Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
tibbitts
Posts: 13846
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by tibbitts »

beyou wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 6:38 pm Financial planning should cause one to plan for outcomes you desire, and common undesirable outcomes for sure. That is why we buy insurance. Maybe there should be divorce insurance, similar to life. Pays you in event of divorce, to compensate for such unexpected event. Insurance has the benefit of putting a price on things, and a price helps to clarify your plans.

For example, have not bought LTCi because I absolutely have no plans to end up in assisted living nor a nursing home. Yes the worst could happen, but not going to live my life planning for all the worst possible outcomes. If anything this thread could cause some to consider the value of life insurance on your spouse, to fund extra cost (taxes and more) of living on your own after their loss. If they sold a policy that covered both death of spouse and divorce, even better. For now I prefer to spend $ to be happily married now rather than unhappily divorced later.
There can only be insurance where there are extremely serious consequences required to invoke the insurance. Having a LTC facility determined necessary for you is a serious negative consequence. Losing your life is a serious consequence. Divorce is not in the same category.
User avatar
alpenglow
Posts: 1249
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 12:02 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by alpenglow »

tibbitts wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:31 pm I somewhat disagree with the premise, only in that I think most Bogleheads are equally failing to take into account the possibility of the death of one person in a couple, and the tax impact that has. There's more than one way to end up being single. Admittedly there can be more resources available to pay taxes for a surviving spouse, but possibly not, depending on social security and pension income.
This was the problem with my parents. RMDs are now a tax bomb.

I've learned my lesson and I'm doing a lot of Roth conversions so a surviving spouse won't be buried in taxes.
livelovelaugh00
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:15 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by livelovelaugh00 »

Invest in our marriages.
Invest in our health.
Guaranteed return.
User avatar
beyou
Posts: 3828
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:57 pm
Location: Northeastern US

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by beyou »

tibbitts wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 6:44 pm
beyou wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 6:38 pm Financial planning should cause one to plan for outcomes you desire, and common undesirable outcomes for sure. That is why we buy insurance. Maybe there should be divorce insurance, similar to life. Pays you in event of divorce, to compensate for such unexpected event. Insurance has the benefit of putting a price on things, and a price helps to clarify your plans.

For example, have not bought LTCi because I absolutely have no plans to end up in assisted living nor a nursing home. Yes the worst could happen, but not going to live my life planning for all the worst possible outcomes. If anything this thread could cause some to consider the value of life insurance on your spouse, to fund extra cost (taxes and more) of living on your own after their loss. If they sold a policy that covered both death of spouse and divorce, even better. For now I prefer to spend $ to be happily married now rather than unhappily divorced later.
There can only be insurance where there are extremely serious consequences required to invoke the insurance. Having a LTC facility determined necessary for you is a serious negative consequence. Losing your life is a serious consequence. Divorce is not in the same category.
The why do people buy extended warrantees ?
MM1130
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:16 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by MM1130 »

Yes, it could change retirement plans. But I wonder how much of that divorce rate is also people “gaming the system.” Maybe it doesn’t work like I think, but divorce could be a way to preserve funds if your spouse needs long term care.
neverpanic
Posts: 797
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 12:26 am

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by neverpanic »

Good conversation and I agree it is worthwhile, but how is this relationship and legal thread deemed personally actionable?
I am not a financial professional or guru. I'm a schmuck who got lucky 10 times. Such is the life of the trader.
tibbitts
Posts: 13846
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by tibbitts »

beyou wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:14 pm
tibbitts wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 6:44 pm
beyou wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 6:38 pm Financial planning should cause one to plan for outcomes you desire, and common undesirable outcomes for sure. That is why we buy insurance. Maybe there should be divorce insurance, similar to life. Pays you in event of divorce, to compensate for such unexpected event. Insurance has the benefit of putting a price on things, and a price helps to clarify your plans.

For example, have not bought LTCi because I absolutely have no plans to end up in assisted living nor a nursing home. Yes the worst could happen, but not going to live my life planning for all the worst possible outcomes. If anything this thread could cause some to consider the value of life insurance on your spouse, to fund extra cost (taxes and more) of living on your own after their loss. If they sold a policy that covered both death of spouse and divorce, even better. For now I prefer to spend $ to be happily married now rather than unhappily divorced later.
There can only be insurance where there are extremely serious consequences required to invoke the insurance. Having a LTC facility determined necessary for you is a serious negative consequence. Losing your life is a serious consequence. Divorce is not in the same category.
The why do people buy extended warrantees ?
They aren't insurance, and always make a point to state that, probably for regulatory purposes. But I agree it's somewhat the same issue in that the service plan has to attempt to make sure claims are valid. For example if you could intentionally damage your an appliance, automobile, that had merely experienced normal wear and tear, or that you simply didn't want any longer, and get paid for repair or replacement - putting you in a better position than you were in without using the service plan - a lot of customers would do that. I'm guessing it would be even harder to detect someone doing that in the case of divorce.
THY4373
Posts: 1440
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by THY4373 »

livelovelaugh00 wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:11 pm Invest in our marriages.
Invest in our health.
Guaranteed return.
Both are great ideas yes, but no guarantees on either. We like to think we have more control over events than we actually do.
mrsbetsy
Posts: 314
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:16 am

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by mrsbetsy »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:40 am
Willmunny wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:12 am
That is the statistical chance of a divorce.
Willmunny,

And, why do you think that is a bad thing?

My family member divorced and the spouse took 50% of the asset. As a result of the divorce, my family member early retired.

The correct answer is "it depends".

