Author Topic: Economics of Divorce  (Read 3136 times)

EAS893

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Economics of Divorce
« on: January 07, 2019, 03:10:33 PM »
I guess MMM turned down my comment I typed out on his latest post.  I'm not sure why.  I asked the obvious question.  Without the additional income from his blog and other stuff he's done since retirement, would the divorce have killed his or his ex wife's FIRE?  I guess I was insensitive about it, and I apologize to MMM if you're reading this, but I think it's a valid point for those of us who likely will not have large income producing blogs or second careers as carpenters after FIRE (i.e. the majority).

Specifically, I think we should add this to the FIRE criteria, If you are in a relationship situation in which your ability to FIRE is based on the assumption of any shared cost that does not scale linearly (housing is the most obvious example) you should not FIRE until everyone involved could afford to cover those needs on their own if the money was evenly divided between you.

What do you guys think?

nereo

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2019, 04:43:42 PM »
I think it's curious that you registered and made your first post to ask about MMM's divorce

I think there's already been multiple threads (at least one of which ahs been locked) on the subject which you could search and read yourself

I think reading the actual blog would answer your question "would the divorce have killed his FIRE [had he not had income from this blog]".  Short answer - seems doubtful as he retired in '05 and didn't start the blog until '11 (with apparently no expectation it would generate much or any income, which came later) which coincided with one of the biggest bull markets ever.  It's also unknowable what would have happened if Pete had never started this blog and forum. You are also assuming a lot about the former Mrs. MM and her financial contributions and requirements within the relationship.

I do NOT think it wise to make rules about when and who can be FIRE'd in a relationship if you are not a party in said relationship, nor do I think externals should get to make sure decisions.  Plenty of couples have split finances and it works for them.  You are assuming to make such a suggestion.

That's what I think.
~n~

Greystache

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2019, 07:06:29 AM »
 I have to admit, the same question crossed my mind. I think you should review the discussions about safety margins in your retirement plan.  Your plan should include some margin for when things go horribly wrong. For many of us, this safety margin is home equity. My wife and I have a budget of $60k/yr. and an investment portfolio of around $1.5M. If we divorced and split everything 50/50, we would each have to get by on half as much and would each have to pay for housing separately. This would be very uncomfortable. We also have $700K in home equity. In the event of a divorce, presumably we could sell the house and split the equity and that would get us each an annual income that would be comfortable. So divorce is like any other possible, but unlikely disaster you need to plan for.  The leaner the FIRE plan, the harder it is to deal with. The greater the safety margin, the easier it is to deal with.

EnjoyIt

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2019, 08:42:44 AM »
Divorce is expensive and personally I think every couple should discuss and develop a plan on how finances are to be split if that occurs.  It is much easier and less expensive to plan and put it in writing when you care for each other than later on when you are in divorce proceedings and maybe hate each other. (BTW, just proposing the above I expect plenty of insults, ridicule and even a few comments telling me that I should be divorced pretty soon. which I think is all naive.) 

Also, understand that once divorced each separate person will not need as large of a living space as before and will be able to downsize cutting their individual expenses some.  For example moving from a 3 bedroom house to a two bedroom apartment may actually be cheaper once the house is sold, the value of the home is split and the cash is used for living expenses.  It also may necessitate both parties to pick up some part time work to pad each of their own portfolios to be able to sustain FIRE once again.

At the end of the day you can not account for all the issues that can occur once FIRED and you can't save enough to be 100% secure.  You must make a reasonable assessment of your situation and your willingness to take on some risk and just move ahead with optimism.  Worst case scenario you will need to pick up a temporary side hustle or part time job which really isn't the end of the world.

Kay-Ell

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2019, 08:49:48 AM »
I think itís an interesting topic in general. I thought the blog post about divorce was incredibly well written and insightful but lacked a financial component. And there are likely good reasons for that involving his and her and their sonís privacy. Iíd love a more generalized post about strategies to safeguard FIRE in the event of a divorce or other unexpected event that shaves ones lean and frugal stash by 50%. Iíd love a blog post on that topic without the need for specifics as they pertain to the MMM family, because as we all know, this blog created life changing sums of money for their family that will not be duplicatable in the vast majority of early retirees lives.

My thoughts on the subject -

Not having a large enough nest egg or income to split it and maintain lifestyle is often a reason couples stay in an unhappy relationship, especially when kids are involved.

