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After 45/50 years old - financial security when I see other marriages failing
217

JackRatt · 04/12/2021 09:58

Hello all,

I have various friends who are currently going
through terrible divorce/ break ups (in these cases male instigated -affairs etc) and at the moment finances are completely controlled by men, who seem to be holding all the cards…

I wondered what the best way to safeguard and protect your future is? Especially if you have been a SAHM for the majority of your husbands working life?

Thank you

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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JackRatt · 06/12/2021 21:50

Wow - thank you all so much for your advice. I am working my way though it all. To be honest my friendship group have been floored by the actions of very close friends husbands recently and it’s made me really assess my own situation. How quickly things can turn so evil is so scary and I think it’s sent shock waves through us all. I do work, but there was a chunk of my time when I did not work, mainly when the kids were very young. So it’s now I am reassessing exactly what is where finance wise. It’s so easy to become complacent - which I know is naive, but sometimes life is so busy. I’ve had friends break up before, but the particular break ups I’m witnessing are particularly cruel.

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EightWheelGirl · 06/12/2021 19:14

What, you mean like the majority of adults do? Plenty of people don’t like working. But they also need to pay the bills. What if your husband decided he felt “lost” and that he wanted to be a SAHP? Grow up.

Exactly as I said. Working isn't 'aspirational' it's largely a tedious thing people do to earn money.

I don't need to grow up. I don't work in an industry where I have to pretend to be miss nice PC upstanding citizen like most office workers. There is so much demand for building materials that if a customer fucks me around or acts like a dick I'll happily tell them to get fucked and find another supplier. Wouldn't have it any other way.

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SSOYS · 06/12/2021 11:27

OP, in your shoes I'd do the following-

  • check that you are registered as owning your house
  • review what you have in savings (joint and your own)
  • what pension do you have? You can pay a certain amount in and get the tax benefit even if you don't have personal income- this might be worth doing in any event. What entitlement do you have to state pension?
  • what does your DP have in personal savings? Pension?
  • is your cars yours outright?
  • work- think about what you could do. What have you done while not working that you can use to demonstrate skills- any volunteering, running the PA type stuff? Write it all down. Would be willing to retrain to do something more substantial? You have another 20 years of potential working life ahead of you.

    I really liked Lucy Kellaway's recent book about completely changing her life at 50. Her situation wasn't the same as yours but it's a good kick-up-the-bum book to remind you that being 50 doesn't mean you have to be a passenger in your life.
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Cocomarine · 06/12/2021 11:06

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk guidelines.

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sst1234 · 06/12/2021 10:53

This family money business is just a way for SAHMs to make themselves feel better about the precarious position the have out themselves in. There are more threads on here where women are being shafted for being dependent on a man than those where women really do benefit from ‘family money’. Wake up ladies. There is no such thing as family money. Unless you have protected your own earning power, family money will last only as long ad your marriage does, and we all know divorce stats.

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thepeopleversuswork · 06/12/2021 07:27

@hivemindneeded

I agree. I'm often aghast at the people on here saying its all "family money". The "family money" thing only works if you're a SAHM or the lower earner. I would never pool money with a partner or spouse, apart from maybe just an account for house maintenance etc.

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hivemindneeded · 06/12/2021 05:02

I don't agree about joint bank accounts unless you are SAHM without any income of your own, in which case, go for a joint account and siphon some off each week into an emergency savings account.. When DC were small and I was a SAHM, DH was quite financially controlling. I really struggled on CB. He spent more in the pub with his media friends each lunchtime than I had all week. I begged for us to have a joint account but he never got around to it. When DC started school, I set up as a freelancer and started to earn reasonable money. DH lost his job. He started asking for us to have joint accounts. I said no. I like the fact that I have full control over my money. I pay my way. But men have been known to clear out joint accounts. They can't do that to accounts in your own name.

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blisstwins · 06/12/2021 03:07

@CaliforniaDrumming

Marry
Don't be an SAHM
Get your name on all the property deeds and have joint bank acs
know where the money is

Went through a divorce at 50 and thankfully had worked and controlled finances. I think sAhm, for more than a few years, is way too risky and I don’t understand kids and no marriage. If already in the position I would always make sure I had friends and skills.
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TedMullins · 06/12/2021 02:21

Unless your children need extra care due to illness and disability, there really is no excuse not to work once they’ve gone to school. I don’t have a crumb of sympathy for anyone who decided to never work again once they had kids - I don’t think there are many, if any, new mothers now who’d make that choice but it’s idiotic.

Put yourself and your financial autonomy first - prioritise it over finding a partner and having kids. It doesn’t have to mean having a high-flying career. It simply means earning enough to run a household on your own and that varies vastly depending on where you live. If you want to be a high earner chase the kind of jobs that pay such salaries. If you don’t, just make sure you earn enough to afford your own place even if that’s a one-bed flat, and that you can live financially independently. Until you can do this, you shouldn’t be thinking about getting married or having kids imo. Obviously life is not that simple for everyone but I am referring to neurotypical women with no health, disability or other considerations that would prevent them achieving this. If/when you do marry, SIT DOWN AND TALK ABOUT THE FINANCIAL SIDE OF THINGS in detail, and do the same about childcare and parenting responsibilities before you have kids. Don’t assume things will just fall into place. Communicate your expectations and never forget about your own needs and requirements. Don’t sacrifice them in favour of “the family”.

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Dogsandbabies · 06/12/2021 02:18

@WaterBottle123

Previous posters are incorrect. ONLY marry if you are the LOWER earner and have no assets.

Under no circumstances give up your job or go part time whike he remains full time

Absolutely this. Being married can be a very expensive mistake.
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silentpool · 06/12/2021 02:12

@Skysblue

Hey, maybe if someone asks what to do if they’ve been a SAHM for ages and are financially vulnerable… Maybe saying “don’t be a SAHM” is not that helpful. Just a thought.