Some spouse/partner are spenders. Some spouse/partner are savers. To the savers, 50% of the asset is more than enough for them to retire. To the spenders, 50% of the asset is not enough.

The most relevant question to the person is are you the savers or spenders in this marriage? Can you retire well with 50% of the asset? If not, you are spending more than your share.

KlangFool
Perfectly stated. I am a saver, my husband a spender. If we divorced, I would be absolutely fine. I'd be rid of this big house, get myself a tiny little bungalow and live the rest of my days content. I don't need much and I know how to take care of myself quite well.

However, there's a very slim chance we will ever divorce - I just can't even imagine it. He loves me to the moon and back and after 33 years of marriage, we just jive...we earned this contented place in life.
User avatar
warner25
Posts: 580
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:38 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by warner25 »

qwertyjazz wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:29 am https://livingafi.com/2021/03/17/the-20 ... more-15998

Probably the best financial independence retire early blog. His update where he gets divorced, has medical problems and goes back to work.
This was a thought-provoking piece; thanks for sharing. However, I don't see this as an example of divorce ruining retirement plans. He only quotes numbers for his personal portfolio and personal spending (saying his ex-wife's numbers were separate and similar), and his portfolio grew substantially throughout this saga. He says the numbers didn't work anymore due to the medical issues, but even that isn't obvious to me from his rough numbers.

The more cautionary part of this story is the potential reality of (very) early retirement: losing touch with the rest of society and falling behind peers, in socioeconomic status, who are still growing their incomes. First his ex-wife was dissatisfied with early retirement (feeling poor?), resulting in the divorce, and later he was largely dissatisfied (with his loneliness and lack of purpose).
Last edited by warner25 on Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Topic Author
Willmunny
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:35 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by Willmunny »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 5:23 pm
Willmunny wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 4:31 pm
KlangFool wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:40 am
Willmunny wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:12 am
That is the statistical chance of a divorce.
Willmunny,

And, why do you think that is a bad thing?

My family member divorced and the spouse took 50% of the asset. As a result of the divorce, my family member early retired.

The correct answer is "it depends".

Some spouse/partner are spenders. Some spouse/partner are savers. To the savers, 50% of the asset is more than enough for them to retire. To the spenders, 50% of the asset is not enough.

The most relevant question to the person is are you the savers or spenders in this marriage? Can you retire well with 50% of the asset? If not, you are spending more than your share.

KlangFool
It is not always a bad thing financially, but it often is.
Willmunny,

If it is financially bad for someone, what is wrong with that? We have a choice. We could either be financially literate and learn to how to take care of ourselves or hope that someone else will. The problem with counting on someone else is it may not work out.

KlangFool
I agree. We should not count on someone else taking care of us. I sure don't. But I fear when some are making their financial plans, they are doing just that.
Jags4186
Posts: 5784
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by Jags4186 »

I can plan for getting hit by a bus and getting killed by buying life insurance.
I can plan for getting hit by a bus and being permanently disabled by buying disability insurance.
I can plan for a meteor striking and destroying my house by buying home owners insurance.

Last I checked there is no divorce insurance. So if one chooses to get married the best bet is to choose to marry well and be a good partner.
Topic Author
Willmunny
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:35 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by Willmunny »

neverpanic wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:35 pm Good conversation and I agree it is worthwhile, but how is this relationship and legal thread deemed personally actionable?
Off the top of my head:

- Consider prenups if currently unmarried but considering marriage
- To bsteiner's point, consider family trust planning and other planning to, within the scope of the law, segregate what is considered "separate property" in the event of a divorce under the laws of your state.
- In considering retirement projections and whether you have saved enough, perhaps run the numbers to consider how your assets and expenses would look in the event of a divorce.

Those seem like actionable things to me.

Divorce can be involuntary. It is not always two people coming together and determining it is no longer working. I know of people who have basically had a spouse become unfaithful and then leave him/her. Maybe some contributed to that and some were innocent victims. But for these people, the termination of their marriages was not a choice. If one person wants out, no matter how long the marriage has lasted, the law lets him or her out. So, I think it is prudent to at least be aware of that reality and determine whether or not that would have a material impact on retirement planning assumptions. As I said in the original post, for many people, I believe that would be a more helpful exercise than working on getting a Firecalc probability of failure number down from 3% to 2% while ignoring the possibility of a divorce in such calculation.
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23758
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Don't step out of your house - no more blind spots, but it makes for a very lonely life. Be practical, there is no 100% foolproof in life, you can take reasonable means to mitigate risks but you are fooling yourself if you believe that every single possible poor outcome can be eliminated with certainty. Circumstances and relationships evolve over time, what was once perfect becomes imperfect, sometimes they breakdown for no specific cause, it just happens. It only takes 1 for the division to occur, you may get a reason, you may not. Don't discount that other factors outside of either parties control, no matter the level of either parties investment or intervention can still leads to a dissolution.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
politely
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:20 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by politely »

livelovelaugh00 wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:11 pm Invest in our marriages.
Invest in our health.
Guaranteed return.
This is correct.

Hopefully, this won't sound arrogant, but I don't consider divorce a blind spot for me even while acknowledging that I don't have full control over the outcome. I've thought a lot about the consequences of divorce and the financial impact. It is usually identified as among life's top three most stressful events. While financial planning will help ease the financial burden that may result from divorce, I think that (i) choosing your spouse carefully and (ii) investing in the marriage are the primary defenses against divorce, and more helpful than the financial planning portion. I believe investing and working on the marriage daily is fundamental to financial security. Over the years, it becomes easier to take the spouse for granted -familiarity can breed contempt- and has to be fought on a regular basis. I still remember an article from over two decades ago that noted that the average married couple spends less than 20 minutes a day talking to each other. I've worked hard to exceed that average - and yes, it gets harder over the years, but is worth the commitment.