Having a commitment with your spouse pre-FIRE about remaining financial allies even in the event of a divorce in which both parties work hard to protect their own and the others financial priorities could help midigate disasterous effects.

Airbnb is a really interesting, and accessible way for a lot of people to boost income using their existing housing. Spare bedrooms or back yard ďstudiosĒ can be rented. And while itís not a long term solution for everyone it could be a viable short term solution.

Side hustles in general seem like more and more of a good idea. Separate from the blog income we know that both Mr and Mrs MMM both have money making hobbies and side gigs that according to a post about confidence being interchangeable with money have been enough to support their modest budget all along. So while a famously successful blog might not be replicatable for everyone, perhaps a fun side hustle with ongoing small amounts of income to pad the stash should be part of our safety margins.

As always, Iím struck by the fact that being frugal and having considerable savings seems to create an advantage not a disadvantage for people facing adversity. Even if half of a coupleís FIRE stash isnít enough to support them indefinitely, itís still FU money. Itís the difference between divorce being a financial disaster or a financial challenge. And I feel like that often gets lost in debates about FIRE holding up to worst case scenario. Bad, unexpected and unfortunate things happen to everyone. A big pile of cash almost always makes weathering those storms easier not harder. A couple who retired on a net worth of over 1m and later divorced seems like theyíre in a much better position than a couple who tossed 10% of their income into their respective 401k accounts and spent the rest of their duel income on an extravagant lifestyle.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 08:55:24 AM by Kay-Ell »

EAS893

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2019, 09:31:53 AM »
I think it's curious that you registered and made your first post to ask about MMM's divorce

Yeah, I get that.  I've been reading the blog since early 2016, and shortly after I began my FIRE journey.  I just haven't felt the need to contribute to the forums until now, and though it's obviously a specific case, I'm not just talking about MMM's divorce, or trying to to make it personal.  It's just a topic that I think anyone in a relationship should take into consideration.

I do NOT think it wise to make rules about when and who can be FIRE'd in a relationship if you are not a party in said relationship, nor do I think externals should get to make sure decisions.

You're right on that as well, and maybe calling it a criteria for FIRE was a bit too much. It's just something to consider in the process of determining when you have enough.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 09:34:22 AM by EAS893 »

abbysmom

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2019, 09:40:25 AM »
Divorce is expensive and personally I think every couple should discuss and develop a plan on how finances are to be split if that occurs.  It is much easier and less expensive to plan and put it in writing when you care for each other than later on when you are in divorce proceedings and maybe hate each other. (BTW, just proposing the above I expect plenty of insults, ridicule and even a few comments telling me that I should be divorced pretty soon. which I think is all naive.) 


I think what you are saying is very wise.  I think it is important to proceed in a marriage in a way that protects the interests of each person going forward, so that neither will be left destroyed by a divorce.  I think if you love each other enough to be married, you love each other enough to protect each other going forward.

nereo

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2019, 10:19:25 AM »

I do NOT think it wise to make rules about when and who can be FIRE'd in a relationship if you are not a party in said relationship, nor do I think externals should get to make sure decisions.

You're right on that as well, and maybe calling it a criteria for FIRE was a bit too much. It's just something to consider in the process of determining when you have enough.
There;s a good discussion going (link below) on about JL Collin's advice to his daughter and how #1 is "Avoid fiscally irresponsible people.  Never marry one or otherwise give him access to your money."
A common refrain and my own experience is that one should find a spouse that share similar financial goals and isn't irresponsible with money.  If you start with that before marriage I think you will already be ahead of the curve should divorce occur.  MMM also opined that - emotionally difficult as their divorce has been it's been fairly amicable, in no small part because they both have similar approaches to money (you can go back to the early years of the blog and find lots of discussion about how 'Mrs MM' is as adverse to wasting money as Pete was/is).

Certainly divorce can disrupt people's retirement plans, and as unsexy as prenups are its at least a good financial exercise to establish who has ownership of what assets. Here though I think mustachians have an edge over most 'consumer suckas' in that we are likely to have far less of our NW in luxury cars or oversized homes, and far more in invstment accounts (which are more easily divisible).   The worst divorces I've been witness to is when they share a $500k home and two expensive cars with outstanding loans but have only $50k in the bank.    In such cases either the assets need to be sold (often for a loss) or one partner will owe the other a substantial sum.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/jl-collins-simple-path-to-wealth-how-to-stick-to-the-first-rule/msg2253229/#msg2253229

4alpacas

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talltexan

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2019, 11:15:58 AM »
Thank you for sharing, that is a nice post.

