Males, I am about to give you the most important retirement tip you will ever receive. Do not get married without a prenup. Ever. I'll say it again for the guys who like to feel strong and old-fashioned: Do not ever get married without a prenup.
I don't care if you are both on welfare. If you get divorced, she'll walk away with all your government cheese.
Even the male feminists who spend 23 hours a day regretting their testicles are vaguely aware that the alimony system is rigged against them. What they may not understand is why.
Alimony originated before women were routinely part of the workforce, so the system developed to subsidize women who wouldn't otherwise have an income. Of course that has changed, but the courts haven't caught up with the times. In fact, the alimony system has merely worsened as part of the overall American trend toward excessive, predatory litigation.
Now our old-fashioned friend Johnny Broad Shoulders is asking himself: "What does this have to do with me?"
Well Jonathan, you too are likely to end up divorced.
The divorce rate in America for first marriages isn't far from 50%, and statistically, that is your best shot at getting it right. After the first flop, each subsequent knot-tie becomes more and more precarious. Hear that gambling fiends? Next time a friend makes his second stumble down the aisle, blaze a trail to the nearest bookie and bet the farm on a nasty split. It is the surest bet you will ever make.
Now Johnny B. is muttering aloud: "Okay, so divorce is the rule, not the exception, and courts punish men disproportionately, but how does this fit into my retirement portfolio?"
Here's how. The days of traditional retirement are over. Social Security? CANNOT BE FIXED. Private sector pension plans? Might make a comeback about the same time as the Studebaker. Dollar-denominated assets? There’s a reason four of the faces on our currency are also on the side of a cliff.
In other words, the traditional paths to retirement have been pulverized, and there is no turning back the clock. What that means is the only form of retirement you can hope for is one financed by a nest egg of your own device.
Establishing that nest egg is becoming harder, as people are living longer and are therefore in need of a larger cash pool to pull them through their lengthened winter years. So Johnny Broad, when you hit 65 and are thinking it might be nice to cease being an Excel slave, you're going to need a fat pile of completely self-generated capital to undo the spreadsheet shackles. And guess what: if you have to start from scratch at 42 because the former Mrs. Broad Shoulders defoliated your bank account, YOU AREN'T GOING TO MAKE IT. YOU WILL WORK UNTIL YOU DIE. Any tax savings accrued from being married will be more than plundered by the long hard march through divorce.
Now J.B. Shoulders, Jr. thinks it over and says: "But isn't asking her to sign a prenup a signal I don't think it's going to last?"
Her not signing a prenup is a signal she doesn't think it is going to last. If she is so convinced you two are forever, why should she be gun-shy about signing something she'll never have to use? All you are doing is documenting that the marriage is based on love, not money, which is a true sign of romance. Get on one knee and have her sign it with a platinum pen.
Think it through, gentlemen. Is it worth losing most of your assets because some chick hates you for not transforming her into a fairy princess? Is it acceptable to work until you're 110 so your mom can see you in a tux for a few hours? Besides, men only get married for the sex, so what alimony amounts to is a tax on the male sex drive (yet another slap in the face to the Founding Fathers).