Want to retire rich? Have a small wedding and invest the rest

A friend of mine recently joked that if somebody was planning a $40,000 wedding (about average, by some accounts), “Paul Merriman would say: Have a $1,000 wedding and put the other $39,000 into a Roth IRA that earns 10% for 40 years. You’d never have to add another dime in order to retire.”

When I heard about this it got me to thinking. And calculating. It turns out my friend was righter than he realized.

I hope you won’t misinterpret that I’m against weddings or against marriage. Not at all.

But if a couple or their families really have $40,000 to spend on a wedding, is that the best use of that money? Wedding planners and the whole wedding industry may hate me, but I have to admit that I doubt that’s the best use of $40,000.

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