Ms Independent – like it’s a bad thing

Home » Blog » Uncategorized » Ms Independent – like it’s a bad thing
crinum
How to stop coming off second-best

In many ways I consider myself lucky enough to come from a family where the girls were encouraged to have careers and have financial independence. Not just my generation, but generations before me. All my aunts and uncles on my father’s side were well qualified and had good careers. My paternal grandmother was a feminist before the word was invented. It was ‘normal’ for me to have a career all my life. Not every woman is as lucky, and shaking off those ‘family’ values that are so deeply instilled can be extremely difficult. We’re also living in a very different era. When I was at school in the 70’s only one kid in the entire school came from a ‘broken’ home. Today as many as half the kids have divorced parents. It is the new normal.

Even if a woman has a career, I keep coming across women who abdicate the financial responsibility in a relationship to the man. “I am hopeless with finance, I just let him do that,” and when they divorce they wonder why they get a Snot-Klap.

Nobody goes into a marriage thinking about divorce. We all think we’re going to beat the odds – I know. I am one of them. Unlike many other women though, I was intimately involved in the finances. That advantage, and the fact that the divorce wasn’t acrimonious- we sat down like grown-ups, wrote down all the assets and liabilities and split them up over the dining room table, saving tens of thousands in divorce lawyer fees – made sure I got back on my feet quickly. How you marry really does matter, I have blogged about the various marriage contracts HERE, so I won’t repeat myself.

‘Money can’t buy you love, but it can buy you independence’. The best thing a woman can do, throughout her life, is to make sure she always has that independence. There are a number of steps to achieve this:

  • Think twice, and then think a third time before you give up your career to be a home-maker.
  • If you do decide to be a home-maker, keep your technology skills right up to date, maybe do that degree you always wanted to do, start a business from home, look for freelance online opportunities, learn business and finance skills. Even if you never divorce, there is a chance that you might be a widow at some stage in your life – and you really need to know how to manage your finances and investments.
  • Find an advisor who will take the time to help you learn those skills over time, show you how things work without jargon, point out the small print so you don’t have to go looking for it.
  • Never abdicate the responsibility for your finances to your spouse. Do your own taxes, have you own life policies, investments and retirement funds. If you have the same financial advisor, make sure you’re included in all meetings, and ask questions if you don’t understand, no matter how many times you need to ask. If you’re not happy with the advice, get a second opinion.
  • If either of you are previously married with children, I strongly recommend you take out life policies on each other, not in your own name. If you ‘own’ the policy the beneficiaries cannot be changed. If the policy is in your own hands, not owned by another person, like your spouse, they can change the beneficiary in 30 seconds and you will be none the wiser.
  • If you divorced and can’t come to an amicable agreement, get the best lawyer you can. Better than his. Never mind the ante nuptial contract, or community of property, you can get screwed. Try using a mediator or coach to help you split the assets.

Actions: Ladies, if you have been abdicating your finances, take charge again. If you can’t understand your husband’s advisor – get your own.
Sign up for our Newsletter HERE. Follow Dawn on Twitter HERE

Please share on Twitter or LinkedIn (buttons below)

Author Dawn Ridler  

Related Posts
5 ways to beat the recession
Survive or even thrive during a downturn The economy has been slowing down for over a year now, and the threat of a recession is a very real possibility. Post 2008 ...
READ MORE
Property mogul or moron?
Playing musical houses? For most people, their home will be the biggest asset in their estate. At retirement the retirement fund should be larger – but often isn’t. When it comes ...
READ MORE
Think laterally – Medical Risk
It’s not a one trick pony anymore I don’t think anyone can argue that the cost of medical aid is out of control. A once off, above average annual increase is ...
READ MORE
Is ‘Lifestyle Creep’ killing your wealth?
Do you recognise this in your budget? Lifestyle creep a hidden effect, especially in higher inflation environments like ours. Basically, it is the continuous upgrading of one’s lifestyle and increases in ...
READ MORE
Squeezing the last drop out of your investment?
When should you calm down your investment? I get two questions from my clients when it comes to investments at the moment. Either “What can I buy/switch to get the returns ...
READ MORE
Once upon an Economy
Once upon an Economy A man walks into a B&B in Wakkerstroom, putting his bags on the floor in front of the reception. “I’d like to check out your rooms and pick ...
READ MORE
A lick and a promise – cookie cutter financial plans
Planning so that everyone understands The FAIS act has put so many additional requirements onto Financial Advisors, (not without reason, I hasten to add), that the interaction can easy become a ...
READ MORE
Bait and Switch – Abusing premium patterns on a life policy to suck you in.
Demystifying premium patterns in life policies A premium pattern on a life product is illustrated by the graph of the increases in premium over the potential life of the product from ...
READ MORE
Don’t let a grudge purchase kill your budget – Household Insurance tips
Household Insurance It’s catch 22. Interest rates are going up, disposable incomes aren't keeping up, and we get slammed with a double digit household contents insurance premium increase. Is there fat ...
READ MORE
Group Benefits – Boring and Useless?
Group Benefits If you’re in a corporate environment, you probably have ‘Group Benefits’ like life cover, provident funds etc added to your ‘Cost to Company’, and because they are ‘fringe benefits’ ...
READ MORE
5 ways to beat the recession
Property mogul or moron?
Think laterally – Medical Risk
Is ‘Lifestyle Creep’ killing your wealth?
Squeezing the last drop out of your investment?
Once upon an Economy
A lick and a promise – cookie cutter
Bait and Switch – Abusing premium patterns on
Don’t let a grudge purchase kill your budget
Group Benefits – Boring and Useless?
in Uncategorized Comments are off