I think household expenses divide roughly into "fixed" and "variable". Maintaining a home is a lot of "fixed" expenses, so it's intuitive to me that splitting households would increase the sum total of expenses.

If one spouse were spendy--there is little chance this applies to the MMM's--it might reduce the sum total because the spendy ex-partner has access to less money in aggregate.

J Boogie

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2019, 11:22:55 AM »
I asked the obvious question.  Without the additional income from his blog and other stuff he's done since retirement, would the divorce have killed his or his ex wife's FIRE? 

I think the problem with your question is that he's posted how much he retired with, he's posted what he invests in, and he's posted how much he's spent through the years - so the only thing you don't know are the unposted financial details of the divorce. And that's why the question is seen with skepticism.

spartana

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2019, 01:24:45 PM »
I divorce shortly before FIRE and ex-dh and I had a similar NW to MMMs original numbers, split it, and it didn't really effect my FIRE. We didn't have kids or debt and had equal separate investments and had earned the same amount and contributed equal shares to savings so it was easy. Just did an inexpensive DIY divorce for around $150.  When I REd I moved to a lower COL area, bought a small house with cash, and lived a nice FIREd life on a low passive income (with plenty of discretionary income for fun stuff). So I think if MMM didn't have his blog or other income and had continued to live a frugal bad ass life he could have easily remained FIRE after a divorce.

Maenad

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2019, 05:04:50 AM »
Someone posted in the now-locked thread in Off-Topic that discussing MMM's divorce is the wrong place to focus - we should be discussing divorce in general and its impact on FIRE. Divorces are each unique, and we would get far more benefit learning from each other, and the breadth of experiences from many people, than zeroing in one one prominent blogger.

The difficulty, of course, is that it's a very painful topic, and lots of people who could help the most by sharing their experiences don't want to. (Nor should they, if that's the case!)

BPA

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2019, 05:18:55 AM »
OP: I wouldn't assume that was why your comment was turned down.

I tried to post a comment on the blog that was fully supportive and wished him, his ex, and their son well, and it didn't go through. I assumed it was a glitch.

While your question was a good one, I think it's important to remember that he is a human being with all of the feelings that the rest of us have and may not to answer such questions right now or ever. The dissection of his divorce situation made me uncomfortable. I can't imagine how it was for him.

Now, speaking more generally, I would say that with the bull market since 2008, anyone in a similar situation would have been fine without the blog income and side hustles since.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2019, 05:31:54 AM »
Iím going through this at the moment. We had set up, yours, mine and ours. I make twice the money but we always split shared expenses evenly. When we separated I was told I can everything that is mine, even though, by law, Iíd have to give half. My ex is very independent and has a good job as well, but will also inherit a sizable amount from the parents, which I have no interest in. And since my ex was never onboard with the whole FIRE thing, itís much easier for me to manage. We also donít have kids, so as much as that sucks personally, it does remove one main area of contention in divorce.

I definitely spent more money than I was planning, moving out, covering rent on two places for a bit, buying new furniture and then splurging on myself for a get happy vacation. However, it wasnít nearly what it would have cost if I had to give up half of everything. And yet, if my ex wants to be vindictive and still claim half, Iíve mentally thought it through and because Iím relatively early in the FIRE journey with a good income, I could give up half and then make it up by working 1-3 more years, which isnít fatal. Iím very glad we did mine, yours and ours.

SnackDog

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2019, 06:13:59 AM »
Divorce is not simple and can vary enormously depending on the situation (amicable vs scorched earth), people involved (kids, in-laws) and legal structures.  It can vary from nearly no impact (strong pre-nup) to calamity (more typical).  I have seen several couples divorce and one of them basically get the primary residence and most of the savings or enough alimony to pay off the house.  As a result, the main bread-winner would have to find a place to live and rebuild savings.  (Note MMM appears to have lost home and vehicle plus presumably half his savings and alimony until kids are through college.  Good news is the credit card gimmicks will rebuild his savings fast.).

nereo

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2019, 06:44:05 AM »
Divorce is not simple and can vary enormously depending on the situation (amicable vs scorched earth), people involved (kids, in-laws) and legal structures.  It can vary from nearly no impact (strong pre-nup) to calamity (more typical).  I have seen several couples divorce and one of them basically get the primary residence and most of the savings or enough alimony to pay off the house.  As a result, the main bread-winner would have to find a place to live and rebuild savings.  (Note MMM appears to have lost home and vehicle plus presumably half his savings and alimony until kids are through college.  Good news is the credit card gimmicks will rebuild his savings fast.).
kids?

