with a significant other, be it spouse or unmarried partner, also declined substantially. In 1990, about 71% of folks from the age of 25 to 54, which are considered the prime working years, had a partner they were married to or lived with. In 2019, only 62% did.

Partly, this is because people are taking longer to establish that relationship. The median age of marriage is creeping up, and while now more people live together than before, that has not matched the numbers of people who are staying single.

But it’s not just an age shift: the number of older single people is also much higher than it was in 1990; from a quarter of 40 to 54-year-olds to almost a third by 2019. And among those 40 to 54-year-olds, one in five men live with a parent.

The trend has not had an equal impact across all sectors of society. The Pew study, which uses information from the 2019 American Community Survey, notes that men are now more likely to be single than women, which was not the case 30 years ago.

Black people are much more likely to be single (59%) than any other race, and Black women (62%) are the most likely to be single of any sector. Asian people (29%) are the least likely to be single, followed by whites (33%) and Hispanics (38%).

Most researchers agree that the trendlines showing that fewer people are getting married and that those who do are increasingly better off financially have a lot more to do with the effect of wealth and education on marriage than vice versa. People who are financially stable are just much more likely to find and attract a partner.

“It’s not that marriage is making people be richer than it used to, it’s that marriage is becoming an increasingly elite institution, so that people are are increasingly only getting married if they already have economic advantages,” says Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park.

“Marriage does not make people change their social class, it doesn’t make people change their race, and those things are very big predictors of economic outcomes.”

This reframing of the issue may explain why fewer men than women find partners, even though men are more likely to be looking for one. The economic pressures on men are stronger. Research has shown that an ability to provide financially is still a more prized asset in men than in women, although the trend is shifting.

Some studies go so far as to suggest that the 30-year decrease in the rate of coupling can be attributed largely to global trade and the 30-year decrease in the number of stable and well-paying jobs for American men that it brought with it.

When manufacturing moved overseas, non-college educated men found it more difficult to make a living and thus more difficult to attract a partner and raise a family.

But there is also evidence that coupling up improves the economic fortunes of couples, both men and women. It’s not that they only have to pay one rent or buy one fridge, say some sociologists who study marriage, it’s that having a partner suggests having a future.

“There’s a way in which marriage makes men more responsible, and that makes them better workers,” says University of Virginia sociology professor W. Bradford Wilcox, pointing to a Harvard study that suggests single men are more likely than married men to leave a job before finding another. The Pew report points to a Duke University study that suggests that after marriage men work longer hours and earn more.

There’s also evidence that the decline in marriage is not just all about being wealthy enough to afford it. Since 1990, women have graduated college in far higher numbers than men.

“The B.A. vs. non B.A. gap has grown tremendously on lots of things — in terms of income, in terms of marital status, in terms of cultural markers and tastes,” says Cohen. “It’s become a sharper demarcation over time and I think that’s part of what we see with regard to marriage. If you want to lock yourself in a room with somebody for 50 years, you might want to have the same level of education, and just have more in common with them.”

By Belinda Luscombe

Source: More Men Than Women Are Now Single. It’s Not a Good Sign | Time

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50 Ways To Live On Your Own Terms – Benjamin Hardy – Pocket

Although people think they perform better on caffeine, the truth is, they really don’t. Actually, we’ve become so dependent on caffeine that we use it to simply get back to our status-quo. When we’re off it, we under perform and become incapable.

Source: 50 Ways To Live On Your Own Terms – Benjamin Hardy – Pocket

Quit Your Job: 5 Countries Where You Can Live For Under $1,500 A Month – Laura Begley Bloom

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More Americans than ever are quitting their jobs and moving abroad or retiring overseas — 8.7 million, to be exact, according to State Department figures. And one of the biggest driving factors is the lower cost of living in other countries.

The editors at International Living recently came out with a list of the five best places where a couple can live on under $30,000 a year, or $2,500 a month. And guess what? If you’re single, it’s even cheaper. Take Cambodia, where you can live comfortably for just $1,150 a month. The most expensive place on the list — which spanned from Southeast Asia to Europe to Latin America — came in at just $1,500 a month for a single person.

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Cambodia

Why It’s Great: For the third year in a row, affordable and exotic Cambodia claimed the top spot in the cost-of-living category of International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index. “Cambodia may be far away, but that’s arguably the only downside. This is a place where you can instantly upgrade your lifestyle while you slash your cost of living,” says Jennifer Stevens, executive editor of International Living.

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Top Spot: The place to be? Phnom Penh. “French colonial buildings, wide leafy boulevards, gilded pagodas and palaces — it’s beautiful,” says Stevens. “And it’s also a great jumping-off point for exploring the region.” There is a cool local vibe in Phnom Penh, with its vibrant arts community and chic shops. And there’s nothing like going to the street corner in the morning to grab a fresh coconut and a newspaper.

The Cost: While the cost of living in Cambodia may be one of the lowest in the world, the standard of living is high. In Phnom Penh, you can find a one-bedroom, one-bathroom rental apartment with a balcony in the center of the city for a mere $250 per month. Utilities (water, electricity, garbage, cooking gas, drinking water) average around $80 to $100 a month. Dinner at a high-quality international restaurant costs $10 a person. And $200 a month will keep your fridge filled with food, fresh fruit and vegetables. A single person can live here for $1,150 a month — or less. A couple can live well on a monthly budget of $2,000.

