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Government's take on Women, Divorce and Financial Planning - Printable Version

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Government's take on Women, Divorce and Financial Planning - moonlight_sonata - 09-15-2019 03:37 PM

I am researching financial planning and retirement saving at the moment and got a hold of this PDF issued by the U.S. government. Overall it's pretty good but it has specific section for women:

https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/publications/savings-fitness.pdf

Here are a couple of quotes:

Page 27:
Raising children
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that it costs the average American middle-income family approximately $233,610 to raise a child to age 17.

Page 28:
Divorce
It’s important that you know the laws regarding your spousal rights to Social Security and retirement benefits. Under current law, spouses and dependents have specific rights. Remember, retirement assets may well be the biggest financial asset in the marriage. Be sure to divide those assets carefully. It’s also critical to review your overall financial situation before and after your divorce. Income typically drops for partners in the wake of a divorce, particularly for women.

Observation: the government assumes that most women will be stay at home wives. Is this accurate for the population at large? I have no reasons to doubt the government if it has enough data to back this statement up.

Page 29: Contains a whole section geared toward women and how they should think about saving for retirement. Basically it points out how disadvantaged women are when comes time for retirement. Here the bullet points:
  • Women tend to earn less than men and work fewer years.
  • Women stay at jobs for a shorter period of time, work part time more often, and interrupt their careers to raise children.
  • On average, women live 5 years longer than men, and thus need to build a larger retirement nest egg for themselves.
  • Some studies indicate women tend to invest more conservatively than men.
  • Women tend to lose more income than men following a divorce.
  • Women age 65 or older are nearly 50 percent more likely than men age 65 or older to live on an income below the poverty level.


What is your take on this? I'm not taking sides but doesn't the government collect good data to defend its arguments about women? It's in the best position to do so. And then wouldn't this cause the laws of divorce to reflect this observation which we currently see?


RE: Government's take on Women, Divorce and Financial Planning - Mage - 09-15-2019 04:14 PM

I think current liberal governments have right data, but make false conclusions of them. They detect inequity between men and women, but instead of building a system that respects these natural differences and allows each sex to capitalize on their strengths, they see these differences as problems and want to obliterate them. They have an abstract idea of a perfect citizen - one free of any sexual, cultural, religious, national, philosophical or other identity - a perfectly malleable cog in the machine.


RE: Government's take on Women, Divorce and Financial Planning - Barron - 09-16-2019 06:26 AM

(09-15-2019 03:37 PM)moonlight_sonata Wrote:  Observation: the government assumes that most women will be stay at home wives. Is this accurate for the population at large? I have no reasons to doubt the government if it has enough data to back this statement up.

Never heard of a 'stay at home wife' before. Stay at home mother, sure.
Must be some new millennial thing - she stays home, does nothing, gets bored, divorces, robs the ex-husband, rinse repeat. All the while remaining childless


RE: Government's take on Women, Divorce and Financial Planning - JiggyLordJr - 09-16-2019 10:56 AM

Wouldn't believe anything released by the US gov't. There's always some agenda at play, and chances are it will be at odds with yours, as a straight man. Statistical data can be skewed, and false conclusions drawn. I'd look for another source if I were you.


RE: Government's take on Women, Divorce and Financial Planning - Incubus - 09-16-2019 11:26 AM

I listened to a radio commercial years ago that was geared only towards divorced women and buying cottages (summer places).
The divorce "business" must be that good ... for women

Most of government jobs are majority womenized so I have no doubt on the bias that goes into gov b.s for the sisterhood

marriage now is religiously symbolic the true symbol of marriage is the $ sign and a legally binding contract
Here also the gov statisticians know marriages don't last... does gov put out brochures to help married couples or just make sure the divorcee gets every penny she can?

living common law is the best way to go in todays hypocritical male biased environment
Men are not treated equally in a divorce... period. Women know this even while/during a marriage that the "husband" is a wallet to be cleaned out at her whim
Talk about a lopesided power dynamic.


RE: Government's take on Women, Divorce and Financial Planning - moonlight_sonata - 09-16-2019 08:32 PM

I would think that incentives should drive policy. What are the incentives of the government for pushing policy law that is sub-optimal for the general population?

In economics there is the efficiency principle called Pareto-optimality or Pareto-efficiency. Basically it considers an outcome efficient if the allocation of resources is such that no other allocation can make the participants better off and would have to make at least one of them worst off. It is a measurement of improving the participant's bargain of the deal to an optimal level without causing anyone additional harm. This thinking also relates to game theory and the ideas behind it. Apparently it is the backbone of contractual law which should mostly be Pareto-efficient.

I was wondering what would be the Pareto-optimality for today's dating reality? Even if you can distill it to a simple game theory construct. How can we make both sides (men and women) reach an optimal solution of behavior where each constituent can't be made better-off without harming the other? What is the Pareto-optimal behavior of men and women?

This also touches on the idea of rational decision-making. If the law is on your side then it is rational and optimal to abuse it for an individual gain, but it is not Pareto-efficient since it does harm the other side (men).

The idea of morality behind all this also reminds me of the tragedy of the commons. It is the concept where no-one cares about the common goods such as the environment and it is an individually rational decision to destroy it for personal gain, because the cost is spread to the whole world and not to the individual causing the harm. The probability that a single individual would be able to help improve the pollution in the world is almost zero which makes matters worse. So why bother? Just exploit it. This was done by the Western world during the industrial revolution which accumulated huge riches. Is it fair to now ask the developing countries to stop polluting and stop their economic progress so they can bare the cost of cleaning up the environment? Who should pay the cost? How can we structure the incentives for keeping the global environment clean? That's a policy problem.

Has a similar thing happened to morality, ethics and faithfulness? Are they common goods? Do they suffer from the tragedy of the commons? Who's to police and control them? Who should pay the cost of keeping them clean? Individually it is better to exploit them for personal gain but collectively we're worse off. Or have we always abused the system? When men were on top they didn't stop themselves from gaining advantage, now women are taking over and they won't stop from taking their fair share.


RE: Government's take on Women, Divorce and Financial Planning - Kid Twist - 09-17-2019 10:24 PM

The key to your answer lies in the current state of affairs, which dominates our mind because we are so used to it: affluence.

There will come a time when it doesn't reign (that much) any longer. And we will return to our point of pareto efficiency, as you put it.

Or start building towards it, again.