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View Poll Results: What Effect Does Divorce have on Net Worth?
Reached at least $1M Net Worth by Age 55, No Divorce 59 61.46%
Reached at least $1M Net Worth After Age 55, No Divorce 3 3.13%
Reached at least $1M Net Worth by Age 55, 1 Divorce 18 18.75%
Reached at least $1M Net Worth by Age 55, 2 or more Divorces 1 1.04%
Reached at least $1M Net Worth After Age 55, 1 Divorce 2 2.08%
Reached at least $1M Net Worth After Age 55, 2 or More Divorces 2 2.08%
Didn't Reach $1M Net Worth, but Retired Early, No Divorces 6 6.25%
Didn't Reach $1M Net Worth, but Retired Early, 1 Divorce 3 3.13%
Didn't Reach $1M Net Worth, but Retired Early, 2 or More Divorces 2 2.08%
Voters: 96. You may not vote on this poll

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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-09-2006, 03:31 PM   #21
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

I think big gaps in value systems are the items that therapy/counselling cannot fix. It is best to correct the mistake and then find a more compatible partner. Often these gaps are not apparent until after being married a few years.

People who are afraid of the downside should resign themselves to their life sentence. When I was going through it, many acquaintances said they would do the same if they were brave enough to deal with the breakage. Others said they were staying just for the money. I hope they find it worth it...
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-09-2006, 03:59 PM   #22
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._johngalt
I agree about the "wise observation" and that the "cost of divorce"
(all phases/measurements) is incalcuable. That said, sometimes it is
the only logical solution. You only get one life, and spending it being
miserable just so you can say you never divorced doesn't make a whole lot of sense. In my own case, even with hindsight I view both divorces as
absolutely necessary.

JG
I would never agree to stay in a miserable marriage just to avoid divorce. My point was that personal development and change can sometimes alter the relationship dynamic for the better. In other words, when one person changes, the other does as well. Many divorces happen without either spouse trying to change. That's sad, in my opinion.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-09-2006, 04:41 PM   #23
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe
I would never agree to stay in a miserable marriage just to avoid divorce. My point was that personal development and change can sometimes alter the relationship dynamic for the better. In other words, when one person changes, the other does as well. Many divorces happen without either spouse trying to change. That's sad, in my opinion.
People often enter a marriage without really talking about details beforehand.

They don't know if their vision is also the partner's vision.

Even when they have agreed on things, 'stuff' can happen; and many are not prepared to renegotiate.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-09-2006, 06:16 PM   #24
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan
People often enter a marriage without really talking about details beforehand.

They don't know if their vision is also the partner's vision.

Even when they have agreed on things, 'stuff' can happen; and many are not prepared to renegotiate.
"Stuff" happens all the time. That's life. The idea that many are not prepared to renegotiate is very true and this happens in all kinds of relationships, not just marriage. The remedy for that is maturity, education, and love.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-09-2006, 06:30 PM   #25
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe
I would never agree to stay in a miserable marriage just to avoid divorce. My point was that personal development and change can sometimes alter the relationship dynamic for the better. In other words, when one person changes, the other does as well. Many divorces happen without either spouse trying to change. That's sad, in my opinion.
I agree, including with "sad" comment. I've been told (always by women)
that I needed to change. But, I am never gonna change! First of all,
I am 62 years old. Secondly, I love being the way I am. Why would I want to change?

Note: This question requires no response. Just makin'
a point here folks.

JG
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-09-2006, 06:36 PM   #26
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Divorce = messy and expensive
Getting married in the first place = risk taking
Staying single = risk mitigation

You choose!
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-09-2006, 10:46 PM   #27
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh
Divorce = messy and expensive
Getting married in the first place = risk taking
Staying single = risk mitigation

You choose!
I would choose #3, but I am a few decades late. :P

Ha
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-10-2006, 03:35 AM   #28
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

I’m not sure how to interpret the results. There are substantially more responders who have never been divorced who achieved a net worth of at least $1M by age 55. However, I’m not sure whether this establishes a “cause and effect” relationship, or whether the “never divorced” folks simply outnumber the “divorced 1 or more times” folks. I tend to believe that there is a correlation. In my own case, I reached the $1M threshold when the odometer turned 56. I suspect I could have reached that milestone about 10 years earlier but for 2 failed marriages. Has anyone else attempted to estimate how much their divorce(s) set them back in terms of achieving ER?
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-10-2006, 07:28 AM   #29
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by GMueller
Has anyone else attempted to estimate how much their divorce(s) set them back in terms of achieving ER?
I know exactly. My first divorce was final the same year I ERed
completely. Thus, our combined net worth was split 50/50, but I no longer
had to do the heavy lifting income-wise, support a high maintenance
spouse, nor a "keep up with the Jones" lifestyle. At that point it (ER)
became a no-brainer.

JG
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-10-2006, 07:30 AM   #30
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

My divorce set me back financially at the time but long term and in so many ways it was a blessing. I would have never achieved any financial success had I stayed with her; no matter how hard I worked it wasn’t enough. Money isn’t everything by any means but having money problems can surely add fuel to the fire. She reminded me of Wilma in the Flintstones….”Charge”. Now my lovely wife of 15 years is my partner in every way, we’re a team and it’s as different as night and day. Together we reached the 1M figure a while back and we didn’t think much about it.

