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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%
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-11-2006, 09:43 AM   #41
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

I voted in the poll 'Didn't Reach $1M Net Worth, but Retired Early, 1 Divorce':

I got divorced once and was nearly wiped out. However for me it was a positive situation: I was only 36 and had a career with good earning potential. In addition my ex liked to spend like there was no tomorrow. To contrast I am a natural spender. Every once in a while I would win but it was always a struggle. So post-divorce, I downscaled my lifestyle, began to save a great deal of my income and retired in my 40's. Since I lived on a small budget I was able to do so with less than $1 million net worth.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-11-2006, 06:03 PM   #42
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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.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-12-2006, 09:22 AM   #43
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

I don't think these results show that divorce make FIRE more difficult.

A little more than 1/3 of poll participants have divorced. Although that's a lower rate of divorce than the national average, it's actually a little higher than the national divorce rate of college graduates. That tells me that, overall, divorce has no effect on ability of educated, motivated, above-average earners to FIRE. Or maybe that's what I want to see
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-12-2006, 10:42 AM   #44
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
I don't think these results show that divorce make FIRE more difficult.

A little more than 1/3 of poll participants have divorced. Although that's a lower rate of divorce than the national average, it's actually a little higher than the national divorce rate of college graduates. That tells me that, overall, divorce has no effect on ability of educated, motivated, above-average earners to FIRE. Or maybe that's what I want to see
I agree with you, astromeria. In my case, divorce didn't make FIRE more difficult. In fact it was just the opposite: divorce made FIRE possible.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-12-2006, 12:00 PM   #45
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Workwayless
I agree with you, astromeria. In my case, divorce didn't make FIRE more difficult. In fact it was just the opposite: divorce made FIRE possible.
Ditto.

JG
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-12-2006, 02:13 PM   #46
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan

Marriage and divorce is best done early to get it out of your system and have time to recover financially.
I agree! I divorced at age 35 and it ended up being very good for my finances. We split $20k profit from the sale of the house and another $15k we had invested. My wife paid a lawyer to draw up the papers and represent her in court while I represented myself. We didn't have any arguments just split everything down the middle. To split the furniture etc we tossed a coin to decide who'd pick first and then just took turns picking things we wanted. My ex didn't want to bother with claiming half of the 401k/pension stuff which was about $50k back then even though both I and her lawyer advised her to - so that was a windfall for me. As a batchelor I've changed jobs and increased my earning power and lived far more frugally than when I was married. The control of my spending has allowed me to save at a greater rate than when I was married.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-12-2006, 04:46 PM   #47
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote from: Workwayless on Today at 07:42:01 AM
I agree with you, astromeria. In my case, divorce didn't make FIRE more difficult. In fact it was just the opposite: divorce made FIRE possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._johngalt
Ditto.

JG
Double ditto.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-13-2006, 11:49 PM   #48
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._johngalt
Good poll. I'm hanging out there all by myself, as usual.

JG
Nope, not this time JG, in fact DW and I could each qualify for the bottom spot on the chart "independently"
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-14-2006, 08:31 AM   #49
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

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Originally Posted by JonnyM
Nope, not this time JG, in fact DW and I could each qualify for the bottom spot on the chart "independently"
Man, you must have some war stories.

JG
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-14-2006, 09:04 AM   #50
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

If:
- Before divorce: 2 people with 100% of the assets
- After divorce: 1 person with 50% assets

Then only the "duplicate" expenses of two people living separately drag down one's progress towards ER (minus "transaction costs" - lawyers, real estate commissions, etc).

I would guess the biggest impact is housing -- two divorced individuals tie up two separate houses and associated expenses -- versus two sharing one.

All other expenses are generally "proportional" to the number of people in the household - cars, food, etc.

I don't have any experiece with divorce, above is surely over-theoretical, and doesn't begin to consider kids and two spouses with unequal jobs.

Bottom line: divorce probably doesn't accelerate one's progress to ER.....
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-14-2006, 09:11 AM   #51
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delawaredave
Bottom line: divorce probably doesn't accelerate one's progress to ER.....
When one is a spender, eliminating that one from the equation accelerates the saver's progess to ER.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-14-2006, 10:05 AM   #52
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by nun
I agree! I divorced at age 35 and it ended up being very good for my finances.
To everyone who has been able to get out of a so-called "bad" marriage and move on to better things, congratulations!

