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Five Ways to Get Poor (from Bert Whitehead)

This is a great blog by my friend Bert Whitehead –

1) Stay in a Dysfunctional Relationship.

I have often described divorce as “mutual impoverishment.” While many different relationships can have detrimental financial consequences, divorce in particular leaves both parties handicapped — often for their lifetimes. Our divorce laws are designed to protect the most vulnerable spouse, but seldom can the contribution of a high-earning mate be equalized. So the dependent spouse who typically embraces the primary parent role at the expense of career development often faces a continuing downward spiral in living standard while the higher earner must start a new financial future from scratch. And while two people living together costs less than living in separate households, the reality is that the costs of living apart after a divorce can be financially devastating if both parties attempt to maintain the marital standard of living.

The lesson here is to be choosy about your mate at the outset! “Till death do us part” states a commitment that embraces the mutual support and teamwork that optimizes the marital relationship. But that is still no guarantee of financial prosperity.

Of course other dysfunctional and financially draining relationships can be non-marital. By definition a dysfunctional relationship is one where maintaining a commitment is detrimental to both parties. This can also include parents and children, abused spouses, and those who continue long-term relationship with an afflicted partner who will not take the steps necessary to achieve recovery. Often the most committed spouse unwittingly aggravates the dysfunctional relationship through co-dependent support.

2) Develop Some Bad Habits.

No one is perfect; some are more imperfect than others. The Seven Deadly Sins (Pride, Anger, Sloth, Greed, Lust, Gluttony, and Envy) are considered by many to be the roots of various addictions (hubris, chronic rage, procrastination, gambling, sexual obsession, compulsive spending, over-indulgence in food and drink, covetousness, etc.). These bad habits are ‘deadly’ because they are often considered the origins of many other ‘sins’ or dysfunctional behaviors that are difficult to change.

My experience is that addiction of one type or other is often at the root of financial distress. Addictions involve misuse of both personal and material assets, so they are often the harbingers of poverty. Recovery from financial downfalls due to active addiction is seldom successful unless the addiction is directly addressed and dealt with effectively.

you can read the complete article here:   Bert Whitehead: Five Ways to Get Poor.

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