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7 Ways To Protect Your Assets During A Divorce

7 Ways To Protect Your Assets During A Divorce

According to statistics, nearly 40-50% of marriages in the U.S end up in a divorce. Besides being immensely stressful and emotionally draining, a divorce can also wreak havoc on your finances for many years to come. Here are a few tips to help you protect your assets during a divorce.

1. Assess Your Liquid Assets

It’s easy to become emotional during a divorce and attach sentimental value on keeping the house or car. Instead, you’ll want to focus on assessing the value of joint liquid assets such as savings accounts and investment portfolios. Receiving the house during a divorce proceeding may not be as financially advantageous as it may seem initially if you can’t afford the property taxes and upkeep costs. Finding a buyer can also be a hit or miss depending on the current real estate market.

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Make sure to assess the value of your assets correctly. For example, the value of an investment portfolio of stocks and bonds may fluctuate drastically over time. The value of a vehicle will also depreciate with time. You may want to focus more on assets that are less depreciable depending on how risk averse you are.

2. Consider Taxes When Appraising The Value Of Your Assets

Many people going through a divorce appraise their assets incorrectly because they forget to consider the tax implications on investment and retirement accounts. A retirement account is worth less than the stated balance because of the deferred tax payment owed upon withdrawal. If a party chooses early withdrawal, he or she will also be hit with a penalty in addition to taxes.

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3. Protect Your Credit Rating

Both parties will be held responsible for joint account credit card debt accrued during the marriage. It’s a good idea to pay this debt off and close the accounts as soon as possible.

You will also want to obtain a credit report from the three main reporting agencies; Equifax, Trans Union and Experian. This will let you know the status of each account on your credit report including if it is a joint or individual account, the current balance and payment history.

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If you have joint accounts you’ll want to pay them off and close the account. If you’ve added your spouse as an authorized user on any individual credit cards, you may want to contact your creditors and have them removed as a user.

4. Look For Hidden Assets

We like to think of our spouses as honest people but it’s actually quite common for individuals to hide their assets throughout the duration of a marriage. A business owner may add a friend on the payroll in order to hide income. Securities may have been sold without being accounted for.

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According to Los Angeles divorce lawyer Steven Fernandez, “Lying during divorce proceedings is against the law. When someone signs a Financial Affidavit, which is a formal disclosure of finances, he or she is swearing under perjury to disclose any and all information pertaining to income, assets, and expenses.”

5. Revise Your Will & Designated Beneficiary

If you don’t want your ex to receive any funds in case of your demise you’ll need to update your will. Getting divorced doesn’t automatically void your existing will. You may also want to update beneficiary information for any retirement, life insurance, and investment accounts if you don’t want your ex inheriting all of your hard earned assets.

6. Be Careful When Dating

Never move in with someone you’re dating before your divorce is finalized since this may affect spousal and child support payments. A judge may deem you as having more money available if you are splitting living costs with another person. If you do plan to date, keep it discreet. Dating during divorce proceedings may also fan the fire and cause your spouse to become more emotional and less cooperative.

7. Change All Important Passwords

Change the log-in and password for your online banking account. Your spouse may have access to old passwords and may be logging in to see what you’re up to and keep track of your expenditures in order to use it against you in court. Some spouses go as far as installing a key logger in order to monitor their ex’s online activity. Protect yourself by changing your password and installing anti-virus softwares that will be able detect spyware.

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Jacqueline Cao

Entrepreneur

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Published on October 28, 2020

13 Books on Money to Transform Your Finance Management

13 Books on Money to Transform Your Finance Management

One of the most obvious measures of our success is our wealth. That said, that statement alone can be taken in various directions. Some people think it’s a matter of how much wealth you have. We, on the other hand, believe that it’s more of how much you’re able to retain and manage from month to month and year to year.

Below is a list of books on money that we believe will transform your way of thinking about money management in several ways. From sparking interesting conversations about it to making plans for your financial future, this list covers many aspects of finance management.

