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Old 05-26-2013, 09:32 AM   #61
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+10

There are a lot of things I love about the U.S., but IMO it's maybe the hardest place on Earth to have a healthy, long-term relationship. Hyper-consumerism and hyper-litigiousness stack the odds atrociously against you.

If my goal were to find the love of my life and spend the rest of my life with her, I would head straight to the nearest international airport.
I tried doing a quick google search for European divorce rates....while, on a "# divorces per 1,000 people" lists the US as double/triple the rate of Europe, I found another site that lists the # divorces as a % of marriages that appears to show the US as being very close to most of Europe:

European Divorce Statistics.

So while there may be more marriages (and divorces) on a "per 1,000" people in the US, on a % rate (from the website above) it appears there isn't too much % difference.

So perhaps that international airport destination should be a 3rd world country.

Time to expand that eHarmony search radius to South America and Eastern Europe!
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:17 AM   #62
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That can work as long as the "spender" knows it's an issue. I worked with a guy whose style of money management was to spend until he started bouncing checks because he never balanced his account. He'd then close that account and open a new one.

When he married he just signed the back of his paycheck, gave it to his wife, and she gave him a cash allowance. It worked for them, they've been married 30+ years.
When our 2nd son was born (1987, before Direct Deposit) I was still in the hospital on DH's payday. I had always filled out deposit slips for his paycheck and he would deposit his check after work. I was a little preoccupied that week so when he picked up his check he took it to the bank and CASHED IT and brought the money to me in the hospital! What was he thinking?? What was I supposed to do with 2 weeks worth of cash in a hospital! This was a downtown city hospital. He also locked himself out of his car in the parking deck so he was holding this cash while waiting around for assistance from the parking deck Security guys.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:43 AM   #63
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When our 2nd son was born (1987, before Direct Deposit) I was still in the hospital on DH's payday. I had always filled out deposit slips for his paycheck and he would deposit his check after work. I was a little preoccupied that week so when he picked up his check he took it to the bank and CASHED IT and brought the money to me in the hospital! What was he thinking?? What was I supposed to do with 2 weeks worth of cash in a hospital! This was a downtown city hospital. He also locked himself out of his car in the parking deck so he was holding this cash while waiting around for assistance from the parking deck Security guys.
Well, I imagine you've had a considerable feeling of power and marital security. No better job than paymaster.

Ha
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:19 PM   #64
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So perhaps that international airport destination should be a 3rd world country.

Time to expand that eHarmony search radius to South America and Eastern Europe!
Just find a young immigrant girl (over 18 or so preferably) and marry her and bring her here to the US. And keep dangling that green card and threat of deportation over her head if she turns on you.

Worked for me so far...
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:33 PM   #65
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Just find a young immigrant girl (over 18 or so preferably) and marry her and bring her here to the US.
A lot of the immigrant girls are from cultures where you (as the rich husband) are expected to support the entire family (either "back home" or by bringing them here).

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Old 05-26-2013, 05:17 PM   #66
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I think I must have been grievously misunderstood. We have members living in various "less developed countries" which as economic and social conditions deteriorate in the US may be a misleading and non-descriptive term. Most of these countries have a considerably more solid banking system and greater growth than we do. Some of these various forum members do have families, and I cannot see any way in which this resembles a marketplace for kids.

When I have traveled to LDCs it has seemed to me that it might be easier to raise children there, than here in crazyland. Certainly it would be easier to stay married to the kids mother than it is here. Who has a more sane family life here in America, native Americans, or any number of middle class families from Asia? And their kids and the families as a whole show fewer signs of social pathology than other groups, including native white Americans. No matter where you look, if it takes effort, dedication and solid families, Chinese, Korean, Indian and other Asian immigrant children or the children of immigrant parents are at the head of the class. And don't forget, affirmative action works against, not for, these groups.

Parent/child relationships have not been the easiest in America since at least the late 60s. And just look at the pressures on families now-and I don't mean financial pressures. It often seems to be as if lunatics have taken over many positions of social power in education, government, etc. I saw an amazing thing downtown yesterday. An immigrant girl about 5 had become separated from her mother who was on the opposite corner of a very busy intersection. The girl was getting more and more agitated, and seemed that she might just start to run. All these men were trying to calm her down, but they seemed reluctant to just grab her arm. Finally a woman standing way back in the crowd just shot her arm forward and grabbed the kid by her arm and held her until the mother could cross. I was watching this from another corner, and I thought that it was quite possible that this child was going to run out into traffic, with who knows what result.