Malkynn

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2019, 07:48:43 AM »
Divorce is expensive and personally I think every couple should discuss and develop a plan on how finances are to be split if that occurs.  It is much easier and less expensive to plan and put it in writing when you care for each other than later on when you are in divorce proceedings and maybe hate each other. (BTW, just proposing the above I expect plenty of insults, ridicule and even a few comments telling me that I should be divorced pretty soon. which I think is all naive.) 

I've often reminded people that a marriage contract *is* a largely financial contract whose substance mostly applies only to divorce and that a pre-nup is just an amendment to customize that contract for the individual couple involved.

If signing a largely financial contract in the first place is romantic, then what could be more romantic than making that contract especially suited to your particular marriage. People personalize wedding vows, why not contracts?

Personally, I've never signed a major contract without having it reviewed and amended as needed by my lawyer first, so it seems absurd to me to not do so with the single most impactful contract that I could ever sign.

As for the economics of divorce, I have posted previously about how divorce really should be considered the single largest risk to a FIRE plan. However, that doesn't mean it invalidates a FIRE plan, it just means that it needs to be accounted for.

In MMM's case, divorce was never going to devastate his finances because he was never going to be in a situation where he didn't continue to make money or where he couldn't drastically cut his expenses.

Even without the blog, he was always going to generate money doing the things he loves. Hell, he could probably hand over his entire 'stache to her, shut down the blog, and STILL make more than enough money just doing what he loves and probably end up FI again within another decade without grinding away at a day job for a single day.

For him, there has never been any risk of his plan failing, because his plan never needed him to be FIRE in the first place and he knows that. He's right, it's his frugality that gives him so much power because he needs so little that generating his yearly spend is just too easy, especially if he drops his spending.

For someone whose goal is to reach FIRE and never have to generate money ever again no matter what happens. Well, yeah, that person should save enough to account for a possible divorce since it's the single largest risk to their particular FIRE plan. That person will probably also plan for a lower than 4% WR and possibly save an additional cushion for larger than expected medical expenses/emergencies/whatever.

There's no one-size-fits-all financial plan for everyone out there. There are a series of risks and trade offs that each individual/couple/family needs to make for themselves and their particular needs, goals, and risks.

The more flexible you are in terms of spending less and generating money, the less your FIRE number actually matters. The more rigid you are, the more buffer your FIRE number needs to have.

I used to feel like couple should save enough for each to reach FI including a generous buffer for each person. However, when I learned of Pete's divorce many months ago, I reflected deeply on his situation and have completely evolved my perspective on it.

I'm really grateful for Pete's willingness to open up about this and I get that he's frustrated with a lot of the discourse, but I hope that he can understand that although a lot of it sounds like judgement and prying, I've come to understand a lot of it as fear of risk because so few people possess his confidence and optimism, so this represents to them a chink in the armour of the inspiring logic around MMM and FIRE and has people freaked out.

Sure, there's a lot of schadenfreude out in the world, but because I understand where a lot of the questions are coming from as I've had them myself and my fellow MMM friends and I have discussed it among ourselves, I am inclined to give a lot of people the benefit of the doubt that they really aren't meaning any disrespect, but perhaps are lacking in tact and insight that Pete is still a human being going through something hellish that really really hurts.

caracarn

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2019, 09:22:21 AM »
So I divorced with kids, and as a point of perspective yes it is a setback to retirement in the traditional sense, which was the path I was on at the time of the divorce, not having yet discovered the MMM site and really honing on on this methodology.  That's not to say I was not frugal (it was just one point of contention that led to our divorce as I was frugal and she was spendy) or focused on retirement.  I started contributing to and IRA with my first paycheck when I was 16, saved enough for a 20% down payment on a townhouse by the time I graduated college, which I did debt free by working full time while getting my bachelor's. 

