The title comes from an article in Bloomberg today about the financial fallout of gray divorce. I realize I'm fortunate in that regard, in that I was in a high income marriage, restarted my career on a small level before my divorce, and between my current income and alimony am not too far below what I might have been making if I hadn't been mommy-tracked in my career. Of course the retirement income won't go nearly as far for two separate households as it would have for one, but I was in a community property state and I will be able to manage my retirement ok when the day comes. It's not the more luxurious life we would have had if we'd stayed married but I consider myself fortunate.
One thing the article say is that basically, the way to recover financially is to couple back up. Yet most women do not - some due to the lack of available men that aren't looking to date younger, some because they don't desire remarriage. (I most definitely do not want to marry again although I would like a long term monogamous partner). I guess if I dated a guy who had an equal amount of money we could together have that more luxurious retirement - so far, none of my dates have come close to that financial stability and that's a problem with boomers too, too many haven't saved for retirement.
I think one thing we can do here though is encourage people, especially women, to look after their financial interests even when in the midst of the chaos, and create financial stability for themselves going forward.
Things that helped me: Frugality - I'm not as frugal as I could be, but have always been generally good at managing my budget, prioritizing my spending, I'm a big fan of Your Money Or Your Life (book) and Mr. Money Mustache (blog). If you weren't the money manager in your marriage, educate yourself now.
Work - this time of reinvention is also a good time to up your game as far as career goes. I've seen so many people here do just that - I think DBing principles and the support of this group play a big role in that.
Plan - for retirement. Even if you're only in your 30's you should be thinking with that in mind. If you're late in life and don't have much time to save up for retirement you can still get creative about where you will live to lower your costs. (Think expats living in inexpensive countries on their social security checks and such).
Golden Girls - the fact that partnering back up rescues people from the financial fallout of gray divorce according to the article, doesn't mean that you have to couple back up. Much of those financial savings could be realized by co-housing - sharing expenses with friends or room mates. I don't know why more people don't do that. Good friends or family can fill in the holes left by a romantic partner's exit.
Remember too the best revenge is living well. I moved to a lower cost suburb but have a nicer house than my ex as a result, for 1/3 the cost. I learned to play the drums and vibraphone and have had an amateur music career (but sometimes playing with pros!) that I'm sure drives my ex crazy (because he always fancied himself the musician in the family, with his 10 Neil Young songs that he learned to strum on the guitar in college.) I've achieved professional recognition in my field. I'm arguably healthier than my ex now as we age. I think I look younger (even though he's 4 years younger than me). The kids all love me and have fraught relationships with him (or in the case of one son, no relationship). I'm happier than he is too (always was).
I saw that article as well recently on another site (waves - feel free to wave back).
When evaluating possible dating partners the thought of partnering up with another professional was certainly appealing. I got away rather well all things considered in my divorce and the dating pool in a reasonable distance of me has a number of professionals. Two nice incomes certainly would be a game changer. My ex (and B) both have more or less minimum wage incomes and presumably no retirement savings.
Sometimes I think of my rather nice life as being appropriate karma / revenge on my ex. But then I remember that what happened after she left has nothing to do with her. It's like I say sometimes - you don't know you're living under a cloud until you walk in the sunshine.
On BD H52, W50 T27, M26 S21, D23 BD-9-Mar-16 D-15-Jan-18 Final-19-Apr-18 I am a storyteller. The story may do you no good. But a story is never for the listener. It is always for the one who tells
It's like I say sometimes - you don't know you're living under a cloud until you walk in the sunshine.
I love that! Definitely a description of my marriage - not a big dark cloud but a subtle cloudy background - and I'm walking in the sunshine now (cue the Katrina nd the Waves "I'm Walking on Sunshine").
Re: Gray Divorce Fallout
#2859034 07/28/1907:20 AM07/28/1907:20 AM
Status report on CMM: two weeks into his radiation treatment and shortness of breath is becoming an issue. He really hasn't been bothered by this since he recovered from the collapsed lung in September. However his oxygen levels have been dropping for the last week and his oncologist canceled his chemo yesterday and ordered a stat CT scan to rule out blood clots. Radiation therapist thinks it is airway inflammation due to the radiation and has put him on a short course of oral steroids. This is the standard treatment but is nerve wracking since CMM has a history of intractable hiccups with steroid injections ( one episode lasted 6 months and he lost 50 lbs.). Fingers crossed that the oral steroids won't do the same and that his breathing will improve. I can see that this is making him feel his mortality, even though it's not a crisis yet - his blood oxygen levels are normal if he wears his oxygen, and he can go a couple of hours without it, but he wasn't dependent on it during the day before (only at night).
And his mystery iron deficiency anemia still doesn't appear to be resolved even after colonoscopy and cauterizatipn of some blood vessels.
His bone marrow is working fine as his white blood count is completely normal, so does not appear to be anemia due to bone marrow suppression from anemia. His iron levels were quite low and didn't improve with aggressive oral replacement (3 iron capsules AND three liver tablets with vitamin C daily) and his blood count improved only slightly with iron infusions only to start to fall again after they were done ( he's had a total of 15 iron infusions). The one grossly bloody stool he had suggests GI blood loss but his colonoscopy and upper GI endoscopy showed nothing but a couple of blood vessels that weren't bleeding but were cauterize anyway. PET scan didn't suggest and tumor inbthe abdomen.