If I were young today and I wanted marriage I would be marrying and making a family in whatever place I could afford that hadn't yet succumbed to the mass psychosis of modern looneyland USA.

Ha
Agree 100%.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:27 PM   #67
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A lot of the immigrant girls are from cultures where you (as the rich husband) are expected to support the entire family (either "back home" or by bringing them here).

omni
Just don't leave a forwarding address and problem solved! It isn't like you have to get into her culture, so breaching cultural norms isn't taboo for you as the American husband.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:13 PM   #68
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Just don't leave a forwarding address and problem solved! It isn't like you have to get into her culture, so breaching cultural norms isn't taboo for you as the American husband.
And the wife isn't going to contact her birth family ever? (Not likely unless it's some type of kidnapping.)


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Old 05-26-2013, 11:42 PM   #69
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The virtues of childfree lifestyle. I'm not sure childfree couples truly appreciate their blissful circumstance. Like drinking a glass of refreshing water in an oasis without first having crawled across a blistering desert.
Each to their own. I would not trade my experience as a parent for any amount of money. Ups and downs to be sure, but it makes one really appreciate and focus on the important things. Best thing I ever did, for many reasons.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:48 PM   #70
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Each to their own. I would not trade my experience as a parent for any amount of money. Ups and downs to be sure, but it makes one really appreciate and focus on the important things. Best thing I ever did, for many reasons.
Confirmation bias.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:45 AM   #71
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Each to their own. I would not trade my experience as a parent for any amount of money. Ups and downs to be sure, but it makes one really appreciate and focus on the important things. Best thing I ever did, for many reasons.
Nothing more important than following one's heart in such matters. My three would heartily agree with you. One could almost say I took the advice of an earlier post. They were born and raised in an "LDC" but I doubt very much they would agree with Mr Ha (et. al.) regarding the advantages of raising children in a less developed country vs the US, but as you say, to each their own.
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:10 PM   #72
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Nothing more important than following one's heart in such matters. My three would heartily agree with you. One could almost say I took the advice of an earlier post. They were born and raised in an "LDC" but I doubt very much they would agree with Mr Ha (et. al.) regarding the advantages of raising children in a less developed country vs the US, but as you say, to each their own.
What fairly well off people want to leave Asia or even Latin America for USA unless violent political or revolutionary problems send them packing? The poor want to come; many better off people come seeking education or contacts, but until forced by politics it seems to me that for the most part foreign upper middle class people want to stay put in their home countries. Although you have much more extensive and recent experience than I.

You just said that you raised 3 children in LDC; they turned out very well, right? I raised 2 sons here; and they turned out very well too. But part of my very conscious plan for them was to avoid the cultural poison of American pop culture, city schools, TV, blah blah blah. I know of plenty train wrecks among families that had no unusual problems.

I think raising happy, emotionally healthy kids and having a pleasant time doing it can be far from a gimme in Middle class America. It must be the hidden reason why so many capable young men and women take a pass on the whole thing. The essence of life is continuation of life. When large numbers of successful people say "no, I don't think so", there must be a pretty powerful reason.

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Old 05-28-2013, 10:38 AM   #73
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What fairly well off people want to leave Asia or even Latin America for USA unless violent political or revolutionary problems send them packing? The poor want to come; many better off people come seeking education or contacts, but until forced by politics it seems to me that for the most part foreign upper middle class people want to stay put in their home countries. Although you have much more extensive and recent experience than I.
I know a fair amount of Venezuelan, Vietnamese, Laotian, Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Japanese etc families, most of which were upper middle class, upper class, or had ties to the ruling elite in their respective countries. Then they came to the US for varying reasons. All come from educated families, or at least very commercially successful families. I can't say any fled their countries due to fear of violence or revolution (well, except maybe the Iraqi family).