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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-10-2006, 07:55 AM   #31
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

My breakup was a powerful, positive force in achieving FIRE. My first marriage was very traditional (I didn't know what my husband was earning, for example), and its breakup forced me to return to the workforce. A few years later, my second husband encouraged me to get out of my mediocre-paid hourly job without benefits and into a professional job--I can't be sure I would've done that without his confidence in me. Second, I felt really determined to pay my own way in marriage #2 and not be financially dependent on DH2 to take care of myself or my children. Although DH2 always earned a lot more money than me, I was more consistently employed and a much better saver (I have twice as much as he does in rollover IRAs), and had decent stock options too, so I made half of our stash.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-10-2006, 08:17 AM   #32
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Did not vote since my category is not included:

Divorced once; widowed once; remarried and had net worth of over $1M by age 45.


My divorce was my chance to start over with a clean slate and without somebody else working against my plan for FI and ER. Being $60,000+ in CC and other debt, paying child support, alimony and losing half your retirement benefits and being a single parent can make you a believer in LBYM and choosing a patner that is like-minded in financial issues.

Divorce is costly in many many ways but in the long run I am much happier and much better off financially now than I ever would have been had I stayed married to my first wife.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-10-2006, 10:08 AM   #33
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outtahere
I have a friend that is not happy at home, for the past three years he's been talking about leaving. I sat down with him one day and showed him just how much it was going to cost him if he left, he decided it's not so bad at home and he's going to stay. He also agreed to marriage counseling.
marriage counseling is probably a good idea but far from a sure thing.

I realize we are all concerned about our net worth, and my divorce cost me plenty, but it was the best investment I ever made.

What good is money if you are miserable? If you stay in a marriage because it would cost you too much money to leave, you deserve to be affluent and miserable. It will likely affect your health and longevity. Staying in a marriage to save money, IMO, is the classic example of misplaced priorities.

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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-10-2006, 12:59 PM   #34
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by GMueller
Has anyone else attempted to estimate how much their divorce(s) set them back in terms of achieving ER?
I think that marrying someone who's starting at the same place you are, and staying married to them, enables the two of you to do in 20 years what might take one of you 40 years.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-10-2006, 04:59 PM   #35
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Didn't answer the poll because I'm only 50, but my net worth is close to the 1 M mark and I'm not FIRE yet. Got divorced at 40, got cleaned out financially and started over with $5000, a six year old pick-up truck, but the big thing was that I got my business free and clear of the ex's reaches. Got stuck with a big child support payment that drained me really good for a while. It seemed to take forever to get back on track, but coming home every day and not having to deal with all the stress of my first marriage was worth every penny it cost me. I probably would be done with work by now, but starting over made me appreciate how good life is now.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-10-2006, 05:00 PM   #36
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Has anyone else attempted to estimate how much their divorce(s) set them back
... if you give me a few hours i could give you the exact number for the short-term set-back ... wasn't cheap, but sure was worth every penny. nonetheless, and more to the point, i expect my net worth is considerably greater than it would otherwise have been. the "divestment" was a good investment ... financially and otherwise. 'tis an ill wind that blows no good.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-10-2006, 07:40 PM   #37
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

I married young the first time to a guy that was an anchor. After we had a baby I knew it would be a struggle for me to support him for the rest of our lives so I lfet him. This allowed me to get moving on my own and meet my 2nd hub 15 years later when I was all set financially.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-11-2006, 02:50 AM   #38
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Many tough situations turn out to be beneficial in the long run.

The $ number in the poll does skew the results. Different people need different amounts of money.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-11-2006, 03:17 AM   #39
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

I began this poll because I was curious what effect divorce had on reaching ER. The results tend to show what I suspected, i.e., that divorce makes achieving ER more difficult. However, the results do contain one surprise, at least for me. I was surprised to find that the vast majority of responders who claimed a net worth of $1M or more, reached that milestone by age 55. There were very few who claimed to have achieved at net worth of $1M after age 55. I believe that the conventional wisdom is that net worth tends to increase, at least until the mid-60's. It appears that the responders were "early achievers," with very few "late achievers" among this group. I'm not sure what to make of this, if anything, but it is an interesting observation.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-11-2006, 06:15 AM   #40
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by GMueller
I began this poll because I was curious what effect divorce had on reaching ER. The results tend to show what I suspected, i.e., that divorce makes achieving ER more difficult. However, the results do contain one surprise, at least for me. I was surprised to find that the vast majority of responders who claimed a net worth of $1M or more, reached that milestone by age 55. There were very few who claimed to have achieved at net worth of $1M after age 55. I believe that the conventional wisdom is that net worth tends to increase, at least until the mid-60's. It appears that the responders were "early achievers," with very few "late achievers" among this group. I'm not sure what to make of this, if anything, but it is an interesting observation.
Yes, that is "interesting". Looking back, I was an "early achiever"
but not ever a saver (ER late bloomer). Anyway, for the record,
if I had started when some of the youngsters here (with spousal
cooperation), I'd have hit 1M easily by 55. We just spent it.
No regrets though. It was quite a party.

JG
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