So many smug self-righteous people stealth-gloating on this thread instead of answering the question.

There are a lot of posters who are offering hard won advice - i.e the best kind, coming from those who have experienced this kind of situation. OP should listen to us and implement the suggestions. Might never happen but if it does, OP will be prepared.
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TedMullins · 06/12/2021 02:11

@EightWheelGirl

I think personally I’d feel I’d already lost if I had to sit at a desk for the majority of hours in a day, majority of days in a week, every week of most months, most months of the year, and then most years of my life.

What, you mean like the majority of adults do? Plenty of people don’t like working. But they also need to pay the bills. What if your husband decided he felt “lost” and that he wanted to be a SAHP? Grow up.
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Mischiefofmice · 06/12/2021 01:30

Perhaps I should add, to the above, I still envy couples happily married, That never goes away….

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Mischiefofmice · 06/12/2021 01:25

As a 55 yr old woman who’s been divorced 12 yrs ( husband had affair leaving me with 2 children… completely floored me ) I have to say the fact I am in a good place financially brings me such a sense of pride and relief.
I was very proactive, downsized immediately, purchased a doer upper, . I realised I would need to retrain so as soon as the kids were old enough I went back to uni , sold my house for a good profit and also continued to worked part time to finance it. They were hard years but the end result is I now own a nice house mortgage free and I earn good money. Pension is not great but I am ploughing money into that.
I think the point I am making is that altho I always considered myself married for life , I was also always aware of ‘what ifs’ and always worked and had modest savings and and put into a pension ( at the sacrifice of normal treats- budget was really tight) which allowed me to make a new life and use it as a spring board .
The feeling of security it gives me now and the financial freedom to live my life independently, knowing I can run a decent car, plan holidays , help put kids through uni is immeasurable.
I will never be rich but I am thankful every day. I was in a very toxic relationship at one point and I was able to easily walk away with dignity only because I was financially secure ( if only money could fix emotional trauma… whole different thread)
I am evangelical with my own daughter now about her own financial security, it is so important to be aware that life can change dramatically and whilst money cannot buy you happiness it does give you so many other things.

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sst1234 · 06/12/2021 00:14

@Skysblue

Hey, maybe if someone asks what to do if they’ve been a SAHM for ages and are financially vulnerable… Maybe saying “don’t be a SAHM” is not that helpful. Just a thought.

So many smug self-righteous people stealth-gloating on this thread instead of answering the question.

What a strange position to take? Do you not believe in facts, or do you believe in infantilizing grown adults. Do you want vulnerable SAHMs to be told to carry on as they are.
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thepeopleversuswork · 05/12/2021 23:09

@Skysblue

What do you want people to say, though? The question was how you protect yourself financially if you are a SAHM. The answer is acquire some financial independence. There's no way to sugar coat this.

Anyone of the OP's generation who is asking this question and genuinely doesn't know the answer needs a bit of a wake-up call, frankly. It's not too late, but saying "there there it'll all be fine" is not an honest or a constructive response.

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Skysblue · 05/12/2021 22:27

Hey, maybe if someone asks what to do if they’ve been a SAHM for ages and are financially vulnerable… Maybe saying “don’t be a SAHM” is not that helpful. Just a thought.

So many smug self-righteous people stealth-gloating on this thread instead of answering the question.

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thepeopleversuswork · 05/12/2021 22:26

Well if that works for you then great, but I don’t understand how so many women seem to have ‘being a businesswoman’ as their main goal in life.

But no one has said you need to "be a businesswoman". This is a ridiculous fallacy which comes up time and again on these threads - as if working mums were all ball-busting Trump mini mes. It's a stereotype straight out of the 1980s. There's a middle ground between "being a businesswoman" and being totally supported by your husband. The vast majority of women in the world fall into this middle ground.

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minimonkey11 · 05/12/2021 22:15

Apart from they get half the house?

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minimonkey11 · 05/12/2021 22:13

Oh ok so the working parent pays maintenance for the kids as such but sahm is on her own in terms of financial support?

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notanothertakeaway · 05/12/2021 22:11

Don't be a SAHM

Earn your own money

Simples

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DameCelia · 05/12/2021 22:10

@minimonkey11
If you live together and split up the working parent only has to support the children.
If a married couple split up all assets are thrown in the pot, children and non working parent get housed and the rest split according to need.
(Very roughly 😜)

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DrSbaitso · 05/12/2021 22:09

I earn well enough and have good prospects but tend to have a view more like the average bloke

You don't say.

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minimonkey11 · 05/12/2021 22:04

If you have kids and have your names jointly on the house deeds - what difference does marriage make? This is a genuine question - what does marriage give you?

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thepeopleversuswork · 05/12/2021 22:01

@EightWheelGirl

I think there’s always the assumption on here that any given woman would have a professional career if she wasn’t a SAHM. I’m not sure that’s always the case and sometimes marrying a rich man and being a SAHM is going to be a better financial than working in a low paid retail job.

I don't think anyone's assuming that you have to have a "professional career". They're saying having an ability to make your own money is vital, whether you're an accountant or a florist.

Marrying a rich man and staying at home may be financially better. But it's a huge gamble. You're gambling on that rich man continuing to love you and find you attractive, consider you a good partner and mother, not cheating on you, being financially trustworthy, not getting sick or dying young. It's a bit like saying you might win the lottery. You might indeed. But few people would stop work on the basis that their lottery ticket will come good some day. Even if you do win the man lottery, you'll still never really be in control.

Also your assumption that a working woman is "wasting her life sat at a desk making spreadsheets" is a pretty broad brush statement. You do know that not all working mothers make spreadsheets, no?

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