Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

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

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

DeepaBeesKit · 04/12/2021 11:56

What surprises me most about this thread is you are saying you know lots of women in their 40s/50’s who are SAHM.
I’m in my 60’s and don’t have any friends/family members who haven’t worked after children. Even my mums generation who are now in their 80s /90’s worked at least part time.


This. My mother is late 60s, she and all her friends worked. Most had between 5 & 10 years out of the workplace when children were very young but returned to full time work when the children started school.

Please
or
to access all these features

CaliforniaDrumming · 04/12/2021 11:57

Do you all not sign property deeds when you buy a house? When we did I made sure my name was on it and I had copies. Ditto all assets like shares, bonds and so on.

Please
or
to access all these features

LocalHobo · 04/12/2021 11:59

50's here, I was (still am I guess, although DC young adults now and only 1 at home) a SAHP. Most of my circle are the same, although two work about 10 hours per week and one has a home based job. I think, if you work full-time you are unlikely to come across SAHP hence you may feel we don't exist.

I agree that you need assets/income that could support two separate households without too much of an issue.
Ensure you pay your NI credits, make provision for a separate pension out of household income. All our accounts are in joint names so I have equal access to income, savings etc. I attend all meetings with our accountant so fully understand our financial situation.
The most important thing is that your spouse fully supports the decision to be a SAHP, and clearly sees that this saves them making huge outlays for childcare etc.

Please
or
to access all these features

thepeopleversuswork · 04/12/2021 12:02

@NotKnowingArseFromElbow

How do women get themselves in these situations??

I was a SAHM for many years but financially independent and married.

Multiple reasons:

Not being particularly interested in working and seeing marriage and children as an excuse to stop
Poor job opportunities
Controlling partners who want their partner to be at home
Finding the idea of being away from small children distressing
Thinking “love will conquer all”
“Traditional” values and the belief that children do better with a parent at home
Lack of ambition
Peer/family examples

Some of these have some superficial validity, others are dangerous or outdated.

But ultimately none of these trumps the importance of women and children being financially autonomous
Please
or
to access all these features

Opal8 · 04/12/2021 12:03

Here's the thing:
Most sahms are not so by choice (like me)
Those that are tend to be in the top earning brackets/independently wealthy

I've been a sahm with pockets of pt working when possible for 18 years now.

A combination of ill health, very poorly baby, surprise baby, dhs promotions and then now my ill health again has meant that I'm the sahp by default.

Not what I planned but 🤷‍♀️

What we/I have done to try and protect myself/assets:
GET MARRIED if you have children

  1. Mortgage in both names and on the deeds
  2. Tenants in common so should I kark it and my dh remarry my dc will get my half of the house equity/sale
  3. Car in my name
  4. Savings accounts/isas in my name
  5. Joint account and personal account
  6. Keep claiming CB as it will count towards your state pension
  7. Have a running away fund
  8. Don't ever assume it won't happen to you

    Dh could cheat/leave but I would be entitled to half the house, CM until my youngest leaves school, half his (good) pension, half of all other assets jointly owned like the savings. I'd probably go for spousal Maintenance too 😊
Please
or
to access all these features

Whingasaurus · 04/12/2021 12:06

I'm on my sixties now and in my second very happy financially equal marriage. Firstly be a sahm if you want to but get recompense, allowance, wages call it what you like but get an offical amount and negotiate up with every rise, bonus he gets. If you dh has you on the books for tax purposes get the money, your money, paid to you. Make saving your hobby, shares, pension, premium bonds whatever. Know exactly what your dh earns and what he does with it, if you are a sahm it's your income too. Get a job as soon as dc are on full time school doesn't matter what or where or if its 2 hours a week it gives you a different outlook. Never ever trust man with your financial wellbeing. I went from a very very comfortable gold credit card life to sleeping on friends floors with 2 dc I'd never trust anyone.

Please
or
to access all these features

Whingasaurus · 04/12/2021 12:07

And spousal maintenance is incredibly rare and difficult to enforce so don't bank on that

Please
or
to access all these features

CaliforniaDrumming · 04/12/2021 12:07

In my case I ended up an SAHM for some years because DH got a high paying job that involved us moving overseas but also made it possible for us to have zero mortgage, educate DC and also allow both of us to retire at 55 ( a few yrs away)with a lifelong pension. I have my name on everything though.

