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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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JudgeJ · 04/12/2021 20:37

@nocnoc

Make sure you are married. Make sure you have your own bank account with enough in it to pay for legal advice if shit hits the fan. Start thinking about getting paid work. Retrain.

Hopefully the husbands of such women also have their own bank account in case things go wrong! Or would that be deemed 'family money'? This sort of topic always produces the most hypocritical responses!
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JudgeJ · 04/12/2021 20:39

@LuluBlakey1

I know this is awful but I have a secret bank account. I put money into it regularly - £100 here and there. I have been doing it for 7 years and put some money from another account I had which DH knows about but never sees and the payment from an insurance policy my mum had which paid out when she died. There is £16,400 in it now. I am not planning on leaving DH- we are very happy but I just want a little bit of security. We each have an ISA and joint savings too and my money from my house when I was single, which went into our first joint house deposit, is protected in an legal agreement.
If we get to retirement age together it will be a nice treats account.

I do hope he has a secret bank account too, with more than £16K in it!
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sassbott · 04/12/2021 21:00

Interesting thread. Earlier this morning I skimmed one about a SAHM complaining about her mother constantly asking her when she was returning to some form of work. When she herself was very content to be a SAHM and ‘it works for her’. From the little I skimmed, she was met with resounding support.

I personally find threads like that astounding.

How and why women, time and again, hand their financial security across to men is beyond me. Keep some form of employment/ training. As a PP said, if your financial bucket is not sufficient enough to split 50/50 and sustain your lifestyle? Then being a SAHP is not even remotely an option. But if that is what you have done?

Keep a separate bank account (you will however have to legally disclose it in the event of a divorce)
Know the finances - what is where etc
Have your own pension/ ISA’s
Ensure you are on the deeds/ equal on bank accounts/ property
Do whatever you can to get back into work/ get some form of paid work. Judges will expect you to get back out and work. Regardless of how long you have been a SAHP.

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LuluBlakey1 · 04/12/2021 23:16

@JudgeJ I don't know 'cos it would be a secret. Perhaps he has- I doubt it knowing DH. He never worries about money. Grin

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Mary46 · 04/12/2021 23:25

Great advice. Im looking for work at moment but pay has be worth my while too. But I agree you do leave yourself vulnerable. I have been sahm and worked outside home too.

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Udouhun · 04/12/2021 23:51

Shmithecat well yes... everyone in the UK is entitled to a comprehensive education. I taught there for ten years and I can assuredly say that most teachers in comprehensive schools absolutely break themselves to give students the best opportunities possible. And no, I'm not ignorant.

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Lockdowninfinity · 04/12/2021 23:57

So many people saying don't be a SAHM but then women seem to be scorned at for wanting careers like men and using childcare to bring up the kids.

I guess you can't win


I’ll take the scorn over financial dependency any day. My DH would have had to have been able to earn enough for me to save my entire professional earning potential (including pension contributions) for me to even consider making myself dependant on his income - and he has never shown signs of being financially abusive. We started our
parenting journey 16 years ago now - spending a full salary on childcare for years….I knew then as I know now that the above applied. So grateful I juggled my career and motherhood; years later and I can walk out the door if I’m ever unhappy and still keep it all going financially. Coming from a single parent household - my mum drilled this into me early on. As I now do to my (far more privileged) daughters.

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notacooldad · 05/12/2021 00:15

*So many people saying don't be a SAHM but then women seem to be scorned at for wanting careers like men and using childcare to bring up the kids
I'm not sure who is scorning.
I've never heard anyone criticising either a working mother or a SAH mum in all the years I've been working and been a mother.
If anyone is criticising they have been below my radar and clearly dont matter.

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LemonTT · 05/12/2021 00:38

@RosesAndHellebores

I had a pre-nup to protect my assets
Engaged, married, children in that order
Have some financial independence and own bank account
Do not give up work forever.

I think we need pre and post nups. Better to thrash these things out when you like each other than when you want to divorce and hate each other.