Here's a somewhat terrible analogy (still terrible even if I skip part (i) about choosing between an exotic supercar and a Toyota/Honda): if you drive regularly and follow recommended maintenance intervals, you can usually tell when problems are developing and address them before there is serious damage to the car, and (at worst) this investment of time and effort should enable you to predict the car's end of life based on the diagnosed/recurring problems and take appropriate measures. Ignoring the car and deferring the maintenance is likely lead to an early and unexpected trip to the junk yard.
esteen
Posts: 258
Joined: Thu May 23, 2019 12:31 am

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by esteen »

Great topic, thanks for posting.

I think about this. DW and I have been together >15yrs and have a great marriage, and of course at this point I don't see that ending anytime soon, but I'm pragmatic enough to know the statistics and understand just enough psychology to know that people change and grow throughout adulthood in unforseen ways. We could get divorced, no doubt, no matter how amazing and blissful our marriage seems now.

Fortunately for me it's not as much of a financial issue unless I get completely screwed over in divorce proceedings. I have less expensive tastes, lived far cheaper when I was on my own, have a great job that pays me well above my single-status living expenses, and 50% of our current nest egg would still have me on track for single retirement.

That said, divorce would be very difficult in all the other, non-financial ways. I feel the best "divorce insurance" is working on the marriage, especially communication+empathy, which is the backbone of any relationship.

Somethingwitty92912 wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:23 pm ...
You could each have 25x, or you could focus on making your marriage stronger by working on it every day.
...
Simply put your best investment is your marriage, so perhaps we should all spend more time working on that, and not eking out an extra 1% by tilting towards small caps, or whatever nonsense is on the chopping block this week.

There’s an unlimited amount of money, time is the only thing in short supply. How we spend it, who we spend it with, how we conduct ourselves, and how we treat those around us is far more important than the money we have.
Yes! +1

randomguy wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:46 pm As far as if working on your marriage every day matters, you would need to look at the divorce rate of people who say they do that. I expect it is right inline with the national average..... It sounds a lot like the things we tell ourselves about why bad things happened to other people but will not happen to us.
I disagree. I mean, I agree that we all tell ourselves bad things happen to others but not to us. But I very much disagree with the statement about working on marriages isn't going to affect divorce rates. I'd love to see any statistics on that, because you say you "expect" without citing any studies. My <5min Google search on reasons for divorce shows a study that communication problems are the leading factor in divorce (65%)... Something easily worked on and probably the thing most universally needing work in relationships. I feel if one doesn't want to work on their marriage, they're likely doomed from the start.
User avatar
backofbeyond
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:07 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by backofbeyond »

My background is in the military and then civil service. My 5 closes friends are ex military and then went on to become either civil servants and/or DOD contractors. I personally (key word) have found Divorce is a major issue in people that come from similar backgrounds. All 5 of my friends, ex military officers, have had at least one, but most, more than 2 divorces. I could go on as to why this happens, but that's not really germaine to this financial discussion. However, I do think it's important to mention that if you get guys (maybe ladies as well) that have solid financial floors (such as 50% retired military salary for life) then add on large corporate salaries, it makes some of them feel powerful. Not unlike Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos being examples of what can happen when older married people become financially solvent, you get where I'm going.

One of the discussion that we normally have when we get together is was it worth it to get a divorce? As in, was getting out of a marriage worth the financial pain? For all of my friends, the answer is Yes. In all cases, my friends went on to have 2nd or 3rd families. However, when I look at their ex's, it was not. The ex's were NOT of equivalent career or salaries, so the ex's and any children suffered a downshift in quality of life standards.

I still count the ex's as my friends, so I do talk to them on a regular basis and not one of them saw their divorce coming. So, at least in my world, this blind spot, turns out to be just that.
The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it is at what income. - George Foreman
helloeveryone
Posts: 821
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by helloeveryone »

THY4373 wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:51 pm OP I agree this is a real blind spot with Bogleheads. I am divorced and now have a wonderful solo life and I have no interest in getting remarried or living with a romantic partner again. I am as committed to my solo-ness as most BH's appear to be committed to their marriages. Thus I find it amusing that whenever a single person comes here for financial advice and invariably the topic of some future romantic partnership comes up. Stuff like you look good but what happens when you want to get married? Or to quote a recent comment I saw "being single in your 40s is unpredictable" as if somehow being married in your 40s was less so. But, never, not once, have I seen anybody comment on a married person's request for say are they ready for retirement with hey yeah it looks good as long as you don't get divorced. Folks around here seem to assume at some level that being single is a temporary situation and being married is mostly a permanent one.

There is also another blind spot with talk of marriage and divorce on BH and other forums. Folks seem to make the assumption that if you don't fall into the 25%-50% (pick your number) of marriages that end in divorce you are all good. But in my experience that isn't the case I know several marriages (that may yet eventually end in divorce) but right now they are pretty miserable but they stay together because they absolutely cannot afford to divorce. A good divorce is better than a bad marriage.
can you expand on "they can't afford to divorce"?
are they miserable together but when they talk about divorce they realize the finances are too difficulty to deal with single that they decide to rough out the relationship until certain time? ie - is it usually till kids grow up? Almost as if they find being in a bad marriage the easy out rather than figuring out how to tough it out financially without each other.