Reasons are more along the lines of "it's nicer here", it is safer here, I got tired of the lack of public services or the graft required to keep the public services flowing. Or it is cheaper here for much higher quality of life (the Japanese family). Jobs and economic stability probably rank pretty high up there too.

I may be going out on a limb here, but I think it is still a "thing" to want to send your kids to live in America or become American if you come from a wide range of countries in Latin America or Asia. The economic possibilities and stability is attractive along with what is perceived as a solid middle class, relatively low crime and little corruption.

Maybe the very upper crust of the Less Developed Countries are just fine with their status quo (until they are deposed), but for an upper middle class person in many of those countries, life is just ok, and could be much easier if they had a golden passport and immigration paperwork to be able to come to the US.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:25 PM   #74
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I know a fair amount of Venezuelan, Vietnamese, Laotian, Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Japanese etc families, most of which were upper middle class, upper class, or had ties to the ruling elite in their respective countries. Then they came to the US for varying reasons. All come from educated families, or at least very commercially successful families. I can't say any fled their countries due to fear of violence or revolution (well, except maybe the Iraqi family).

Reasons are more along the lines of "it's nicer here", it is safer here, I got tired of the lack of public services or the graft required to keep the public services flowing. Or it is cheaper here for much higher quality of life (the Japanese family). Jobs and economic stability probably rank pretty high up there too.

I may be going out on a limb here, but I think it is still a "thing" to want to send your kids to live in America or become American if you come from a wide range of countries in Latin America or Asia. The economic possibilities and stability is attractive along with what is perceived as a solid middle class, relatively low crime and little corruption.

Maybe the very upper crust of the Less Developed Countries are just fine with their status quo (until they are deposed), but for an upper middle class person in many of those countries, life is just ok, and could be much easier if they had a golden passport and immigration paperwork to be able to come to the US.
Interesting. This is hard to do in the US, beyond educational visas. That is why Vancouver is full of Chinese placeholders, not Seattle. A look at the nature of legal immigration will show that a great deal of it is family reunification.

I understand wanting an exit pass- particularly in China, or Indonesia or Russia or similar where a wealthy person is never far from changes in government making him suddenly persona non grata, and where the wealthy person may not have dotted every I and crossed every t. While the US may or may not be the world's most stable country, the list of other contenders for this title would be very short. Who would have expected days of vicious rioting in Stockholm? We had one taste of rioting with the Rodney King police acquittal. Prior to that I think we must go back to 1968 to the Democratic Convention in Chicago, or 1965 to the Watts/South Central LA riots.

My original post was about only one thing- does a young man who wants children have mate choices that go beyond the American that he met at work? I think he does, if he has the ability to put together meaningful amounts of money quickly. In fact we have first person accounts right on this forum, of Americans doing exactly that. Of course these people can bail and come home if necessary, but I don't think my initial post suggested burning any return tickets. My understanding is that any children born abroad by this American father would be dual citizens, hence OK to come home. I think the mother would be quite high on getting a green card, but I do not know the exact rules. Like the familiar refrain on these forums, one must be flexible.

Anyway, to me this is entirely hypothetical, at this point I wouldn't want a frisky young wife to give me a heart attack or a lot of social grief, or to be a carrier of unhappiness and frustration into my world.



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Old 05-28-2013, 12:51 PM   #75
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An odd thing I notice about this forum. When it comes to an early exit from work, we are all for this non-conforming behavior. When it comes to almost anything else, many voices will be raised as to why the premise is false, the logic is poor, it involves tinfoil hats, there are many factors that argue against it, etc.
I used to think it would be cool and funky and unique to raise the kids abroad. Then I realized it would mostly be cool and funky and unique for me!

To provide a similar quality of education and quality of life abroad (in a lesser developed country) would be hard and expensive compared to many areas in the US. Not to mention multiple trips per year to return to/from the US. And it wouldn't be 1-2 plane tickets for me and/or DW. But 5 tickets for the whole family.

YMMV of course, just from my own estimates the self funded ex pat lifestyle with kids wouldn't be any easier than living in a reasonable cost of living area of the US. It seems our US social safety net tends to strongly encourage the having and raising of children (tax credits, deductions, free K-12+ education, many get free medical/dental/school lunches). I gather similar levels of benefits don't exist in many lesser developed countries.

