Tag Archives: emotions

Women and Divorce, When Emotions Collide with Finances

Divorce

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.  It is one of those marketing opportunities for businesses to encourage us to show our love and affection for the special person in our life by buying gifts, going out to dinner, or doing something celebratory.  It usually involves a couple.  I don’t think Valentine’s Day was designed for singles.  In fact, lots of folks find Valentine’s Day to be less than fun and charming.  Relationships evolve and change, marriage is not as popular as it once was, and for those who do marry,  the divorce rate remains high.

I wasn’t thinking much about Valentine’s Day when I read the article Divorcing Women, Five Signs You Might Need a New Attorney. Please click here.  The article reminds us about the importance of shifting from seeing a divorce purely from an emotional aspect to a practical one.  We need to be conscious and focused when working on the details of how things will work and be settled.

Thinking about how Valentine’s Day isn’t fun for many who are going through divorce and reading the article reminded me of a woman who called me asking for help.  I had a listing in the phone book under financial services and women.  This had an unexpected result.  I often received phone calls from women looking for social services (such as battered women’s shelters), wanting counseling about family matters, looking for help in starting businesses, and a variety of other topics.  This woman  was concerned about how her marriage was ending and she couldn’t understand why someone didn’t make her husband stay.  She and her husband had children.  He had business interests and had been quietly moving the assets with the intent of hiding them from her.  She didn’t work outside the home.  It seemed to her that there was someone else in his life, but she was only guessing.  When I explained to her that she needed to seek legal advice, she told me it wasn’t a problem, her husband had a lawyer and she could talk to him.  I explained that she needed a lawyer to represent her, someone whose interest was in protecting her, not in protecting her husband who seemed to be doing a good job of that already.  It was a heartbreaking conversation.  She wondered why nobody seemed to care about keeping families together and was there  someone who could help fix this.  I suggested seeking out counseling from clergy or a licensed therapist..  That option was rejected.  I took a deep breath and told her that she should talk to a lawyer because he or she would understand the situation without emotion and help her to negotiate as an equal in the situation.  Separating emotions from finances is always difficult, but really challenging when it involves the dissolution of a marriage, children, and denial.

It has been many years since that telephone conversation.  I am hoping  the caller found an attorney who could help her navigate the circumstances of the end of her marriage and move on to a happier time.  It would have been hard for her to see a better future on that day we talked, but I am hoping that tomorrow she will be having a wonderful Valentine’s Day celebration with someone special.

valentines

Until next time

Debra Hadsall

www.ffptalk.com

To order my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition, please click here.

Begin with the End in Mind-Life Insurance

I have listened to many people talk about their personal finances over the last 15 years. From that I learned a lot  about the emotions involved in financial management.

Emotions can often stand in the way of getting things accomplished.  They can also be a major reason a person takes responsiblity and action. I have seen how emotions can be useful or hurtful.

The emotions attached to discussions about life insurance and end-of-life documents  (such as wills, durable power of attorneys, living wills, etc.) are, for some people, very strong and paralyzing.  I always tell anyone who will listen that these are things we do for those we leave behind.  If we are gone and haven’t taken care of these things, we can’t reach from the grave and fix them.

If we don’t plan well for retirement, if we don’t manage our debt appropriately, if we don’t budget successfully, we  personally suffer.  That is our choice or decision and we will have to deal with it.  Putting our survivors in a financially difficult or legally unclear position  is unfair to them. They may suffer  and be forced into dealing with legal or financial matters over which they had no say or control.  Difficult things to deal with during a time of loss.

Life insurance is a product which is sold, not bought.  That is what I was taught when I first started selling life insurance.  I didn’t really “get it” until I started meeting with potential clients.  It became quite clear that hardly anyone calls up and asks to buy life insurance.  Once again, all those emotions tied to death, insurance and money.  Add to that, the confusion about how life insurance works and fears of some unsavory past practices of some in the industry.  Now,  not everyone needs life insurance, but I believe everyone needs to go through the analytical process of determining if she or he needs it.

In my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, I talk about life insurance and have included a quote which seems to give a valuable perspective on the value of life insurance.  This may be more meaningful to you than a long lecture about insurance.

A life insurance policy is just a time-yellowed piece of paper with columns of figures and legal phrases, until it is baptized with a loved one’s tears. Then it becomes a modern miracle – Aladdin’s Lamp. It is food, clothing, shelter, and undying affection. It is the sincerest love-letter ever written.

It quiets the crying of a hungry baby in the night. It eases the aching heart of the one who remains behind – a comforting whisper, in the dark and silent hours. It is a new hope, fresh courage and strength to pick up broken threads and carry on. It is a college education for the son or daughter – a chance for a career instead of a need of a job. It is a parent’s blessing to a daughter on her wedding day.

Author Unknown

Until next time

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