Uncertain Economy Sees College Grads Delaying Marriage, Family [Study]

A new study is raising questions about the peripheral effects of America’s uncertain economy. A survey from Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit dedicated to engaging young adults on economic issues, shows that college graduates and 20-somethings are delaying important life decisions like marriage and having children.

The post-recession economy has translated into a challenging job market, lower earnings, and a greater chance of moving back home with parents for many recent college graduates. As they plan an uncertain future in light of an uncertain economy, many are consciously pushing off milestones like marriage and family.

Eight in 10 young women between the ages of 18 and 29 living in Florida say they’ve delayed “key life decisions” because of the uncertain economy. Three in 10 specifically cited starting their own family as something they will either stall or skip completely, and two in 10 said the same about marriage.

Other life events on the chopping block include vacations, attending weddings or family reunions, buying a home and saving for retirement.

Generation Opportunity executive vice president Amber Roseboom said that young women’s “careers and dreams have been interrupted,” in a statement.

MSN Money notes that some of this fear can be assuaged by a better understanding of each issue. Recent grads pushing off marriage and family in light of an uncertain economy may not realize that getting married can actually save money by combining expenses, the virtue of dual incomes, the pressure to follow a budget, and lowered tax rates.

Children are a trickier sell, but there are ways to save money there too.

“Children can share bedrooms, parents can buy or borrow secondhand clothes and toys, and buying and cooking food in bulk can keep grocery bills down. Parents might even find that some pre-baby costs, such as restaurant meals and vacations, naturally go down with their new child-centric lifestyle.”

Still, delaying such life decisions definitely constitutes the “safe” route, and can pay off. But for young couples seeking to move forward in their lives, it’s possible to get married and start a family, even in the uncertain economy, without going broke.

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