From a risk analysis perspective - I get your point. You could theoretically have a bunch of kids with a foreign spouse and if the baby momma goes crazy, you might be able to escape the situation relatively unscathed financially. Maybe even with your children.

With a US spouse and family and the US system of child support, you might be destined to a life of penury (or at least 18+ years of it). There are obviously ways to mitigate these risks though. Have a highly educated working spouse whose earnings are close enough to yours would be a good start.
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:02 PM   #76
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You might be in for a tough search -


So for the male posters here with frugal wives, where did you meet her? I guess you found one of the coveted 3.7%.
For me, meeting a girl with an engineering degree that spent much time with her depression era grandparents while growing up had a lot to do with the positive outcomes.

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Old 05-28-2013, 03:37 PM   #77
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Just find a young immigrant girl (over 18 or so preferably) and marry her and bring her here to the US. And keep dangling that green card and threat of deportation over her head if she turns on you.

Worked for me so far...
I know this is a joke, but its not a good one. One of my neighbors had this exact routine, with isolation, cultural shaming (divorce is "disgraceful" in her culture) and physical abuse added to the mix done to her over the last several years. We (my wife and I) had to help her understand that she can't be thrown out of the US at her husband's whim, he can't throw her and the kids out on the street, etc.

Ironically, the lady in question has an engineering background which I guess will make her quite a catch with the frugal crowd once the process is over.
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:34 AM   #78
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I think raising happy, emotionally healthy kids and having a pleasant time doing it can be far from a gimme in Middle class America. It must be the hidden reason why so many capable young men and women take a pass on the whole thing. The essence of life is continuation of life. When large numbers of successful people say "no, I don't think so", there must be a pretty powerful reason.

Ha
It's far from a gimme everywhere. In less developed countries, however, more things can go bad, and when they do, the consequences can be nasty. Life is less challenging in the US and lots of kids seem happy to just coast along with the flow. Parents willing to push their kids, however, find much more resource and opportunity in the US than just about anywhere else in the world, developed or not.
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:52 AM   #79
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So for the male posters here with frugal wives, where did you meet her? I guess you found one of the coveted 3.7%.
I'm not married yet, but I met the guy I'm living with back at the video game store we worked at. I frequented there. The bridge in interests has kept things great, and sharing a hobby splits our costs in half since we only have to buy things once :P

I don't have a degree, but I was in school for computer engineering before dropping out to run a business, so, as much as I hate to agree with broad, sweeping statements, I can't exactly refute the engineering chick vibe
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:51 PM   #80
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My question is, how much weight should one put on looking at a potential spouses money habits?
Having similar money values is very key in your future life partner. By money values, I mean you both feel the same about saving habits, spending habits, donating to charity, paying for kids colleges (or letting kids pay their own way), retirement goals, etc. It should be not hard to talk about money either. Some people think talking about it is a taboo subject. I could never imagine getting married and not ever talking about money with my partner while dating.

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Is it more important to find someone that is intelligent, attractive and shares similar interests?
Why not look for A and B in a partner? It sounds like you either think they are good with money, but then not pretty, smart and has shared interests. She is out there! And by similar interests - things like both being the eldest child of the family, hate Chinese food, love old black and white movies - those things really do very little in determining the success of long term happy relationships. However, it might help with the initial interaction and with figuring how to have fun - but it's not a binding for success necessarily.

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Would you not pursue someone that seemed excellent except for being loose with money?
If they were loose with money, all the other characteristics in the world probably would not trump this one bad habit. Perhaps they can change, but I’d have to see it to believe it first. She doesn't have to be frugal but just have similar money values as yours.


Is your dating pool of only rich, taken care of women or something? Maybe get out and volunteer in your community!

I was married to someone in my 20s who did not know what saving was, just thought everything would be OK in retirement and didn't make more than $10k a year (I guess I was his sugar mama). We divorced but money was not the main issue! When we were dating I wasn't really thinking about money values.

Then having a second chance at love, I chose MUCH more wisely. I did find someone who has similar money value as me (plus he's cute, very smart, kind, respectful and we have tons of outdoor hobbies). Life is much easier now! We're not frugal but we're spending aware and LBYM.

PS - Engineer female over here too!
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