Archives for January 2012

Couples and Money

Test your marriage money skills, see how you rate on the conflict scale, 15 ways to date your mate, and more.

Planning for the Inevitable

And they lived happily ever after. It happens in fairy tales, but in real life, every marriage ends some day. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce, and 35% end in widowhood, usually with the death of the husband. On average, women will be on their own financially for one-third of their adult lives. It’s […]

Benefits for Widows a Tad Confusing

In the old days, widows were forced to live with their companions rather than get married, because if they married, they would lose their survivor Social Security benefits. But under current law, women can keep their widow’s benefits at long as they are at least 60 years old when they remarry. But marriage still has […]

It’s Your Life

When I hosted our firm’s quarterly women’s luncheon last month, I again was struck at the community and support women offer each other. Although we talk about financial issues, it’s the sharing and honest discussion of what is going on in each of our lives that inspires and encourages each one of us. Helen, in […]

Put Your Goals in Pictures

Recently my client Jennifer called me. “I did it!” she exclaimed over the phone. “I bought the vacation home that I visualized.” That excitement in her voice was a pleasure to hear. Seven years ago she was widowed at age 27 when her husband died in an auto accident near their home in North County. […]

Overcoming “Bag Lady” Anxieties

Today’s women are no longer the weaker sex financially. Recent census figures show an unprecedented societal and economic shift. About 27 percent of married households identify the woman as the head of household, earning a greater income than her husband. The number of women earning $100,000 or more has quadrupled in the last decade. Women […]

The Grass is Greener

Did I see you at the Lawn and Garden Center last Saturday? No? Gee, it seemed that everyone else was there buying lawn spreaders, lawn mowers, and lawn trimmers, and piling those flatbed carts with bags of lawn fertilizer and weed and slug killer. Last Saturday was a truly gorgeous day—warm with lots of sunshine, […]

Saving Money While Having Fun

Education for your kids or yourself can take a big chunk out of your budget. A summer learning camp can cost more than you had planned to spend on school clothes, and tickets to a lecture or concert series can equal the cost of your car insurance for six months. But you don’t have to […]

Breaking The Spell Of The Sale

Does your heart beat faster when you walk into J. C. Penneys and see racks of winter dresses with big red Clearance signs? Do you leaf through the Sunday paper sale flyers with a sense of eagerness and anticipation? Do you think that a Buy one and another half price offer is really a bargain? […]

Getting The House Ready To Sell

Ah! Spring! Time to put away your wool clothes, get out in the garden, and even fall in love. It’s also a good time to put your house on the market. Having prepared five houses for sale in the past 35 years, I have experience in presenting a house for sale. And my husband Skip […]

Don’t Abandon Your Career if You Decide to Leave Work

Can you live on one income? If you are like many couples, you can’t even get by on two! But that doesn’t mean you can’t stay home to raise your children. It may be less expensive to run the household with only one spouse working. That’s because two careers mean additional expenses for childcare, commuting, […]

Holiday Spending Doesn’t Equal Holiday Cheer

‘Tis the season to spend money, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. As we celebrate Christmas, Hannukah or Kwanza, extravagance seems to be required. Our mailboxes bulge with catalogs, mall retailers advertise with abandon, and grocery aisles are crammed with displays of holiday goodies. We succumb, buying everything from new curtains to Santa statuettes, along with sugar, heavy cream […]

Financial Advice: Lessons from Scrooge

When Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” in 1843, he was driven as much by financial desperation as inspiration. The story met with instant success, selling six thousand copies within a week, and it has never been out of print since it was written. Dickens wrote and published the classic tale to pay off crippling […]

Divorce Mediation: An Alternative to High-Cost Litigation

My husband and I are discussing divorce, but we are both afraid that once we get involved in the legal system, it will be very costly and we will lose control of the process. Do you think that mediation would work for us? We asked Genell Greenberg, MSW, who is an experienced divorce mediator and […]

Single Parent Support

How one woman created her own support group With divorce on the upswing and the original family foundation being divided, there is a growing population of single parents needing support and information on surviving the breakup of the classically acceptable family unit and the reincarnation into the new single parent lifestyle. With the advent of […]