Panama

Why It’s Great: Panama draws a thriving international business community as well as expats who are attracted to its cities, beaches and ease of living. The currency is the U.S. dollar, and there are many English speakers, as well as a well-trained medical community. Plus, it’s convenient: The international airport offers direct connections to many other parts of the world.

Los Destiladeros Beach in Pedasi, Panama. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Top Spot: At the tip of the Azuero Peninsula, Pedasí is a small fishing town about a five-hour drive from Panama City.  “For tranquil, rural living and ocean breezes, lazy Pedasí on Panama’s Pacific is worth a visit,” says Stevens. “It’s relatively remote, but the small English-speaking community has a very friendly reputation and for beachside living, you’d be hard-pressed to beat this surf-town’s low prices.”

The Cost: The cost of living is a big attraction in all of Panama and especially in Pedasí. You can eat lunch out for $3 to $7 per person and dinner for $6 to $12 per person. A beer is $1 to $2 a bottle, car insurance is just $600 a year and you can hire a housekeeper for just $15 for a half day and handymen to help with your home for $5 an hour. A single person can live on a modest budget of $1,391 in Pedasí, while a couple can live on as little as $1,665 a month.

Looking over Cuenca’s UNESCO-protected historical center and its surrounding mountains with a view of the towers of the Santo Domingo Church. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Ecuador

Why It’s Great: What’s your dream destination? Whether you’re in search of an unspoiled beach town, a bustling city or a quiet mountain village, you’ll find it in Ecuador. Plus, as part of the Land of Eternal Spring, you’ll enjoy good weather year-round.

A view of a street in Cuenca, Ecuador. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Top Spot: Looking for sophisticated living on a budget? You should have the colonial city of Cuenca at the top of your list. Cuenca is Ecuador’s third-largest city and one of the country’s five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. “Cuenca is rich with parks people really use, centuries-old churches, lots of restaurants and a seemingly endless supply of symphony, theater, dance and music offerings — often free,” says Stevens. “You can live right in the heart of the city center and it’s an easy place to get around without a car.”

The Cost: Living in Cuenca costs about 25% of what it costs in some parts of the United States. A single person can live on $1,440 per month, while a couple can expect to spend $1,680 per month, excluding travel. Real estate is affordable. Think: just $500 a month for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in the Puertas del Sol neighborhood. You don’t really need a car here: You can grab a taxi for just $3.50 or take a bus to neighboring cities for just $2.

A beautiful coastline with cliffs and sandy beach in Algarve, Portugal. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Portugal

Why It’s Great: “Long an under-the-radar destination for Americans, Portugal’s low costs, rich culture, slow pace, historic towns, warm weather and varied landscapes are attracting more U.S. retirees — and with reason: It’s home to the best-value living in Western Europe today,” says Stevens.

A public garden in Mafra village near Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Top Spot: One of the best places to move is low-key Mafra, located 21 miles northwest of Lisbon and 15 minutes from the breathtaking surfing beaches of Ericeira. The village has white-washed houses, narrow cobbled streets, tons of cafés and bars, as well as a wealth of outdoor activities. Next to one of the country’s largest national palaces is a huge park called the Jardim. In the former royal hunting grounds, Tapada de Mafra, you can go hiking and mountain biking.

The Cost: According to International Living, prices are low. You can expect to pay $5 for a fast-food snack, about $7 a person for a meal in a cheap restaurant and $10 in a midrange restaurant. At the grocery store, a half liter bottle of local beer is $1 and a bottle of nice wine is $4. Taxis start at about $4. Rent is attractive, too. A two-story home with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a four-car garage and a small guest house, all within walking distance of the center of town, can be had for just $1,000 per month. A single’s budget for Mafra is $1,465 a month. A couple can live well in Mafra on a monthly budget of $2,034.

Sunrise on a beach in Costa Rica. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Costa Rica

Why It’s Great: This country won top honors as International Living’s 2018 best place in the world to retire. “Costa Rica is a safe, good-value, beautiful country that offers a wide variety of climates and lifestyles amid what is really a natural wonderland,” says Stevens.

How about a house overlooking Lake Arenal, Costa Rica? (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Top Spot: Where to live? Not far from the capital of San José, Costa Rica’s Central Valley is home to about two-thirds of the country’s population and is a flashback to a simpler era. “Quiet, lushly green, eco-friendly and long a haven for Americans seeking spring-like weather year-round, the villages scattered through Costa Rica’s Central Valley represent excellent bang for your buck,” says Stevens. Some of the most popular towns for foreigners include Grecia, Atenas, San Ramon, Sarchi, Escazu, Santa Ana, Puriscal and Ciudad Colon. Another draw is that expats can live comfortably alongside Costa Ricans. There are safe residential communities, excellent medical facilities, great restaurants and plenty of natural wonders — volcanoes, waterfalls, rivers, forests.

The Cost: A single person can live on as little as $1,500 a month in the Central Valley, though you could get by on considerably less. A couple can live well on $2,000 a month. Also part of its appeal: “The healthcare in Costa Rica is top notch and low priced, and from this area it’s easy to access, too,” says Stevens.

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