A month into the new year, most of us have made – and perhaps broken – at least a few new year’s resolutions. The usual commitments to lose weight, exercise and eat healthier top the list for most Americans again, but, this year, a new one has crept in – pursuing a simpler life using The KonMari Method™.
Atlanta Financial Blog
Change in Marital Status, Change in Lifestyle?
Divorce brings many emotional losses, and often a sense of loss of control over the future. A common response is to cling to elements of your past lifestyle. Many parents understandably fear the impact a divorce will have on their children, and want to keep their lifestyle as much the same as possible. But often, holding on to the past can often come at a high cost. I have seen parents insist on their children continuing to attend expensive private schools that are no longer affordable for either parent after divorce. Many women in particular, make staying in the marital home their top priority, even when the housing costs no longer fit into their post-divorce budget. Often these choices mean that the financial future of one or both parents are compromised. Funds that should have been invested and growing to provide for retirement are eroded, savings reduced or eliminated, and the financial future more bleak than it needed to be.
Remember that divorce inevitably means change for both parents and children. Lessons learned through the process can be life-changing, but not necessarily in a bad way. Children can learn valuable financial and budgeting skills that will help them later in their adult life if allowed to participate in family decisions in an age-appropriate way. And often the fear of change is far worse than the actual change.
In my own family, I rashly promised my children that we would not leave the marital home for at least two years to try to “soften” the impact of the end of my 31-year marriage. I knew better, but was overwhelmed by a desire to ease my children’s suffering. In a few months, I realized that maintaining that home was not a healthy or financially-wise decision, and had to back-track from that promise. As you would expect, my children initially resisted the idea of leaving their childhood home. All they could see was “loss.” Once I involved them in the house-hunting process, they quickly got excited about a new and different location. And, when we found our current home, their emotions quickly transitioned from loss and fear of the unknown to excitement about new possibilities.
Even if your children aren’t initially “excited” about such a change, you owe it to yourself and your children to be sure you are on a financially sustainable path. That is the greatest gift we can give our families.
We were recently blessed to welcome our second daughter, Elizabeth. This being our second, I think we are somewhat better prepared for how our lives would immediately change. These first few months are filled with joy and excitement (as well as exhaustion coupled with just trying to figure out what we are doing). While I have no advice on how to get your newborn to sleep on schedule, I can give you some advice on some financial matters all new parents need to address (and soon for some of these):
No matter what kind of investor you are and no matter how much you have invested in the market, it’s safe to say that the market’s recent swings have caught your attention. Truly savvy investors can capitalize on volatility by recognizing that when the market is falling, “stocks are now on sale.” But your ability (and willingness) to benefit from falling prices can also depend on whether you are still saving and accumulating for retirement, or if you are nearing or already in retirement.
SHIFTING FROM A FULL workload to an open schedule upon retirement is a drastic change, and many baby boomers don’t want such an abrupt transition. Some employers also want older employees to pass their valuable skills on to younger workers before they leave. A phased retirement, which consists of full-time employees moving to part-time schedules, could be a viable solution for employers and older workers alike.