Please
or
to access all these features

CorvusPurpureus · 04/12/2021 12:12

If you happen to be the higher earner:

  1. don't get married
  2. if you do, or even if you have dc with a long term dp, don't become a SAHM
  3. OTOH, also don't allow dh/dp to become a SAHP if you can help it...or you'll quite possibly end up with dc who live mainly with your ex as 'main carer' post split whilst you see them EOW & half the holidays & pay maintenance. My ex was VERY keen on this idea.
  4. if you are the one whose family are contributing to, say, a house deposit, get that ring-fenced (deed of trust). My ex also liked the idea of fucking off with half the money my dps had given us...
  5. if you have savings/equity in a house & your dp doesn't, don't get married
  6. if you have dc from a previous relationship & would like to see them OK financially in the event of your untimely demise a) don't get married & b) if you must, get a bloody clear will drawn up.

    Obviously, reverse all this if you're the lower earner...except the not being a SAHM bit. That's pretty much always going to be to your financial detriment in a split, tbh.
Please
or
to access all these features

stalkersaga · 04/12/2021 12:20

The most important thing is that your spouse fully supports the decision to be a SAHP, and clearly sees that this saves them making huge outlays for childcare etc.

Bit of a hollow argument past the first three years. Even very high earners get 15 funded hours at 3 and wraparound for school age children is less p/h than even a minimum wage job.

Please
or
to access all these features

Opal8 · 04/12/2021 12:23

@Whingasaurus

And spousal maintenance is incredibly rare and difficult to enforce so don't bank on that

Oh know, but I'd give it a go 😊
Please
or
to access all these features

thepeopleversuswork · 04/12/2021 12:27

@CorvusPurpureus

This is a really good point. A higher-earning woman or one with assets should not get married.

But as you say in absolutely every scenario conceivable its a bad idea to be a SAHM.

Please
or
to access all these features

ancientgran · 04/12/2021 12:33

@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

ONLY marry if you are the LOWER earner and have no assets. Presumably that applies to men and women? I don't think there will be many weddings.
Please
or
to access all these features

ancientgran · 04/12/2021 12:39

@DeepaBeesKit

*What surprises me most about this thread is you are saying you know lots of women in their 40s/50’s who are SAHM.
I’m in my 60’s and don’t have any friends/family members who haven’t worked after children. Even my mums generation who are now in their 80s /90’s worked at least part time.*

This. My mother is late 60s, she and all her friends worked. Most had between 5 & 10 years out of the workplace when children were very young but returned to full time work when the children started school.

I'm almost 70 and the same. I can't think of any women I know who haven't worked outside the home, even in my mother's generation. My grandmother, born in the 19th centure, and her mother worked but I do know of women in their generations who didn't.
Please
or
to access all these features

Ana27 · 04/12/2021 12:39

It's all very well to say don't be a SAHM but it sounds as if the OP is already in that position, has been a SAHM for some time and wants to know what steps to take now to protect herself.

OP - it sounds as if you are married, which gives you some protection. Is the house/significant assets in joint names? Do you have pension/savings/investments in your own name at all?

Please
or
to access all these features

Warblerinwinter · 04/12/2021 12:43

If I had been SAHM I would have only agreed if married, joint property deeds, and my husband paid me a “wage” and pension whilst I was not working externally. Being a SAHM involves hard work and I’d want to be paid for it in terms of my husband paying out of his salary into my account. And for him /us to ensure my pension contributions continued
But, I’d never have given up work fully anyway…you loose out on keeping a foot in the door. Not just divorce courts expect you to work, so does government for your state pension- once you kids are 11 any state pension credit stops . Always always plan to be back in work by time youngest is 11

Please
or
to access all these features

thepeopleversuswork · 04/12/2021 12:45

@ancientgran

Marriage is an insurance policy to protect the lower earning person in the partnership (usually the woman). It only makes sense to get married for the lower earning partner.

Historically in the vast majority of cases it benefited women more than men to get married. In practice these days more men may benefit from it because a higher proportion of women are financially autonomous.

But strip out the religious and romantic window-dressing and the purpose of it really is to protect women while they are unable to work. Generally speaking, the same does not apply to men. I would be very suspicious of a lower-earning man who doesn't look after children wanting to get married as it has no benefit for the woman whatsoever.

TBH if more women became financially independent the need for marriage would diminish significantly. Which wouldn't be a bad thing in my opinion as it would encourage more women to look after their own economic interests.

Please
or
to access all these features

ancientgran · 04/12/2021 12:45

@RandomLondoner

at the moment finances are completely controlled by men, who seem to be holding all the cards…

If the men control the finances, it's probably because they earned the money, and it's in their own account. They will regard it as their own. Divorce may change that. So I take the opposite view, it's the women who hold the cards, and the men who should be shivering in fear at the prospect of divorce, because divorce is the trigger for a transfer of wealth from them to to their soon-to-be-ex-wives.

