Money

How much money you should have saved before you get married

wedding guests cost
Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy | Getty Images

The average American gets married in their late 20s — at age 27 for women and age 29 for men — and the best time to get married may be between ages 28 and 32, according to a University of Utah analysis that found that those who commit at that point have the lowest risk of getting divorced.

So how much should you have saved by then?

The rule of thumb is to have roughly the equivalent of your annual salary in savings by then, experts say. If you earn $50,000 a year, for example, you should aim to have $50,000 put away.

That amount includes any retirement account contributions, matching funds from your company, cash savings or money you have invested elsewhere, in index funds or with a robo-advisor.

While this is a good general rule, everyone's individual situation is going to be different depending on whether you have debt or loans or other family responsibilities.

Still, before tying the knot, you'll want to open up about things like how much you want to spend on the wedding and whether or not you want to buy a home right away. Depending on what these more immediate expenses look like, you may decide you want to have more saved.

You'll also want to talk about how you will blend your finances. Do you want to have a joint bank account, or do you want to keep them separate? How are you going to save for each other's, or your shared, goals if your incomes are different? How are you actually going to reach those goals together?

While money conversations aren't necessarily easy or fun, they're essential. After all, arguments about finances are the top predictor of divorce.

If you get married earlier or later than the typical American does, your savings goals will look different. Here's a guide for how much you should have saved at various ages:

In your 20s: Aim to save 25 percent of your overall gross pay
By age 30: Have the equivalent of your annual salary saved
By age 35: Have twice your annual salary saved
By age 40: Have three times your annual salary saved
By age 45: Have four times your annual salary saved

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