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.
Until next time
To order my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition, please click here.
I am on a short break from blogging about women and money so I can complete a booklet about creating a concierge service for seniors. The end is in sight!
Fortunately I have friends and business associates who send me tips about topics which are of interest to all of us.
One friend is a young woman who is an attorney. She actually likes legal stuff but knows most people don’t. She told me to check out the site http://getyourshittogether.org/ . I did just as she told me and found it is a great site to reinforce the need to begin with the end in mind and get your stuff together.
Please take to time to read about the creator’s personal story and to use the information there to push you into action.
Personally I know it is a drag to do all the paperwork and planning. I just finished putting together a new packet of info with updated wills, banking information, insurance information and other stuff to give to our adult son …just in case. As a young person and teenager I always told him where our important documents were stored in the house. He used to ask me why he couldn’t have a mom like the ones other kids had. I told him most moms weren’t financial advisors and hadn’t seen what I had. As an adult he now gets why all this stuff is important.
Until next time
Some of my postings under Begin with the End in Mind have been about life insurance and end of life documents. The focus has been on organizing personal affairs to make it easier for those you leave behind.
I never thought that I would hear about the importance of these things while watching Wendy Williams interview a guest on her show. Wendy is a fun, engaging and intelligent talk show host, but the subject matter is not normally about finances and personal legal matters. I listened intently as she interviewed Star Jones about a movement Star has started called Rhonda’s Rules, A Women’s Guide to Getting Her Affairs in Order.
I hope you will click here and learn more about Rhonda and the important information we all need to consider to help those we leave behind. It is a compelling story and the information Star shares is really important. Star tells us that only 40% of women in this country have wills. Are you in this 40%?
Be confident and proactive, even if it is a little work to create and maintain your own personal “Affairs in Order” notebook. Call your best friend, ask if she has her personal affairs in order. Team up and hold each other accountable. When you finish give yourselves a reward by going to the movies or lunch or heading to your favorite spot for a glass. It is work, but so worth it and so worth celebrating the feeling that you have done all you can.
Until next time.
blog at http://www.ffptalk.com
I am lucky to have Facebook friends who are people I met when I was a financial advisor and insurance agent. We worked together to get them a financially appropriate solution to their life insurance needs. Now I watch as the families post photos of the adults (who change a little) and the children who keep growing and changing a lot. Whenever I see photos of them I just have a sense of calmness knowing they are now well in the care of their parents…and that their parents cared enough to plan for the unthinkable. Not everyone needs life insurance, but I believe everyone should have the conversation about what happens “If”.