Thankfully I'm not in that situation but I have wondered why some people stay together when they clearly are no longer happy together.
flyingaway
Posts: 3411
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 am

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by flyingaway »

Not all divorces are finance ruins, sometimes one divorced and found multi-millionaires.
User avatar
WoodSpinner
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:15 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by WoodSpinner »

shell921 wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:33 pm
WoodSpinner wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:47 pm OP,

Thank you for the post ....

I think, we spend a great deal of time look8ng at the financial planning for Retirement and not as much on the non-Financial aspects.

As far as actionable planning goes:

1. Prioritize and invest time in your relationship(s).
2. Step up your active listening and communication skills.
3. Be a good partner.
4. Find some common interests to share together
5. Make sure you are on the same page on your Retirement and Financial goals
6.. Cross your fingers!

WoodSpinner
YES this !!

When my late husband and I were engaged, we went to PRE- marital counseling
at my request as I had seen some of my parent's friends divorce and I did not want
to ever divorce.

The therapist [ we saw for only 5 sessions ] told us the following:

" to build a good marriage your new job now will be the happiness of your partner.
you have to commit to that and your partner has to do the same thing so your
partnership can be strong and as close to 50/50 most of the time.
so you win when the partner wins.
it's call 'enlightened self interest'.. this involves being able to take other other's perspective
and for them to be able to take yours...it's the notion of there being "2 rights" in
the relationship--"I'm right and he [or she] is right" NOT
"I'm right and he [ or she] is wrong.

This advice was good and we were always devoted to one another and able to be supportive of one another's happiness.
We were together 40 years and married for 39 when he died suddenly in 2014.
Loosing your life partner is awful — I lost my wife in 2007. Fortunately, I have found love again, adopted a daughter and a whole new network of family. How are you doing?

I think it’s interesting that there is so much focus on the financial side of Retirement and not nearly as much as the happiness (e.g. non financial) aspects. Perhaps that is our forum’s real blind spot. Getting the finances right is important but in reality it is a minor part of the plan.


WoodSpinner
randomguy
Posts: 9274
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by randomguy »

helloeveryone wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:59 am
can you expand on "they can't afford to divorce"?
are they miserable together but when they talk about divorce they realize the finances are too difficulty to deal with single that they decide to rough out the relationship until certain time? ie - is it usually till kids grow up? Almost as if they find being in a bad marriage the easy out rather than figuring out how to tough it out financially without each other.

Thankfully I'm not in that situation but I have wondered why some people stay together when they clearly are no longer happy together.
It ranges from the literal not having the money for the lawyers to the don't like the downgrade in lifestyle (i.e. living in a studio apartment versus that 3/2 house) that they are used to. Or the lower income (or no income spouse) feeling that they can't support themselves.

There is a wide range of relationships in between miserable and extremely happy where things are just sort of ok. You might say something is good enough for a long time because trying for something better isn't worth the risk of something worse. And in any marriage large changes can disturb a system that has been working for years. Kids leaving home or retirement are big triggers for a lot of people to reexamine their life.
spammagnet
Posts: 1321
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:42 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by spammagnet »

H-Town wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:18 am This is why we plan 50x for our FI goal. If a divorce happens, each of us still have 25x without changing our annual expense. It's not that we anticipate a divorce, but we make sure that finance won't be the reason why choose to stay together or divorce.

Since both of us are high-income professionals, it works out well for our planning.
As high-income professionals you probably can afford to save double your current requirements, but it's not necessary because there is economy in numbers.

The cost of two people living separately is not twice the cost of the same couple living together. A metric used by Kotlikoff in MaxiFiPlanner* is that additional adults cost 0.6 x the first adult. From that you can conclude that the first individual costs 0.625 of the couple and that the two adults living separately can maintain the same living standard as individuals if they have 1.3 x their needs as a couple.

*My relationship with MaxiFiPlanner is that of a satisfied customer.
Ependytis
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:10 am

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by Ependytis »

Like with any risk you can avoid it, insure against it, accept it, exploit it, or transfer it. When I say avoid it, just don’t get married which is what a lot of people choose to do. When I say insure against it, I mean have a prenup or marry somebody that has the same level of income and wealth as you do and make sure they continue to work. When I say accept it, plan for the possibility of getting a divorce in your retirement number. When I say exploit it, I mean marry somebody wealthier than you so that you only have financial upside to the risk. When I say transfer it, be the SO of someone who is collecting alimony yet refuses to get married for fear of losing the alimony.
uclalien
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:13 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by uclalien »

Somethingwitty92912 wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:23 pm I go the other way with this.

You could each have 25x, or you could focus on making your marriage stronger by working on it every day. Two people can basically live at the cost of one. Also, two people don’t have to work as hard at, maintaining health, wealth, real estate… ect. I could go on.

Simply put your best investment is your marriage, so perhaps we should all spend more time working on that, and not eking out an extra 1% by tilting towards small caps, or whatever nonsense is on the chopping block this week.

There’s an unlimited amount of money, time is the only thing in short supply. How we spend it, who we spend it with, how we conduct ourselves, and how we treat those around us is far more important than the money we have.

This is the fundamental thing everyone is forgetting these days with the race to the bottom of politics, business, and family.

