Finances and Marriage

Air Date: November 28th, 2020

Divorce has been dubbed ‘The Retirement Killer’ for a reason. Almost every time we work with a client who has/is going through a divorce, retirement accounts and the success of their overall financial plans quickly get derailed.  All that great planning that was put in place during their wedded bliss days is up in smoke. Not only are accounts split, but the couple also deals with what can be substantial legal fees leading to the finalization of their breakup. We have never met a couple that planned for these expenses. Yet, divorce rates, somewhere around 50% in America, suggests that planning for these expenses actually makes sense.  But seriously….

While 80% of people get married, 50% of those getting divorced. So how can you better plan? You can start by being better prepared when you get married. Getting married, literally joining another person to become one, is a change that affects many things, including your financial plans.  You are merging what could potentially be two well laid out financial plans – the outcome is mutually beneficial, or it’s not.

Depending on who you ask, many things lead to divorce. Money, however, is likely at the top of the list. Money issues cause stress. Stress chokes off communication. A lack of communication leads to breakdowns in trust. And the result is often divorce.

  1. Talk about money
    1. Money scripts can play a large role in this. Spouses come from different foundations and could have different views on debt, spending & saving
    2. Develop goals together so that you know what you are working towards
    3. Know the goals that each bring to the relationship
  2. Combine expenses
    1. Doesn’t always mean share all accounts – but managing the money should be a joint effort
    2. Make sure that spending and budgeting is clearly defined and understood
  3. Everyone contributes to retirement, not just the breadwinner
    1. If not, you could be missing out on employer match
    2. Teaching good savings habits
    3. Give the sense of “our” vs. “mine”
    4. If you divorce, don’t expect your spouse to make up for what you didn’t save.
  4. Estate Planning
    1. Getting your legal documents in place is overlooked in young marriages, a critical mistake
    2. Make sure estate planning is in place prior to a second marriage especially if children from previous marriages are involved
    3. New assets acquired in joint tenancy will be split with your spouse, which face the potential of being passed down to their children

Wine Wednesday: Simian & Shiraz

Recipe of the Week: Shiraz Sauce


  • 1/4 cup Shallots
  • 1/2 cup Shiraz; or other bold red wine
  • 1 cup Beef stock ; (preferably homemade)
  • 2 sprigs Fresh rosemary; (up to 3 sprigs), (optional)
  • 2 sprigs Fresh thyme; (up to 3 sprigs), (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted butter; cold, cut into pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Shiraz Sauce:

After transferring steaks to the oven, melt 1 tablespoon butter in the same skillet with fond leftover from searing the steaks. Add shallots and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high, add the wine, and bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir and scrape to loosen any flavorful browned bits stuck to the skillet and incorporate them into the sauce. When wine is almost gone, add the stock, herbs (if using dry herbs, just a pinch), tomato paste, and sugar, bring to a boil and cook until reaching the sauce consistency you desire. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a regular spoon.

Remove from heat, whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter until melted and sauce is thickened, smooth, and glossy. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir in any accumulated juices from the steak plate. Spoon sauce over cooked steaks just before serving.