I would rather a couple considered the implications of a career sacrifice and accepted what it would mean if they split. That the high earner, usually a husband, knows and accepts what they need to pay to make good any loss due to career sacrifice. That the SAHP accepts they are taking a risk.

Divorce and separations have been prevalent in our society for decades now. They are a freedom and right we need. Women need to be realistic and practical about what this means. Because funnily enough a lot of men are already.
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caringcarer · 05/12/2021 00:47

The most important advise is to marry. At least then you would be entitled to a share of assets and pensions. If not married carry on working and if have a child insists childcare costs, and drop offs and pick up are all shared. Also while on may leave continue to pay into pension or else it will be light.

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sst1234 · 05/12/2021 09:28

@notacooldad

*So many people saying don't be a SAHM but then women seem to be scorned at for wanting careers like men and using childcare to bring up the kids
I'm not sure who is scorning.
I've never heard anyone criticising either a working mother or a SAH mum in all the years I've been working and been a mother.
If anyone is criticising they have been below my radar and clearly dont matter.

True. This so-called scorn seems to be a proxy for SAHM prioritizing looking after children over building financial security for themselves. So many threads on here where women give up years of hard work building a career after having a child. Leaving yourself at the mercy of man to support you is the biggest gamble a woman will make with her life.
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StEval · 05/12/2021 09:46

@sst1234
Yes
Its an internalised form of misogyny, put your child before yourself, financial security and rely solely on a man.
This paves the way for control and abuse.

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LemonTT · 05/12/2021 10:43

@caringcarer

The most important advise is to marry. At least then you would be entitled to a share of assets and pensions. If not married carry on working and if have a child insists childcare costs, and drop offs and pick up are all shared. Also while on may leave continue to pay into pension or else it will be light.

I don’t think that’s the best advice. It’s basic advice that needs a lot of qualification.

Marriage won’t give you access to someone else’s income unless they want to give you access to it. Divorce is legal process to give you access to someone’s wealth and income.

A single income generally won’t provide enough wealth to be split between two adults with responsibilities for their children. It might for a few but not for most women. Divorce will impact on your lifestyle, man or woman. You need to be able to earn and parent in your own right if divorce happens.

Legal judgements are changing with progress in working lives. It’s getting harder to argue that you sacrificed to stay at home to look after healthy teenagers. That’s now seen as a privileged choice that might get you a bigger share of assets but not spousal maintenance.
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RosesAndHellebores · 05/12/2021 10:53

The best advice for women is to invest the max into pensions before dc. Whether they work again or not, there will still be a cushion later.

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thepeopleversuswork · 05/12/2021 11:23

@caringcarer

The most important advise is to marry. At least then you would be entitled to a share of assets and pensions. If not married carry on working and if have a child insists childcare costs, and drop offs and pick up are all shared. Also while on may leave continue to pay into pension or else it will be light.

As has been said before, marrying is a safety net if you don't work or don't earn much. It gives you a degree of financial protection if you split. But a) marriage is a bad idea for a higher-earning woman and b) its really no substitute for having your own money in the first place. So I would disagree that its the "most important advice".

Far far better advice would be for women to focus on maximising their financial independence in the first place, putting pensions etc in place, so marriage doesn't really come a need (financially speaking).
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RedskyThisNight · 05/12/2021 11:34

Having the ability to be financially independent is probably the best advice you can give your children. Note I say "having the ability". By all means be a SAHP if that works for your family, but think through the what-if scenarios and plan for them. It's not just worrying about what happens in the case of divorce. My friend was a SAHP for 12 years when her husband developed a degenerative disease. Suddenly relying on his salary, whilst letting her own career go didn't look like such a good plan.