When we divorced we split the retirement funds in half.  She ended up being a SAHM most of the time, only having part time retail gigs or MLM home based gigs along the lines of Tupperware parties etc., when she wanted to try something but none of those ever ended up being more than a year and she worked maybe a total of three years in the time we were married (16 years).  She did not have any degree, so her earning potential was substantially less than mine, she did not like working (still does not), and was fine staying at home once we determined that it basically cost money to have her go to work (daycare cost more for the kids than what she made anywhere she got a job).  While on paper our divorce was amicable (was a dissolution done in about 90 days and about $2,000 in fees for an attorney to do the work), my concern was for the kids well being so I ended up giving up all my home equity in the process to avoid reopening the financial debates and possibly risking the visitation schedule.  I'll stay away from the drama of the whys and wherefores as they really have no financial point, but am happy to discuss with anyone if it will help for whatever reason.  How the finances ended up working, was I had agreed to keep the house to give the kids stability of mot having to move, but then I owed her 50% of the equity.  About  month in the kids and I had determined that the only person who liked the house at all was the only one no longer living in it, so I decided to sell it.  The attorney suggested we go back and modify the divorce decree to now sell the house (we had not finalized the process in court yet) but I chose instead to take the financial bath.  Given that I sold the house in 2011 in the middle of the housing crisis I sold for less than what we paid for it a year before, so I lost part of my equity there, and then had the real estate fees which ate everything else up and then some of my (non-retirement) savings.  I still paid my ex her half of the equity based on what was there before, so this cost me another $60K, which put he division of remaining assets when we split more in the neighborhood of 40% me/60% her.

At that point in my life those assets had taken 24 years to accumulate.  22 of those years were spent either dating or married to my spendy ex. 

I am now remarried with a frugal spouse.  We're not on par with MMM and Mrs. MMM with frugality but we try hard and do not waste a lot, but we certainly indulge in some extravagances like many on this forum.  I am now 8 years out from the divorce and our net worth is 4 times what it was at the time of the divorce, so that provides some perspective on how much difference spending can have.  Likely preaching to the choir here.  Also to show the economic impact, in my remarriage we added the cost of three additional children the the three I had, and we were still able to make that type of rapid improvement in the situation.  Now targeting FIRE directly, we are about 50% to our target amount.  The amount that my ex received in the divorce was $170K so if I had that back we'd be about 75% to our target amount, so that was the economic impact of my divorce.  How you calculate the removal of the spendy spouse though is more complicated.  Yes, my earning rate had gone up in the 8 years but not 4x as our savings have.  Our savings rate was in the single digits before I got divorced.  It is not anywhere near real FIRE targets now but we tend to hit 20-30% any given year. 

Having six kids is a big part of that savings rate impact.  They kids could obviously care less about our FIRE plan.  They therefore had costs that a lot of kids do including activities, college, etc.  They were less interested in maximizing their cell phone savings.  My point is, we target the most frugal solution for a given expense we can while keeping sanity and grumbling to tolerable levels.  We do not have an unlimited cell phone plan, we share 10GB between now 6 phones, but at one point it was 8.  We have three cars so we can give the kids some freedom and avoid my wife and I having to drive them everywhere.  We have to insure a lot of drivers on those three cars (4 right now, but could still be six of us is they all get their license).  We are blessed to have a high income right now, but that can change at an employer whim.  As we plan our FIRE trajectory we are targeting a level that is 33% of the level we have coming in right now.  We'll not have the kids around, we'll have the house paid off and my wife and I do not long after the same things our kids do (they all pay for Spotify subscriptions for example, we just listen to the radio).  Having kids involved has a significant impact on your FIRE situation, especially in a divorce.  Both our exes contribute next to nothing to any of the kids so we buy all the clothes, pay for all the health care, etc., pay for their activities.  They feed them when they are there, so that is for the most part the extent of the contribution.  If it were just my wife and I we could likely be FIRE or very close to it today after starting down this path in earnest in 2015.  Instead our target is likely 9-10 years from now.  A big part of that is our decision to assist with college costs, which lower our saving rate by at least 15%, but in 2017 by 25% (we have a target amount to save, but if we have extra money we save it in the college funds right now.  If they do not get used we can always reclaim that back into our stache.  We've sent a very clear message to all the kids that we are not obligated to give them a dime for this, so nothing is locked in).  We'd be at a 35-55% saving rate otherwise.

