Author Topic: Does this sound like a retirement failure scenario?  (Read 814 times)

talltexan

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Does this sound like a retirement failure scenario?
« on: December 20, 2018, 07:27:22 AM »
https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/12/dear-prudence-husband-broke-unemployed.html

It's hard to piece together what went wrong, perhaps it was as simple as not planning?

maizeman

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Re: Does this sound like a retirement failure scenario?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2018, 07:55:51 AM »
Yeah, it sounds like the wife didn't have much grasp of the finances (whether by her choice or because the husband kept his accounts privately), so it's hard to know.

I can imagine a scenario where the husband expected money wasn't going to be an issue long term because the wife was making so much money ($1M though it isn't clear over how many years) doing something she enjoyed, while the wife expected money wasn't going to be an issue long term because the husband had left the company with such a big chunk of money and there never seemed to be a shortage of it when it came time to pay bills. So the husband covers unsustainable expenses out of his savings while waiting for his wife to sell her next novel and the wife (potentially) doesn't feel a lot of pressure to get that next novel sold because her husband clearly has enough money to support their lifestyle indefinitely... until the money runs out suddenly the wheels come off.

In this scenario the main failure is one of failure to communicate about expectations and goals.

But I'm sure countless other scenarios could also explain the limited information given in the letter just as well.

nereo

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Re: Does this sound like a retirement failure scenario?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2018, 08:15:08 AM »
https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/12/dear-prudence-husband-broke-unemployed.html

It's hard to piece together what went wrong, perhaps it was as simple as not planning?

It's clear there was no planning, and a complete lack of communication about finances between the two.  In twenty years they spent his entire $2MM and her earned $1MM, so assuming zero returns that's $150k/year.  Not exactly living like a rap god, but more than comfy.  Of course its possible his company stock tanked and the shares he sold didn't total anywhere near the $2MM they had when they first met (or he blatantly lied about how much he had)... but ultimately they spent more than they had year after year. 

I'm kind-of impressed, frankly,  to hear of a novelist breaking the $1MM mark; that's very hard to do.  Hopefully she can build on that going forward and earn at least a middle class income.  It sounds like he's tied his self-worth to the money he made in his 20s, and needs therapy to break that perception.

I wish them luck.

to the rest of us it serves as a reminder that no amount of money in our early years is sufficient if there isn't a clearly communicated and followed plan.

ducky19

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Re: Does this sound like a retirement failure scenario?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2018, 12:47:21 PM »
This ought to be moved to the Comedy side... even though it's incredibly sad.

LifeHappens

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Re: Does this sound like a retirement failure scenario?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2018, 12:54:53 PM »
It sounds like a combination of poor mental health and financial illiteracy. I feel bad for both of them.

Cassie

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Re: Does this sound like a retirement failure scenario?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2018, 01:53:23 PM »
It really is hard to understand how that happened. They should have been set for life.