Just one guys opinion.
This is what I came to say. Investing in your marriage will generally be fruitful, both financially and in overall happiness. If there's any place for actively managing an investment, it's your marriage.
Marseille07
Posts: 3992
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:41 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by Marseille07 »

Ependytis wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:33 am Like with any risk you can avoid it, insure against it, accept it, exploit it, or transfer it. When I say avoid it, just don’t get married which is what a lot of people choose to do. When I say insure against it, I mean have a prenup or marry somebody that has the same level of income and wealth as you do and make sure they continue to work. When I say accept it, plan for the possibility of getting a divorce in your retirement number. When I say exploit it, I mean marry somebody wealthier than you so that you only have financial upside to the risk. When I say transfer it, be the SO of someone who is collecting alimony yet refuses to get married for fear of losing the alimony.
Yes, prenups + making sure they continue to work would be a good combination. The same level of income and wealth is great if doable, but often difficult for high earners who save a lot.
nigel_ht
Posts: 2181
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:14 am

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by nigel_ht »

Somethingwitty92912 wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:23 pm
Simply put your best investment is your marriage, so perhaps we should all spend more time working on that, and not eking out an extra 1% by tilting towards small caps, or whatever nonsense is on the chopping block this week.
Finances are only one aspect of our lives but this IS a financial forum so tilting toward small caps is going to be of more interest to most members than relationships…especially if you could eck out another 1%. Alas, probably not but I wouldn’t call it “nonsense”.

Is marriage your best “investment”? Perhaps, but I don’t think about relationships in terms of ROI…and no, I do understand the point that folks should put effort into keeping all of our relationships healthy. But that’s not an “investment” as much as being a decent human.

We all hope that our marriages will stand the test of time but statistics indicate this will not always be the case. Your “best investment” is likely in yourself…to be mentally and physically healthy and able to be a good partner, good friend or good family member. If you can’t help yourself you won’t be in any position to help others.
User avatar
nedsaid
Posts: 14713
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:33 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by nedsaid »

This reminds me a joke that a comedian told on a cruise ship.

People get married and after a while the original euphoria of starting a new life together wears off and the realities of life settle in. Kids often arrive and this complicates untying the knot. The seven year itch comes and you stay together because of the children. FIfteen years pass and you stay together because of the children. Twenty years pass, the same thing.

A judge saw a couple in their nineties standing before them in family court wanting a divorce. The judge asked, "You have been married over seventy years, why on earth do you want a divorce now?"

"The children are dead," they replied.
A fool and his money are good for business.
MathWizard
Posts: 4807
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:35 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by MathWizard »

shell921 wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:33 pm
WoodSpinner wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:47 pm OP,

Thank you for the post ....

I think, we spend a great deal of time look8ng at the financial planning for Retirement and not as much on the non-Financial aspects.

As far as actionable planning goes:

1. Prioritize and invest time in your relationship(s).
2. Step up your active listening and communication skills.
3. Be a good partner.
4. Find some common interests to share together
5. Make sure you are on the same page on your Retirement and Financial goals
6.. Cross your fingers!

WoodSpinner
YES this !!

When my late husband and I were engaged, we went to PRE- marital counseling
at my request as I had seen some of my parent's friends divorce and I did not want
to ever divorce.

The therapist [ we saw for only 5 sessions ] told us the following:

" to build a good marriage your new job now will be the happiness of your partner.
you have to commit to that and your partner has to do the same thing so your
partnership can be strong and as close to 50/50 most of the time.
so you win when the partner wins.
it's call 'enlightened self interest'.. this involves being able to take other other's perspective
and for them to be able to take yours...it's the notion of there being "2 rights" in
the relationship--"I'm right and he [or she] is right" NOT
"I'm right and he [ or she] is wrong.

This advice was good and we were always devoted to one another and able to be supportive of one another's happiness.
We were together 40 years and married for 39 when he died suddenly in 2014.
My condolences on your loss.

I most wholeheartedly agree with premarital counseling. This was required by the minister who married us.

He made us discuss matters that dating couples don't. How many kids do each want. Money matters. How do you handle disagreements. We had workbooks that we were supposed to work on individually and bring back to discuss with him.

We thought he was trying to stop us getting married so we "cheated" and worked together on our answers, with just enough difference so we could"compromise" during the session.

Clearly he was a wise man and got us to do exactly what he wanted:
to talk about these things.
We're in our 39th year of marriage, still going strong.
THY4373
Posts: 1440
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by THY4373 »

helloeveryone wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:59 am can you expand on "they can't afford to divorce"?
are they miserable together but when they talk about divorce they realize the finances are too difficulty to deal with single that they decide to rough out the relationship until certain time? ie - is it usually till kids grow up? Almost as if they find being in a bad marriage the easy out rather than figuring out how to tough it out financially without each other.

Thankfully I'm not in that situation but I have wondered why some people stay together when they clearly are no longer happy together.
In the three instances I have enough information on one spouse works and the other does not. In two instances the non-working spouse has significant medical issues. Two of the instances there are three to four children involved in the third just two. All of them are the more "typical" US family that spends it as soon as they get it. They are all in their very late 30s or early to mid-40s and despite six figure salaries (MCOL location) for some time are in debt and in the one instance I know have less than $100k saved for retirement. Basically divorce would destroy them economically not that they aren't far off from that now. Between child support, alimony and the medical insurance issues of the non-working spouse they just cannot make it work. At this point none of them seem to have an end date, they just grin and bear it and in two instances are legitimately trying to make it work (one has made progress). In one case one of the spouses lived with me for a couple of months, another they basically sleep in different bedrooms and are roomates with the added color in that case that one of the spouses parents live with them.