How to Choose a Good Book on Money

To help you find the best books on money to reach your personal finance goals, we’ve done the research for you and have formed this list of criteria.

  • Relevant – Even though money has been around for a long time, the economy has changed a lot over the years. We want to ensure you the books recommended are offering relevant advice that would be ideal in any financial environment.
  • Offers a system – Financial advice is great, but it doesn’t always stick. Each book should overall provide tips and habits that will allow you to build a system to help you manage your money.
  • Sparks conversations – Reading about money is one thing, but these books should also encourage you to talk more about money with those around you to some extent. Even though we all have our own ways of managing money, discussing money can have merits in some circumstances.
  • Practical – While these books provide general financial advice, they should remain practical in that the advice should be obtainable for people to achieve. Most people don’t have the funds necessary to start a real estate business, but they can put away a few hundred dollars into a savings or investment account every month. Practical books will help you achieve your goals.

1. I Will Teach You to Be Rich

    As the title of the book suggests, this book delivers on a plan to be rich. The author, Ramit Sethi, has a background in personal finance and provides a detailed six-week plan for living out a “rich life.”

    This book on money covers a wide variety of aspects like using credit cards and maximizing rewards from them, opening a high-yield savings account, and automating accounts where you can save money with no effort from you at all. This book is filled with nothing but pure actions that are outlined and sectioned off in a good way.

    Buy “I Will Teach You to Be Rich” here.

    2. The Automatic Millionaire

      Another one of the great books on money that will help you build a system is The Automatic Millionaire. Written by David Bach, a financial writer, this book focuses on our ability to automate our finances and builds a system based on that.

      The idea with this book is to give you the knowledge and information to put together a system in an afternoon that will make a large impact on your financial future for the better.

      Buy “The Automatic Millionaire” here.

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      3. The Simple Path to Wealth

        The principles from this book on money were first presented by the author to his daughter through a series of letters. As such, you’d expect there to be plenty of actionable advice when it comes to investing and overall saving. Considering the direction of the book further, this book is light and has a casual tone to it. That said, it won’t shy away from complicated explanations. It’s one of the highest-rated personal finance books around and it’s clear why it is.

        Buy “The Simple Path to Wealth” here.

        4. Retire Before Mom and Dad

          This is a book for those who are looking to be involved in the FIRE movement. FIRE stands for Financially Independent, Retire Early, and it’s clear why many people are striving for this or considering it.

          This book delves into the principles and acts as a primer for this movement and going down this path. That said, it also considers other principles that make FIRE more attainable or easier to achieve, even if you’re not planning on retirement in the next few years.

          Buy “Retire Before Mom and Dad” here.

          5. When She Makes More

            Money is a topic that most people shy away from, and it makes sense. Money is a status thing and seeing someone making more can cause unease or resentment. Money can also strain relationships and overall cause harm. People fear talking about money and it’s those emotions that cause problems in the first place.

            This book on money is powerful as it provides opportunities for women to be talking to their partner about money. After all, stereotypically speaking, men are meant to be making more money than women and it’s a sore spot when it’s the reverse. This book is fantastic because the author, Farnoosh Torabi, lives a life where she is the one making more than her partner.

            Getting into details, this book looks at the realities and the various rules she’s set up with her partner. She also discusses ways to maximize earnings while minimizing conflict.

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            Buy “When She Makes More” here.

            6. Women & Money

              Suze Orman is a financial advisor who most notably ran a show called The Suze Orman Show from 2002 to 2015. In the show, she received calls from viewers who asked for financial advice and whether or not it’s a good idea to buy various items.

              Orman has years of experience working in this field and pools a lot of her knowledge into the various books she’s published. Women & Money is one of the more recent ones. This book in particular talks about how women earn, invest, and save while also giving practical advice on retirement, marriage, and other topics.

