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Old 02-06-2016, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,700,326 times
Reputation: 35450

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I was married for ten years and have been divorced for 30. Even though it was my savings that put him through school his last year of undergrad school and then on to get his Masters and I paid for the down payment on our townhouse, I got nothing, bupkis, zilch in our divorce. The bank wouldn't let me put my name on our mortgage loan and I couldn't prove I paid for his education.

It was, after all, the 70's.

So he got all the money from the house sale and the earning benefits of his advanced degree paid for by yours truly. I did get the cats, though. Otherwise he didn't get the divorce. I made sure they were in the decree. I did not get anything from his SS when I retired because he did not earn more than my half as Matisse explained.

I also just wanted out of an abusive relationship. I did try to get more but the attorneys just told me I had no case.

Not that I am complaining. I was happy then to just get away. But I wanted to add to the comments that it isn't only single women who never married who can find themselves in this financial boat in later years.

To think someone else will always take care of you is the most risky financial planning of all.
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:57 PM
 
825 posts, read 566,876 times
Reputation: 2603
Quote:
Originally Posted by ansible90 View Post
This sounds soooo... old fashioned? Finding a soul mate is the ideal, but it doesn't always work out that way. And if you are married to your soulmate, you should still be saving for your own retirement because you never know what could happen.
Yep. Because your "soul mate" can run off with some random woman/man at any time. A very high number of marriages end up in divorce.
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Old 02-06-2016, 07:02 PM
 
825 posts, read 566,876 times
Reputation: 2603
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
I was married for ten years and have been divorced for 30. Even though it was my savings that put him through school his last year of undergrad school and then on to get his Masters and I paid for the down payment on our townhouse, I got nothing, bupkis, zilch in our divorce. The bank wouldn't let me put my name on our mortgage loan and I couldn't prove I paid for his education.

It was, after all, the 70's.

So he got all the money from the house sale and the earning benefits of his advanced degree paid for by yours truly. I did get the cats, though. Otherwise he didn't get the divorce. I made sure they were in the decree. I did not get anything from his SS when I retired because he did not earn more than my half as Matisse explained.

I also just wanted out of an abusive relationship. I did try to get more but the attorneys just told me I had no case.

Not that I am complaining. I was happy then to just get away. But I wanted to add to the comments that it isn't only single women who never married who can find themselves in this financial boat in later years.

To think someone else will always take care of you is the most risky financial planning of all.
Keep an eye on the obituaries. If he dies, then you get 100% of his benefits. It ain't over 'til it's over.

When my "soul mate" walked out the door, I felt like a chump for giving up my career to stay home and raise the children. Because I raised the kids, I have a huge gap in my work history and professional advancement, although I do have two lovely children to show for it. Not much else!

But if I outlive him, my SS benefits will double, which will be a big help.
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Old 02-06-2016, 07:40 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,224 posts, read 1,360,218 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post

To think someone else will always take care of you is the most risky financial planning of all.
Quoting this because it bears repeating.
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Old 02-06-2016, 08:21 PM
 
7,959 posts, read 5,063,154 times
Reputation: 13630
Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
Finding a partner or soulmate or mate of any kind involves a lot of luck. You can possibly do some things to help luck along, but it is not something that can be forced.

Not everyone is lucky in finding love. Others are willing to settle for something less.

And school is actually the best place and most fertile ground to find a mate....high school, university. Everything past university or college is a downward scope in finding a mate.
Luck is everywhere involved - even in investment. A good outcome is therefore never entirely attributable to personal verve, talent, or dedication; much depends on luck. True, this is no cause for complacency or for dismissing the progress of others, as being solely due to luck, and of no credit to them. But it does mean an acknowledgement of our dependency on external factors, at every turn.