Contrast with my ex and I. We both made similar six figure salaries were always savers, both left the marriage in our mid-40s members of the two comma club and we only have one child who we split 50/50 we also get along great and do the co-parenting thing well. My ex and I were able get out of the marriage with little impact to our individual finances or lifestyles (effectively at some level it was like we had never married in the first place).
User avatar
LilyFleur
Posts: 1864
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:36 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by LilyFleur »

vested1 wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:39 pm On my third marriage, this one nearing 30 years. Got wiped out twice and still came back. I thought that getting remarried after two failures was a crapshoot, but I guess I rolled a seven this time before I hung up the dice. Luckily, she didn't realize she rolled snake eyes.

Life is too short to be miserable.
Three of my friends were in very happy third marriages. One is now a widower, but what they had together was blissful.
helloeveryone
Posts: 821
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by helloeveryone »

THY4373 wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 12:51 pm
helloeveryone wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:59 am can you expand on "they can't afford to divorce"?
are they miserable together but when they talk about divorce they realize the finances are too difficulty to deal with single that they decide to rough out the relationship until certain time? ie - is it usually till kids grow up? Almost as if they find being in a bad marriage the easy out rather than figuring out how to tough it out financially without each other.

Thankfully I'm not in that situation but I have wondered why some people stay together when they clearly are no longer happy together.
In the three instances I have enough information on one spouse works and the other does not. In two instances the non-working spouse has significant medical issues. Two of the instances there are three to four children involved in the third just two. All of them are the more "typical" US family that spends it as soon as they get it. They are all in their very late 30s or early to mid-40s and despite six figure salaries (MCOL location) for some time are in debt and in the one instance I know have less than $100k saved for retirement. Basically divorce would destroy them economically not that they aren't far off from that now. Between child support, alimony and the medical insurance issues of the non-working spouse they just cannot make it work. At this point none of them seem to have an end date, they just grin and bear it and in two instances are legitimately trying to make it work (one has made progress). In one case one of the spouses lived with me for a couple of months, another they basically sleep in different bedrooms and are roomates with the added color in that case that one of the spouses parents live with them.

Contrast with my ex and I. We both made similar six figure salaries were always savers, both left the marriage in our mid-40s members of the two comma club and we only have one child who we split 50/50 we also get along great and do the co-parenting thing well. My ex and I were able get out of the marriage with little impact to our individual finances or lifestyles (effectively at some level it was like we had never married in the first place).
ouchie...yes very very tough especially when financial decisions are not sound in the first place. which likely exacerbates or even starts the marital discord
User avatar
warner25
Posts: 580
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:38 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by warner25 »

THY4373 wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 12:51 pm
helloeveryone wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:59 am can you expand on "they can't afford to divorce"?
In the three instances I have enough information on...
I think we've departed significantly from the original topic here. We started with the risk of divorce ruining the retirement plans of Bogleheads (especially those with early retirement plans) as married couples. Now we have these stories about people who have no viable retirement plans, who are already on the edge of financial ruin.
User avatar
Matahari
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:09 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by Matahari »

Inframan4712 wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 11:10 am Talk about a blindspot. Has one person in this thread mentioned the possibility of being nicer to your spouse?

I remember the thread from a few months ago by a man who had significant assets yet lived like he had none. He wanted to know if he was in good shape financially. I pointed out his biggest risk was his wife would get tired of his penny-pinching and divorce him and live well on her half.

A more gentle way to put it is make sure your spouse is whole heartedly on the same page financially.

I’ve seen this result in a friend getting divorced twice before he met a real miser like he is.
+100

In all the threads in which one spouse plans to the last dollar and percentage or decimal, I often wonder if the other spouse is like-minded. We are all aware of money being among the top 2 reasons for divorce. Financial resources that result from years of tight and miserly control do not compensate for years of emotionally-oppressive behavior and, ironically, may allow the aggrieved spouse to share in a larger marital estate upon the marriage's demise.

Gray divorces are more common than ever because women are far more likely now to have their own financial resources and acumen than they had during my mother's generation. The refrain I've heard is "Now that we are empty nesters, why should I put up with XXX or XXX's ______. It's my time."

I never say "never." Fate likes the temptation.
Ependytis
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:10 am

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by Ependytis »

+100

In all the threads in which one spouse plans to the last dollar and percentage or decimal, I often wonder if the other spouse is like-minded. We are all aware of money being among the top 2 reasons for divorce. Financial resources that result from years of tight and miserly control do not compensate for years of emotionally-oppressive behavior and, ironically, may allow the aggrieved spouse to share in a larger marital estate upon the marriage's demise.

Gray divorces are more common than ever because women are far more likely now to have their own financial resources and acumen than they had during my mother's generation. The refrain I've heard is "Now that we are empty nesters, why should I put up with XXX or XXX's ______. It's my time."

I never say "never." Fate likes the temptation.
[/quote]

Or you could do what my grandmother did… When my grandfather provided her an insufficient allowance, she got her nursing degree and started making her own money. When World War II came around, she was a nurse in Europe. As part of the deal, they promised people that served in the war some sort of stipend. When the stipend was already spent in my grandfather and uncle’s mind, my grandmother decided she would spend it on what she wanted. As the saying goes, they don’t build them like they used to.
User avatar
firebirdparts
Posts: 2557
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:21 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by firebirdparts »

That's funny. My greatx3 grandfather walked to California during the gold rush (from Virginia). When he came home, his wife made him quitclaim the whole farm before she'd let him in the house.
A fool and your money are soon partners
tnr
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:36 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by tnr »

My niece in her mid 30’s is going through tough times that will likely end in a divorce. She is understandably frustrated and angry. But financially, it will be a positive for her. She makes much more than her husband, is more stable, and the saver for the family. He has high need for expensive things like 75k cars. So she will come out fine financially.

