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February 27, 2014As I was perusing Facebook after the New Year, I couldn’t help but notice all of the engagement photos in between all of the “New Year, New Me” posts and other status updates about weight loss resolutions. It looked as if my newsfeed had been swamped with Jared Jewelry advertisements. While I’m all for a fairytale love story, it dawned on me that the ladies who were sporting these engagement rings were all under the age of 25.

Finding love at any age is a beautiful thing, but I began to wonder how tying the knot so young impacts a person’s career. The average woman who walks down the aisle is 26.5 years old, while grooms are 28.7. According to a report released by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, women who finish college and get married after they turn the big 3-0 earn $18,152 more per year than women who get married in their 20s or teens.

The study notes that women who hold off on getting married go further in their educations and get better established in their careers. For me personally, I’m living in the kingdom of singledom right now because I’m immersed in my career and I haven’t found the right suitor to match my hustle. I’m also taking notes from Ursula Burns on dating and marriage.

Just think what I could do with that extra $18,152 a year. Get Sallie Mae off of my back? Make some good investments? The possibilities are endless. As for weighing career advancement against love, the right balance differs for all of us. If holding off on heading to the altar will get me further professionally, then that’s worth thinking about. After all, Beyonce was well-established in her career before she let Jay-Z put a ring on it.