The financial transition is understandably overwhelming — especially during a time of personal transformation, such as dealing with divorce or remarriage.
As the baby boomer generation ages, women outlive their husbands more often than not. Too often, the couple’s financial advisors sit across from aggrieved widows who were not involved in money decisions. In this situation, what can boomer women (and their advisors) do to ease the pain and burden?
For many boomer women, the subject of family finances is not an easy one to tackle. Men may feel it is their responsibility or duty to handle this (stereotypically masculine) topic without burdening their spouses.
Discuss the sensitive subject of motherhood and working wives before you find yourself in an emotionally entrenched situation threatening your family’s stability. Ask tough questions now and answer them honestly together, for the sake of your family’s future.
Harry doesn’t like fighting about money with his wife. But it keeps happening, he tells me, and something has got to change.
Relationships are work. Most couples don’t find that out until they are in the thick of it. It’s the secret our parents didn’t tell us. It is also the one that we are tending more and more to tell our kids. Building a life, raising children, and managing careers with another person can overwhelm even the most committed relationship. Two people carry with them two sets of needs and two sets of expectations. As life moves forward, it tends to get more complicated and couples can get lost along the way.
Having kids can upset the balance of a finely tuned couple. Suddenly, business as usual doesn’t work and change is inevitable. This change can happen seamlessly, with each person adapting to new roles quite naturally. Or it can be difficult. When the new roles and rules don’t correspond with the old ones, conflict between the couple is the typical result.
Preparation for life after divorce or loss can be very difficult. Life as a single adult is very different from life as you knew it. Much of what feels different in your day-to-day living can be attributed to a significant change in your routine.
How do you determine how much you spend on your wardrobe? Do you have a budget? Or do the vendors decide when you will shop and how much you will spend? I am all in favor of a sale, and I love 50 percent off, but I will not open an email making me any offers unless I had already planned to make a purchase from that vendor beforehand.
Couples frequently hire me when they are struggling the most. I get engaged for couple therapy when couples have exhausted their own attempts at problem solving and are feeling pretty hopeless. Or I am hired for divorce mediation, when couples are facing the end of their marriage, usually on the heels of some pretty unhappy months or even years.