But, rather than compare a so-called bad marriage with a new, improved marriage, I'd like to see some $$$ comparisons between a good from the get-go marriage and a good second/third/fourth marriage. Do couples who marry and happily stay together have any real $$$ advantage over couples who need to correct the first marriage and only find financial compatibility in the second?

For those of you who have found a financially compatible mate on the second time around, do you feel significantly financially set back compared to if you had found that person the first time? Or, perhaps the learning experience of the first marriage gives you some edge over those who found Mr/Ms Right the first time and you may actually be at an advantage?



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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-14-2006, 10:10 AM   #53
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
For those of you who have found a financially compatible mate on the second time around, do you feel significantly financially set back compared to if you had found that person the first time?
I'd have to say yes. 15 years lost on the timeline has to have had an impact.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-14-2006, 10:16 AM   #54
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Not exactly answering youbet's question, but I married 2 guys who instinctively live AT their means. My current hubby has been much better off with me than before me. My first hubby was better off with me than after me--he married someone who tends to debt and gets "outpatient care" from parents. (They stand to inherit handsomely from both sides, so it may work out for them )

A complicating factor in some divorces is children: did you have more (or any) in a second marriage? I couldn't have any more children, so I just have 2 from my first marriage (current DH never had kids). My ex had a whole second brood of 3 with his second, much younger wife--that surely set him back.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-14-2006, 10:22 AM   #55
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
To everyone who has been able to get out of a so-called "bad" marriage and move on to better things, congratulations!

But, rather than compare a so-called bad marriage with a new, improved marriage, I'd like to see some $$$ comparisons between a good from the get-go marriage and a good second/third/fourth marriage. Do couples who marry and happily stay together have any real $$$ advantage over couples who need to correct the first marriage and only find financial compatibility in the second?

For those of you who have found a financially compatible mate on the second time around, do you feel significantly financially set back compared to if you had found that person the first time? Or, perhaps the learning experience of the first marriage gives you some edge over those who found Mr/Ms Right the first time and you may actually be at an advantage?



I have a lot to say on this one.

My first wife was high maintenance/high consumption, mostly non-working
unless in a business I owned. However, I defend her from occasional
charges from relatives (that she was a big spender for example) as I was spending it just as fast as she was. We were equally to blame for any lack of foresight/thrift. Also,
we were married 32 years and didn't have a dime when we started so
there was not much question about splitting things "down the middle".
I never had a problem with that although obviously I produced almost all of the
income/assets.

Second marriage - completely different. Huge disparity in financial
situations/financial knowledge. Second wife worked full time
(very hard worker), but (like C-T) I did more than my share with my
investments, etc., and expected to fully support my wife once she decided
to ER.

Anyway, I did not find "financial compatability" in either marriage but for
completely different reasons. Doubt I will try for a third time.
Too old. Too tired.

JG
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-15-2006, 10:06 AM   #56
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick
When one is a spender, eliminating that one from the equation accelerates the saver's progess to ER.
also, when 1 refuses to hold down a j*b, and you "trade-up" to a good-earning partner who shares your dream, you also accelerate you progress to ER.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-15-2006, 07:00 PM   #57
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
For those of you who have found a financially compatible mate on the second time around, do you feel significantly financially set back compared to if you had found that person the first time? Or, perhaps the learning experience of the first marriage gives you some edge over those who found Mr/Ms Right the first time and you may actually be at an advantage?
both; and the second outweighed the first.
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-15-2006, 09:56 PM   #58
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by d
both; and the second outweighed the first.
Are you recommending a plan where you'd marry the first time planning on divorce so you could get on to the second marriage? Or, if you could pick out a good one first time around, would you stick with him/her?
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-16-2006, 03:48 AM   #59
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

The good news is in most states at least with divorce she only gets half... ha ha ha
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement
Old 10-16-2006, 09:19 AM   #60
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Re: Divorce, Net Worth and Early Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
Are you recommending a plan where you'd marry the first time planning on divorce so you could get on to the second marriage? Or, if you could pick out a good one first time around, would you stick with him/her?
Obviously you never plan on divorce. However, being like-minded on financial matters would be my number one criterion for choosing a mate. Sex and religion/beliefs/values are also important. But in finances, being attracted by an opposite is bad news...
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