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hardtobelieve · 05/12/2021 11:40

Amazingly if you are a married SAHP, there are tax advantages to having savings solely in the SAHP's name, if the working person is a higher rate tax payer.
Internet banking makes it harder to have joint savings products I have found, so share them out.
ISAs can only be in sole names.
My mother gave me excellent advice and said part of agreeing to be SAHP was being the one to control the finances, you have more time after all.
Being married before kids is the best protection though as others have said.

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tarasmalatarocks · 05/12/2021 11:49

@stalkersaga. Cant100% agree. You might end up with a flat in not quite such a nice area and less holidays , Less new clothes etc , but if you have a high spending H and lots do, you might not actually be that worse off day to day on food and bills etc . It depends what lifestyle you actually had. I know I could manage on far less than my H and not really feel the difference

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Itsnotdeep · 05/12/2021 12:06

I will and do advise my daughters to keep working throughout. Never be reliant on a man - if or when you split up, you are fucked if you haven't worked.

And it gives you the freedom to walk away from an unhappy relationship too. Too many women are stuck with men they don't love, like or even worse, with abusive men, because they can't afford to leave.

(and also, why would you not want to earn your own money?).

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GattoFantastico · 05/12/2021 12:12

@RedskyThisNight
'Having the ability to be financially independent is probably the best advice you can give your children. Note I say "having the ability". By all means be a SAHP if that works for your family, but think through the what-if scenarios and plan for them. It's not just worrying about what happens in the case of divorce. My friend was a SAHP for 12 years when her husband developed a degenerative disease. Suddenly relying on his salary, whilst letting her own career go didn't look like such a good plan.'

This.

Also the OP refers to a scenario where the woman has been a SAHM for most of her dh's working life. Frankly that sounds bizarre in this day and age.

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StEval · 05/12/2021 12:12

My mother gave me excellent advice and said part of agreeing to be SAHP was being the one to control the finances, you have more time after all

My mother gave me excellent advice which was to never give up work and rely on a man.
Controlling the finances doesnt work as the earner can simply change his account at work at any time-thats his right.
It also doesnt give you any future earning potential should he leave.

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thepeopleversuswork · 05/12/2021 12:35

My mother gave me excellent advice which was to never give up work and rely on a man.

This is all, really.

If there's one lesson you teach your female children, this is it.

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StEval · 05/12/2021 13:14

@thepeopleversuswork

My mother gave me excellent advice which was to never give up work and rely on a man.

This is all, really.

If there's one lesson you teach your female children, this is it.

I also wanted my children to be cared for and parented( hands on) by their father.
To see men cooking, cleaning and parenting them.
Essential in my view.
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RosesAndHellebores · 05/12/2021 13:54

Hmm. I was able to be a shame for 8 years because upon marriage I was the high earner and had high equity in my house. Hence the pre-nup. DH was at the start of his lucrative career. My early financial independence has gielven us equality throughout our marriage. Also neither of us "settled". We were in love, had similar views and interests and I believe we are both fundamentally loyal and decent. My mother's advice was always "if in doubt, don't do it".

I had 8 wonderful years at home with the children from 35 to 43 and then started my second career, taking a financial hit by working locally and quasi public sector but not a professional one. We didn't need the money but I think the connection work gives with the real world enhances a marriage.

I will probably retire in the next year or two at about 63. I'll have two thirds of a final salary occupational pension - not to be sneezed at by anybody - and despite being contracted out from 2004 -2014 in about 18 months I'll have my 35 qualifying years for a state pension.

Always, always have some private money stashed away. DH and I have always had individual independence over our money and don't know exactly what the other earns because we have never needed to. It helps that we have similar attitudes to spending.

In an emergency I have always k own where all the papers are. I have never felt the need to look.

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thepeopleversuswork · 05/12/2021 18:16

@StEval

It’s great to have a positive male role model and for children to see a man parenting and supporting them and their mother.

But the baseline is that chasing this should not be used to compromise the basic need for women to be able to look after their financial needs without a man.

I think a lot of women convince themselves that their children’s lives will be enhanced by a male “role model” and try to shoehorn a man into this role whether he is up to the job or not.

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