This is true, I know a very unhappy couple. She stays because she likes the lifestyle, he stays because he doesn't want to give her half of the money he has made, truly a self made man from a very poor background. They split up briefly 35 years ago and have lived unhappily at war ever since.

I can't see their life of unhappiness was worth the money involved but I guess we all have different priorities.
Please
or
to access all these features

Sowhatifiam · 04/12/2021 12:46

My ex walked out aged 38, cleared the bank accounts as he left and never looked back. I had 2 toddlers and was pregnant. I had a dreadful few years just getting the divorce sorted but I did do well financially out of it with the sale of the family home. I lost everything else. Luckily, As I was educated and had plenty of work experience, re-training was relatively simple and I have since earned enough to support my children without their father’s help. But none of it has been easy and would have been a million times harder on minimum wage with no recent work experience to speak of.

I would never marry again, precisely because I don’t want what I have gained independently to be taken from my children in the event of another marriage breakdown.

Please
or
to access all these features

Vintagevixen · 04/12/2021 12:51

  1. Don't repeat my mistake and GET MARRIED particularly if you have children.I wasn't and thus had no rights to any of my Ex partners pension despite sacrificing my career and working part time to do childcare, allowing him to build up his career nicely and so his pension.

  2. Don't believe in common law wife - total myth.

    3)Always, ALWAYS always have your name on property deeds - this saved me and allowed me to be able to purchase a property with the equity - still with a lot of sacrifices, had to move area, had to move DD to another school, we still really miss and mourn for our old area and friends. But at least we have a roof over out heads.

  3. Always keep up some form of income - I worked part time as a nurse when I could and kept up my registration, skills etc. This has allowed me to now work full time, earn money and get back into the NHS pension scheme. Even if you are a SAHM have property assets or investments or SOMETHING.

  4. Do believe that it does happen that someones DH/DP can be hiding secrets or undergo a complete personality change - I've seen it in action. Equally this applies if DH/DP undergoes another life change - eg serious accident, disability, mental health etc. You need to be able to cope in these circumstances even if you are a SAHM.

  5. Always have a run away fund - save an amount each month. I did and it helped pay for my movers/solicitors and enabled me to get our house sold and the situation resolved.
Please
or
to access all these features

Vintagevixen · 04/12/2021 12:51

This stuff needs to be taught in school.

Please
or
to access all these features

Redcart21 · 04/12/2021 12:52

Imagine if most men took that train of thought and only wanted to marry if they were the lower earners Hmm

Just don’t be a SAHP. And regardless of work status, get yourself as financially independent as possible. Even if that means you learn to invest on the side or day trade and keep your profits in your own separate account.

Please
or
to access all these features

FrancescaContini · 04/12/2021 12:54

Don’t be a SAHM for years on end
Have an education, training, professional experience
Have your own money
NEVER rely on a man financially

Please
or
to access all these features

ancientgran · 04/12/2021 12:54

[quote thepeopleversuswork]@ancientgran

Marriage is an insurance policy to protect the lower earning person in the partnership (usually the woman). It only makes sense to get married for the lower earning partner.

Historically in the vast majority of cases it benefited women more than men to get married. In practice these days more men may benefit from it because a higher proportion of women are financially autonomous.

But strip out the religious and romantic window-dressing and the purpose of it really is to protect women while they are unable to work. Generally speaking, the same does not apply to men. I would be very suspicious of a lower-earning man who doesn't look after children wanting to get married as it has no benefit for the woman whatsoever.

TBH if more women became financially independent the need for marriage would diminish significantly. Which wouldn't be a bad thing in my opinion as it would encourage more women to look after their own economic interests.[/quote]
If I look at my DD and her friends they are almost all the higher earners not by massive amounts but still the higher earners. They all seem more ambitious then their husbands. One of the husbands is the SAHP.

I've always been independent financially, married for 36 years and don't have joint accounts and neither of us know exactly what income the other has, never been an issue, we both pay our way and then do what we want with what's left. I just think it is so hypocritical to say a lower earning woman should make sure she's married but not tell men the same because they have as much risk of losing what is their's. I worked with someone who was not a high earner but he was asset rich as his parents died young. He got married, she'd just graduated and never had a job, they got pregnant almost immediately so she said it wasn't worth working, as soon as baby was born she told him she wanted a divorce. She also wanted the house that had been bought with the money his parents left him, half the money, maintenance oh and by the way she didn't want him to see the baby. It was a long messy affair and it nearly broke him, financially and mentally.

Please
or
to access all these features

BridStar · 04/12/2021 12:54

Being married is all well and good but does it help a lot in the end? Men still hide their money and refuse to pay child support. You'll still be homeless.

Obviously being a non married partner is worse, but court fees and hidden, squirreled money are still factors for the married ones.

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.