I wholeheartedly agree, that a "soulmate" is a lofty objective, so that if we chase it, we're liable to forego all sorts of useful and pleasant but more modest objectives. A romantic partner will not save us from ourselves, or reorient a nasty and horrifying world into paradise. But having such a partner - stably, for life - offers self-evident advantages, especially as we get older. Perhaps by "soulmate" we don't mean a cosmic optimal, but merely a decent alignment of values and lifestyles, and a modicum of trust?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
To think someone else will always take care of you is the most risky financial planning of all.
Marriage, one hopes, is not a rescue-operation of the helpless by the enterprising. It's a venue for the like-minded and like-prepared to pool and concentrate resources.
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:06 PM
 
26,591 posts, read 52,380,904 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
Marriage, one hopes, is not a rescue-operation of the helpless by the enterprising. It's a venue for the like-minded and like-prepared to pool and concentrate resources.
I love this definition and will use it...

Too often I hear about she needs to find someone that can help her of he needs to find a good girl to put him on the right path... seems a lot of saving or unequal merger expectations...
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:33 AM
 
1,293 posts, read 951,656 times
Reputation: 2307
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamingo13 View Post
Seriously?? Someone needs to find a "soul mate"???
Yes, seriously. If a person can't find a soul mate, it signals a serious personality issues. They are not always visible to the owner, though, so your doubt is understandable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ansible90 View Post
This sounds soooo... old fashioned? Finding a soul mate is the ideal, but it doesn't always work out that way. And if you are married to your soulmate, you should still be saving for your own retirement because you never know what could happen.
You don't put an "equals" sign between "old fashioned" and "bad", do you?
Yes, I should and I am doing this, while, if I was alone, I would probably consider becoming a nun in order to save myself from lonely miserable aging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
Finding a partner or soulmate or mate of any kind involves a lot of luck. You can possibly do some things to help luck along, but it is not something that can be forced.
Not everyone is lucky in finding love. Others are willing to settle for something less.

Agree. But. There is a strange effect - if a person (especially 30+) has a partner, such person is more desirable to others, than a lonely thing. It involves facial expression, self-esteem etc. So she (the daughter) basically should find anybody and start working up from this. I know it sounds cynical, but it is what it is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
And school is actually the best place and most fertile ground to find a mate....high school, university. Everything past university or college is a downward scope in finding a mate.
Yes, this is why the mother should be more wise. Instead of involving her single daughter into boring conversations about retirement (that can never happen due to daughter being bored and work till death, or an (in theory) early death, or something else I don't even want to mention here), she should encourage and maybe even help her to expand her circle of friends, acquaintances, partners in extracurriculum activities etc. And when the daughter settles with a long-term partner, she will start planning. And at the age of 30, she is totally capable to do it w/o mother's advice.
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:21 AM
 
6,899 posts, read 7,306,042 times
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Most people who retire at 52 work long and hard…and SAVE, so they’re in a position to retire that “young.”
Even people who get “lucky” with gov’t or other jobs where they can retire at 20, 30 years with a pension – STILL save more.
(I know I wouldn’t want to live on just a pension. Forget that)

Didn’t your daughter see what it took for YOU to retire at 52?
If she hasn’t picked up good habits from your modeling certain behaviors then that’s unfortunate.

The bottom line is married or not – with kids or not – ultimately you can’t depend or count on ANYONE but you to take care of and plan for your retirement. Granted, we know this and think about this more as we age.

It’s the VERY RARE 18, 25, or – I bet -- even some 30-year-olds -- who thinks about retirement enough to start saving for it at those young ages.

Sure if we’d all started IRAs at 18…or saved 10% of our income – from our first job at 16 – or heck even our first job after college many more of us would be able to retire younger. But how many people at 25 with school loans are going to put 10% of their pay into a 401K?

Ultimately, there's no secret to it -- just save as much as you can pre-tax….AND as much as you can after-tax. And of course the less you spend the more you can save. Which all things being equal, is easier to do, the more you make, of course….ie. easier to save making 120K, than 20K.
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:41 AM
 
7,983 posts, read 11,679,160 times
Reputation: 10484
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
I read the article and questioned some of its findings especially with regards to high-earning professional women like myself and my sisters.

The article did cited a case of a woman making $80K but it was not clear what spousal salary was used in the calculations.