I got divorced in my early 40’s. Financially, I took a big hit but it wasn’t devastating. Looking back, I can’t think of anything I would have done differently financially that would have lessened the impact. We were both young poor and in college when we decided to get married so no prenup was needed. I wish I had been smarter in regards to getting married in the first place but not so much for the financial hit but for the emotional pain we inflicted on each other.
Ependytis
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:10 am

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by Ependytis »

tnr wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:43 pm My niece in her mid 30’s is going through tough times that will likely end in a divorce. She is understandably frustrated and angry. But financially, it will be a positive for her. She makes much more than her husband, is more stable, and the saver for the family. He has high need for expensive things like 75k cars. So she will come out fine financially.

I got divorced in my early 40’s. Financially, I took a big hit but it wasn’t devastating. Looking back, I can’t think of anything I would have done differently financially that would have lessened the impact. We were both young poor and in college when we decided to get married so no prenup was needed. I wish I had been smarter in regards to getting married in the first place but not so much for the financial hit but for the emotional pain we inflicted on each other.
You can still get a prenup if you’re young, poor, and in college. This is just a contract you and your future spouse agree on rather than the default government contract. Why this isn’t mandatory baffles me. There is not a more one-sided contract than the government default contract especially when one spouse makes and saves significantly more than the other.
spammagnet
Posts: 1321
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:42 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by spammagnet »

Ependytis wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:27 pmYou can still get a prenup if you’re young, poor, and in college. This is just a contract you and your future spouse agree on rather than the default government contract. Why this isn’t mandatory baffles me. There is not a more one-sided contract than the government default contract especially when one spouse makes and saves significantly more than the other.
You gave the reason yourself as to why it's not mandatory. There is a government default contract. Regardless of whether you consider it one-sided, it exists. Therefore individuals are not required to make their own, but nothing stops them from doing so.
User avatar
Matahari
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:09 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by Matahari »

Ependytis wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:22 pm +100

In all the threads in which one spouse plans to the last dollar and percentage or decimal, I often wonder if the other spouse is like-minded. We are all aware of money being among the top 2 reasons for divorce. Financial resources that result from years of tight and miserly control do not compensate for years of emotionally-oppressive behavior and, ironically, may allow the aggrieved spouse to share in a larger marital estate upon the marriage's demise.

Gray divorces are more common than ever because women are far more likely now to have their own financial resources and acumen than they had during my mother's generation. The refrain I've heard is "Now that we are empty nesters, why should I put up with XXX or XXX's ______. It's my time."

I never say "never." Fate likes the temptation.


Or you could do what my grandmother did… When my grandfather provided her an insufficient allowance, she got her nursing degree and started making her own money. When World War II came around, she was a nurse in Europe. As part of the deal, they promised people that served in the war some sort of stipend. When the stipend was already spent in my grandfather and uncle’s mind, my grandmother decided she would spend it on what she wanted. As the saying goes, they don’t build them like they used to.
I'm not certain why you are addressing this to me??

I've no doubt that there are countless women of "my mother's generation" (who are a generation younger than those who came of age in WWII) who worked outside of the house, in addition to managing a household and raising a family, in order to have some of their "own money." A member of my extended family did, just so that she could buy her own washing machine, which her husband did not think was necessary because there was a laundromat not too far a walk from their rented house. First she bought the washer, then she bought the dryer.
hoofaman
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:39 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by hoofaman »

I always assumed I’d be left with about 30-40% of what’s saved after factoring in Alimony and the asset split. With the ammount I’ve saved, I’d be fine. I guess there is always the risk that money is wasted on lawyer fees, but my better half is so thrifty I can’t see that happening :mrgreen:

Obviously the best solution is to avoid a legal marriage and just have a family anyway if that’s what you want, but too late for most of us suckers :sharebeer
hoofaman
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:39 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by hoofaman »

Ependytis wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:27 pm
tnr wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:43 pm My niece in her mid 30’s is going through tough times that will likely end in a divorce. She is understandably frustrated and angry. But financially, it will be a positive for her. She makes much more than her husband, is more stable, and the saver for the family. He has high need for expensive things like 75k cars. So she will come out fine financially.

I got divorced in my early 40’s. Financially, I took a big hit but it wasn’t devastating. Looking back, I can’t think of anything I would have done differently financially that would have lessened the impact. We were both young poor and in college when we decided to get married so no prenup was needed. I wish I had been smarter in regards to getting married in the first place but not so much for the financial hit but for the emotional pain we inflicted on each other.
You can still get a prenup if you’re young, poor, and in college. This is just a contract you and your future spouse agree on rather than the default government contract. Why this isn’t mandatory baffles me. There is not a more one-sided contract than the government default contract especially when one spouse makes and saves significantly more than the other.
what would it say? That Alimony is off the table and assets/debt earned during the marriage won’t be split 50/50? I doubt that would hold up in a divorce
Ependytis
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:10 am

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by Ependytis »

[/quote]

what would it say? That Alimony is off the table and assets/debt earned during the marriage won’t be split 50/50? I doubt that would hold up in a divorce
[/quote]

A prenup can be written so that alimony is off of the table (both people agreeing that they can support themselves) and assets accumulated during the marriage can be kept separated. For example, even if one person owns the house and the other person contributes to it, the prenup can be written so that the house is still separate property. Of course this is true of checking accounts, brokerage accounts, and 401(k)s. You can look at a simple online prenup form and see these terms explicitly stated in the document. You can also state that if the prenup is challenged and the person challenging the prenup loses, they agree to pay the legal fees of the other person.
chazas
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:22 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by chazas »

Not sure there is much you can do to plan around this.