              Whether you are 20 years old or 60, this is a good choice if you’re looking to learn more.

              Buy “Women & Money” here.

              7. Think and Grow Rich

                This famous book has been around for almost 90 years and still holds some relevant information. While this book on money won’t tell you about 401Ks and building a portfolio, it takes a turn to the mindset of building wealth.

                Through this book, you’ll learn more about desire and persistence as opposed to strategy or money management. While this is an odd book on our list, we believe it’s still important as the stories and the lessons are still relevant to your money attitude today.

                Buy “Think and Grow Rich” here.

                8. You Are a Badass at Making Money

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                  As you can guess from this title, this book takes a lighthearted angle to personal finance. Similar to “Think and Grow Rich,” this book also focuses on the mindset of earning and keeping money.

                  While this book lacks any sort of actionable financial advice, it’s compensated by the fact it’s inspiring. It’s an ideal book if you’re looking for a new perspective to making money and could spark conversation with friends, family, or your partner. On top of that, it’s a nice motivational booster.

                  Buy “You Are a Badass at Making Money” here.

                  9. The Millionaire Next Door

                    Another inspirational focused book that you’ll want to pick up is “The Millionaire Next Door.” Many years ago, Thomas J Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D. did extensive research into the millionaires of America. From the various interviews they’ve conducted, they created a profile of America’s wealthiest citizens and discovered common connections amongst them all.

                    Stanley wrote it all in this book that has garnered over 1,700 five-star reviews and provides tremendous insight into what it’s like to be a millionaire. This is all explained through seven habits that all of these individuals have in common.

                    Again, there’s not so much practical advice here, but it prompts you to take a closer look at their overall lives and what you can do to change yours to be like theirs. Even if you’re not planning to be a millionaire, the lessons in there are all practical such as living below your means and rejecting traditional consumerism.

                    Buy “The Millionaire Next Door” here.

                    10. Spend Well, Live Rich

                      For those looking for a good book for budgeting and personal finance for beginners, this is a good pick. Author Michelle Singletary reflects on her life with her grandmother who raised five children on a modest salary.

                      By watching her grandmother, Singletary devised principles that her grandmother used to support that kind of lifestyle with what money she had. Through those principles, you can find inspiration in her story while learning about how to stretch the money that you already have.

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                      Buy “Spend Well, Live Rich” here.

                      11. Your Money or Your Life

                        The core of this book is financial independence and lays out a plan to reach that goal. While this book is the longest in this list, it does provide advice on pretty much every aspect of financial independence you can think of. It covers things like mindset requirements as well as investment moves that you should be making. Even if your plan isn’t to retire early, there is plenty of advice in this book you can use.

                        Buy “Your Money or Your Life” here.

                        12. Broke Millennial

                          Amongst millennials, this book on money is a favorite for its simple and relatable language. It touches on a lot of the struggles and issues that millennials are faced off with today—things like living with your parents in your 20s, dealing with student debt, and even dealing with friendships and your finances.

                          Between all of this, the book does offer plenty of practical advice and things to consider for those within this age group. It covers a broad overview of checking your credit score to even buying your first home. Even if you’re not there, chances are likely that the information mentioned in this book will be relevant for quite some time.

                          Buy “Broke Millennial” here.

                          13. Get a Financial Life

                            Another millennial-focused book is “Get a Financial Life,” which covers a lot of the basics for personal finance. This book is more direct with its advice since it covers things like doing your own taxes and paying off debt. The goal of this book is to provide a foundation for you to establish a financial life and it does so in a good and clear manner.

                            Buy “Get a Financial Life” here.

                            Final Thoughts

                            What a lot of these books teach us about money is that success doesn’t come overnight. It’s something that takes a while to build up. But it also shows just how changing your way of thinking or taking a few small steps can mean changing your financial path for the better. There are many great books on money, and these are only the start.

                            More Books on Money and Finance

                            Featured photo credit: Jonathan Borba via unsplash.com

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