TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT (TCJA) OF 2017 COMPLICATES POTENTIAL SETTLEMENT OF DIVORCE CASES

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) enacted dramatic changes to several tax issues that directly impact how divorces are settled. If you are a high wage earner, or you’re married to one and you’re contemplating getting a divorce, there’s almost a sense of urgency toward you understanding the financial aspects of your divorce and when to file your marital settlement agreement, should you and your spouse reach one.

Heather L. Locus, an owner and wealth manager at Balasa Dinverno Foltz LLC in Chicago, defines on her Website why this could be important to you. “Many high-net-worth couples may want to move quickly in order to preserve some important financial options,” Locus writes. “Couples who finalize their divorce agreements this year have many more options since the most significant rules impacting divorce go into effect on New Year’s Day 2019.” Keep on reading!

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WILL GOD’S AGENDA STIFLE DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE IN CALIFORNIA?

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Ah, us liberal Californians, you got to love us or leave us, but we’re going to look good either way. That’s because we work hard at it. It takes time and ambition to soak up sun like George Hamilton and remove lines in our faces like Jane Fonda. We like buttocks surgeries because they make us look like Ms. Bumbum and vegan diets because they make us look thin in our mirror’s reflection. Some of us spend lifetimes and fortunes never succeeding but always finding better ways to look even better in our quest to entice the other side.

California lifestyles say “rich” while we work endless hours to make the kind of money it takes to attract a like inclined individual from the opposite sex. This is how it was taught back in the 70s and it’s how it’s still being played out by many today. Once we set our magnet tentacles into this new person of interest, we can then work on what we’ve spent a lifetime being programmed into dreaming about — tying the proverbial knot with a White Knight and living happily ever after. Keep on reading!

DOES THE U.S. HAVE ENOUGH GOLD TO BACK THE NEW U.S. DOLLAR?

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The U.S. dollar as we know it is about to be replaced by a new currency. We don’t know when. It could be this year, or maybe next year, we don’t know. The question is not if? the Federal Reserve Note (U.S. Dollar) will be replaced but when? When it does, it’s going to have to be gold backed with value. Real assets like gold will have to back the new U.S. dollar at least in part for America, and Americans, to get back onto the global financial carousel with economic independence and the ability to coexist with foreign currencies that are backed by gold.

The important question to us as Americans with family members to provide for and a desire to see our spending power grow is how much if any gold does the U.S. actually possess? A legacy of secrecy still surrounds how much gold America has, author James Ledbetter, editor of “Inc. magazine” and the author of “One Nation Under Gold: How One Precious Metal Has Dominated the American Imagination for Four Centuries”, writes for the Los Angeles Times. “Some of the conservative and libertarian figures who demand that the Federal Reserve be audited, for example, grumble that there may be a lot less gold — maybe none! — in Fort Knox than official numbers allow,” Ledbetter writes. Keep on reading!

WHAT HAPPENED TO HR 5404 – AND THE GOLD BACKING OF AMERICA’S NEW CURRENCY?

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It’s tough being a kid growing up in these times of civil war and deprivation where censorship runs rampant and the many layers of falsehood are often confused for truth. We’ve seen up close the horrors of pain and desperation etched onto the faces of hungry American children and frail elders alike. Our food and water is poisoned, geoengineering is making us ill and destroying the environment in which we live, and fires endlessly burn us out of our homes, jobs, and air. The economy has turned many of us into financial slaves and we can feel the devastation of loved ones falling apart right before our helpless eyes.

Our children are our futures yet they suffer from the darkness of a financial insecurity of which they are yet unaware. Many families don’t have enough money to make ends meet on a monthly basis which means they don’t have the financial wherewithal to keep their families together, to fill their children’s bellies with nutritionally balanced meals, or to clothe them properly from head to toe. Choices with profound implications have to be made under every roof every day. Irreversible sacrifices are being taken. Bills are not getting paid, medicines or food or both are not being bought, and almost all of this has to do with scarcity in the name of the American Dollar. Keep on reading!

TIL DIVORCE DO US PART: AMERICANS BORROW RECORD $3.5 BILLION FOR WEDDINGS IN 2017

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Alright the stats are in, and they’re mind-boggling. American adults never cease to amaze me in this kind of stuff. Here, more than one million borrowed money last year to pull off their dream wedding. The average amount borrowed to cover the costs was $3,082. To put this into greater perspective, out of 126 million American adults, last year more than one million (1.13 million to be exact) got married. And they borrowed a lot of debt to do it.

U.S. couples borrowed $3.48 billion for weddings in 2017. Most of the couples turned to credit cards or personal loans to finance their nuptials, an article on Finder.com says. Additionally, one in five (21.4%) U.S. adults borrowed cash from family and friends over the past year in order to see their wedding dreams fulfilled.

DON’T BORROW MONEY TO GET DIVORCED

Why bother? is what I ask. Family and friends are cash strapped as well. You don’t need to create the personal stress on a good relationship. Odds are you’re going to end up coming to see us for a divorce sooner or later anyway, so save your friends, your family, and your money for a rainy day. Invest in gold coins. Don’t go into debt over something unless there’s a greater return and a positive cash flow.

I’ve been telling clients for years that all marriages end up in either divorce or death, so what was your rush in this down-turning economy? “Fifty percent of those who get married end up in divorce,” I would say.

Well, I was told I was wrong on that one. I did the research, and okay, maybe I was a off by a few percentage points. It appears the divorce rate may actually be on the decline, but there could be many factors attributable to that like maybe the fact that the marriage rate is declining as well. However, considering all factors, I believe what Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., author, and expert on single people, says regarding the chances that a marriage will end in divorce. According to DePaulo, the divorce expectation rate for those of us who are presently married is probably somewhere between 42 and 45 percent.

In PsychologyToday.com DePaulo cites a 2014 New York Times article reviewing the national divorce rate. “It is no longer true that the divorce rate is rising, or that half of all marriages end in divorce,” Claire Cain Miller wrote in that article. “It has not been for some time.”

BUT AGAIN, WHY BORROW AT A 55% TO 58% CHANCE OF SUCCESS?

Might as well just flip a coin then. Will we stay married … or won’t we? Heads you win, tails I lose. Do the math. Is it worth getting yourself in deeper debt to contractually bind you to a legal relationship that will end at some point anyway? Death or divorce, choose your weapon.

Right now the financial experts are telling us that the financial system is reaching crisis proportion. We’re being told to save as best as we can and to invest in real assets. We’re being told that the U.S. dollar as a paper currency is going to disappear; that we’re turning into a digital currency society. Experts predict, and financial trends indicate, we’re going to experience a severe credit freeze with banks. On top of all that, some of us are thinking of borrowing money to get married? Are we crazy? Are we American?

Good luck.

For those who must do it now, before it’s too late, there are sympathetic ears and advice. Blair Donovan writes for brides.com, giving some ideas about borrowing money for your wedding.

“First, assess the average loan period you are capable of in order to repay your debt on time,” Donovan writes. “Next, evaluate what the most reasonable interest rate might be. A higher interest rate may seem less daunting if your payoff period is short, as in the case of payday loans. However, if you need several months or years to pay back what you owe then a lesser interest rate may be the most sensible option to cover your wedding day expenses.” Or….

You can get married without borrowing. Have the wedding in a national forest with three witnesses, a minister, and a portable hot tub. Much less expensive without the bar tab and no room for in-laws in the tub. Or …

Forget about getting married, save the money, invest it wisely in undervalued assets, and just be friends. Dutch Treat worked great in the 90s, and it’d work just fine for the two of you heading into the Roaring 20s.

 

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