The so-called 'marriage penalty' when a couple earn equal wages is a fact of life for many professional or high-wages couples.

I plugged in some typical numbers in this calculator

Tax Facts | Marriage Bonus and Penalty Tax Calculator

For a couple each earns $100K in salaries with $20K in CG/dividend etc. the marriage penalty is ~$10K in 2015.

Granted that two persons can live more cheaply together than separately but one can always find a room mate or just live together and not married. In addition, marriage usually resulted in children which are enormously expensive.

So I certainly dispute the notion that single, never-married people are at a financial disadvantage in comparison to a married person. However if the single status is the result of a divorce then it is a big disadvantage, maybe more so to SAHM especially when she was too old to enter or re-enter the work force.

Back to the OP's question : "How does a single-for-life person plan for retirement? How different from a couple?, I'd think that it is really not much difference from a couple. One just have to save, maximize 401K, IRA, learn to invest, get all the legal documents (will, POA for Heathcare/finance, living will) in place. I also want to add that it is important to develop healthy habits (eat right, exercise, have a 'balanced'/stress-free life). This last item applies to everybody but may be even more important to singles since they have nobody to help in their old ages.

My daughter is 33 years old and single. She had just bought her first home. I setup Roth IRA for her ever since her very first paid job (delivering pizza during the summer in HS). I also made sure that she had all the legal documents. She broke up with her fiancee early last year but currently has a serious boyfriend. She may or may not get married. If she does, I will definitely advise her to consult a lawyer for a prenuptial agreement.
Expensive children are a choice and you get some tax relief for them.

People who are coupled really don't get what its like to be on your own. No safety net, no one to share decisions with, no other pay check to fall back on, social exclusion.

Speaking of taxes, according to a 2006 Forbes.com article, "The married couple also gets some relief on both federal and Social Security taxes, thanks to the slightly lower tax rates associated with joint filing. They pay out a combined 29% of their salaries, compared with the 35% the single person pays." For now, the marriage penalty is virtually eliminated so that the higher-earning spouse can protect his or her income from higher taxes. As PsychologyToday.com explains it, "[The] so-called 'marriage penalty' is calculated by comparing two sets of couples--one unmarried and one married. A single person reporting the same taxable income as a married couple filing jointly always pays more in taxes. Remember that married couples can be rewarded with those lower taxes even if only one spouse works, so it is not just a matter of comparing two workers to one."

People with children can also receive tax credits, so a couple with a child will see a much larger tax return than a single person without a child. Of course, single people can have children too, but a tax credit pales in comparison to the expense of raising a child on one income versus two.
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:50 AM
 
26,591 posts, read 52,380,904 times
Reputation: 20439
Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
Most people who retire at 52 work long and hard…and SAVE, so they’re in a position to retire that “young.”
Even people who get “lucky” with gov’t or other jobs where they can retire at 20, 30 years with a pension – STILL save more.
(I know I wouldn’t want to live on just a pension. Forget that)

Didn’t your daughter see what it took for YOU to retire at 52?
If she hasn’t picked up good habits from your modeling certain behaviors then that’s unfortunate.

The bottom line is married or not – with kids or not – ultimately you can’t depend or count on ANYONE but you to take care of and plan for your retirement. Granted, we know this and think about this more as we age.

It’s the VERY RARE 18, 25, or – I bet -- even some 30-year-olds -- who thinks about retirement enough to start saving for it at those young ages.

Sure if we’d all started IRAs at 18…or saved 10% of our income – from our first job at 16 – or heck even our first job after college many more of us would be able to retire younger. But how many people at 25 with school loans are going to put 10% of their pay into a 401K?

Ultimately, there's no secret to it -- just save as much as you can pre-tax….AND as much as you can after-tax. And of course the less you spend the more you can save. Which all things being equal, is easier to do, the more you make, of course….ie. easier to save making 120K, than 20K.
My approach was saving to invest...

One side of the family has been farming for generations where owning is everything... from as far back as I can remember saving to invest in property was drilled and I did at the first opportunity at age 22 and have been ever since.
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