So that's what my economics of divorce and beyond look like so far.

dude

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2019, 11:15:49 AM »

spartana

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2019, 04:56:56 PM »
Divorce is not simple and can vary enormously depending on the situation (amicable vs scorched earth), people involved (kids, in-laws) and legal structures.  It can vary from nearly no impact (strong pre-nup) to calamity (more typical).  I have seen several couples divorce and one of them basically get the primary residence and most of the savings or enough alimony to pay off the house.  As a result, the main bread-winner would have to find a place to live and rebuild savings.  (Note MMM appears to have lost home and vehicle plus presumably half his savings and alimony until kids are through college.  Good news is the credit card gimmicks will rebuild his savings fast.).
Or she may have bought him out of the house and car by paying him 1/2 the equity. This is what I did when dh and I divorced. He was leaving the state and I was staying so we just figured out what a 50/50 split of the equity after a sale would be and I paid him that. It always makes me crunch when people assume he "gave me" the house when instead I bought him out. No alimony either and an equal split of any other shared assets. We had a sailboat he kept and bought me out of my 50% I had paid toward it.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 04:59:39 PM by spartana »

LadyMaWhiskers

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2019, 05:07:27 PM »
Divorce is notoriously ruinous financially, but my experience suggests that that is more about a spendy pre and post divorce lifestyle. If you have no cushion to deal with the increased costs of 1) running two households post divorce and 2) the actual costs of the divorce (legal, etc.) and 3) possible losses/costs of sale of assets. You don't have to have mega-passive income like MMM surely does in order to "afford" divorce. But if you have car leases and a McMansion, good luck!

nereo

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2019, 05:15:02 PM »
Divorce is not simple and can vary enormously depending on the situation (amicable vs scorched earth), people involved (kids, in-laws) and legal structures.  It can vary from nearly no impact (strong pre-nup) to calamity (more typical).  I have seen several couples divorce and one of them basically get the primary residence and most of the savings or enough alimony to pay off the house.  As a result, the main bread-winner would have to find a place to live and rebuild savings.  (Note MMM appears to have lost home and vehicle plus presumably half his savings and alimony until kids are through college.  Good news is the credit card gimmicks will rebuild his savings fast.).
Or she may have bought him out of the house and car by paying him 1/2 the equity. This is what I did when dh and I divorced. He was leaving the state and I was staying so we just figured out what a 50/50 split of the equity after a sale would be and I paid him that. It always makes me crunch when people assume he "gave me" the house when instead I bought him out. No alimony either and an equal split of any other shared assets. We had a sailboat he kept and bought me out of my 50% I had paid toward it.

I am surprised at the number of people in comments who talk as if MMM was the sole source of income.  IIRC she out-earned him for several years during their accumulation phase. People will say "...but the blog income!!" (which apparently has largely gone to charity) but miss the fact that she has been running her own and very successful Etsy shop, and has been an active real-estate agent for the past several years.  Bottom line is they both excelled at earning money even during their 'FIRE' years.
 

SnackDog

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2019, 05:39:23 PM »
I didn't realize she was an active real estate agent. That's a tough job with sometimes long hours, especially weekends, etc.  She may have been pulling down pretty good money for that.  So much for MMM Early Retirement!

nereo

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2019, 06:07:38 PM »
I didn't realize she was an active real estate agent. That's a tough job with sometimes long hours, especially weekends, etc.  She may have been pulling down pretty good money for that.  So much for MMM Early Retirement!
yeah, he talked about it in the blog and mentioned how she helped him purchase home - and that it was a job that allowed her to take long breaks.  From a quick google search I see she's active with a half-dozen sales in recent years. Her Etsy store was reportedly making '5 figures' before he blogged about it.
From a financial standpoint she seems more than capable even if they hadn't amassed a small fortune post 'retirement'.

talltexan

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2019, 07:58:49 AM »
Is anyone else interested to see what Jeff Bezos can do to grow his business now that he finally won't have the distraction of a wife to get in his way?

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Re: Economics of Divorce
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2019, 08:10:37 AM »
OP: I wouldn't assume that was why your comment was turned down.

I tried to post a comment on the blog that was fully supportive and wished him, his ex, and their son well, and it didn't go through. I assumed it was a glitch.

While your question was a good one, I think it's important to remember that he is a human being with all of the feelings that the rest of us have and may not to answer such questions right now or ever. The dissection of his divorce situation made me uncomfortable. I can't imagine how it was for him.

Now, speaking more generally, I would say that with the bull market since 2008, anyone in a similar situation would have been fine without the blog income and side hustles since.

To you and OP:

All comments on the blog are screened and have to be approved (prevents spam).  I believe he has a few people who help him review comments, but otherwise it's him reviewing every comment.  And as he's said in the past, the blog is his livingroom and he can choose what goes on in there.

Not to say he blocked your comment.  It just takes a while for it to get reveiwed approved/denied and posted.