I was with my ex for 32 years - same sex couple, so couldn’t get married for a long time, but together all the same. We were the happy couple everyone asked how we made it work - gave (and knew) all the right answers, “just don’t take a split as a possibility.” And it worked for a very long time. Until it just didn’t.

At the time of the split we had $5M+ net worth despite very different attitudes towards earning and saving. We basically split it down the middle - I was not going to be that person who argued about whether assets acquired before we were legally married should be treated as joint. But he threw an inheritance in the mix as well. While it took a while to get there, it didn’t get too contentious so we didn’t waste too much on lawyer fees. We’re both fine, financially - but would have been a lot more fine financially had we stayed together.

I think about all you can do is:
  • Marry the right person and nurture your relationship
  • Save so there’s plenty of capital to support both of you if the worst happens
  • Don’t waste time, energy and money scrapping over divorce details that don’t matter in the long run
  • Be fine adjusting expectations if you do split
renue74
Posts: 1884
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by renue74 »

RickBoglehead wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:32 am
michoco911 wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:25 am Well i treat this very easily.
I am hoping for a portfolio that would generate 10K$ per month to spend it with my wife on travels, hotels and other activities.
In case of divorce (highly unlikely) i guess a 5K$ per month would be fine for me to enjoy the same activities alone :)
We should not overthink these stuff. Live the moment and enjoy it while preparing for a wealthy and decent retirement through consistent investments.
This ^^
+1. Up until last year, divorce was not even considered and then I had some life changing things happen. But as with most Bogleheads, I and my wife have lived pretty frugally.

I'm pretty sure that if D does happen, we both can be fine on 50% of our worth. Maybe I don't get to enjoy 5 star hotels, but I'm still living life.
Ole Red
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:56 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by Ole Red »

We have always considered the possibility of divorce as a huge threat to our financial well being. It's easier now that we are retired to recognize how devastating it would be to us. That is one of the reasons why we work on our relationship as hard as we work on the rest of our financial influencing factors.
tnr
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:36 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by tnr »

Ependytis wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:55 am
what would it say? That Alimony is off the table and assets/debt earned during the marriage won’t be split 50/50? I doubt that would hold up in a divorce
[/quote]

A prenup can be written so that alimony is off of the table (both people agreeing that they can support themselves) and assets accumulated during the marriage can be kept separated. For example, even if one person owns the house and the other person contributes to it, the prenup can be written so that the house is still separate property. Of course this is true of checking accounts, brokerage accounts, and 401(k)s. You can look at a simple online prenup form and see these terms explicitly stated in the document. You can also state that if the prenup is challenged and the person challenging the prenup loses, they agree to pay the legal fees of the other person.
[/quote]


In my case when I was married in my mid-20's I doubt that I would have requested separate title for any future house nor would either of us have insisted on separate accounts. Neither of us brought in any appreciable assets to our marriage. Would a prenup have hurt? No, but in looking back, it would have been infinitely better to have frank and honest discussions about financial expectations (how much to save, how much to spend, spend for what) than any discussion about what to do if we split up.
Northern Flicker
Posts: 7726
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:29 am

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by Northern Flicker »

H-Town wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:18 am This is why we plan 50x for our FI goal. If a divorce happens, each of us still have 25x without changing our annual expense. It's not that we anticipate a divorce, but we make sure that finance won't be the reason why choose to stay together or divorce.

Since both of us are high-income professionals, it works out well for our planning.
50x as a couple to have 25x individually assumes each divorcee each will spend the same as they spent combined as a couple.
My postings are my opinion, and never should be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any particular investment.
pennywise
Posts: 839
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 6:22 am

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by pennywise »

chazas wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:19 am Not sure there is much you can do to plan around this.

I was with my ex for 32 years - same sex couple, so couldn’t get married for a long time, but together all the same. We were the happy couple everyone asked how we made it work - gave (and knew) all the right answers, “just don’t take a split as a possibility.” And it worked for a very long time. Until it just didn’t.
I've always thought that 'don't even consider divorce as an option' is a foolish assumption that only works in happy, or at least tolerable, marriages.

Of course a couple shouldn't view divorce as an option unless and until they find it is the only option. And that can happen to any couple, regardless of how strongly they enter the relationship convinced divorce is impossible.

It's possible and it happens and just saying it cannot and never will is no magic panacea to avoid divorce.
chazas
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:22 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by chazas »

pennywise wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:35 pm
chazas wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:19 am Not sure there is much you can do to plan around this.

I was with my ex for 32 years - same sex couple, so couldn’t get married for a long time, but together all the same. We were the happy couple everyone asked how we made it work - gave (and knew) all the right answers, “just don’t take a split as a possibility.” And it worked for a very long time. Until it just didn’t.
I've always thought that 'don't even consider divorce as an option' is a foolish assumption that only works in happy, or at least tolerable, marriages.

Of course a couple shouldn't view divorce as an option unless and until they find it is the only option. And that can happen to any couple, regardless of how strongly they enter the relationship convinced divorce is impossible.

It's possible and it happens and just saying it cannot and never will is no magic panacea to avoid divorce.
I know a lot of people for whom the default is to throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble. I think vowing to keep it off the table helps avoid that, but obviously there's no panacea.
User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 12570
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Can we talk about what I think is a blind spot in our retirement planning?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

pennywise wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:35 pm It's possible and it happens and just saying it cannot and never will is no magic panacea to avoid divorce.
One could argue that rigidly held views that “cannot and never will” might actually make divorce more likely than would being more open to change. That’s just my 2 cents.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
Post Reply