THANK GOD FOR GOLD, PART 2

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The Western financial system as it is tied to the U.S. dollar is saddled with so much debt and unfunded liabilities that it is on the verge of total collapse.  It’s difficult to tell when or what could trigger it.  It could be a single major event risk, or a corporate, state, or major municipality bankruptcy, or untimely hot war.  It’s not a matter of if but when

The question for our family is when it all melts down how are we going to find our way back from the ashes of a broken financial system to have a prosperous future?  We go back to some form of a commodity based currency, says financial writer John Rubino, co-author of The Money Bubble and The Collapse of the Dollar and How to Profit From It.  A currency that is linked to something real, and exchangeable for that real thing. Something that is not fiat currency.

“It limits the government’s ability to increase the money supply,” John Rubino says of valuable commodity backing of national currency.  “It ties it to the increase in supply of that commodity.”

This is where God and gold merge into a new financial system similar to what we used to have.  The kind of global economics that had United States finances running abundant and clear for two centuries.  “With gold, the reason it worked for 200 years, during the classical gold standard, was that the supply of gold goes up to about 2 percent a year,” Rubino says.  “So the supply of money linked to gold was stable for 200 years with no inflation.”  This was all wiped out by World War I, and the last 100 years of war. 

A global financial reset looks to be accomplished through devaluing the dollar relative to gold, which is where God comes in, backing our currency with lots of precious metal. “So we’ll announce on some Sunday night when all the markets are closed that henceforth the dollar now is just a name for one-ten-thousandth of an ounce of gold, or some number in that ballpark,” John Rubino tells USAwatchdog.com.  “And going forward we’ll be able to exchange dollars for gold, via the government.  We’ll have a sound money system.”

WHAT IS GOING TO BACK OUR NEW FINANCIAL SYSTEM?

Debt is going to be wiped out and fiat currency is going to be devalued or replaced.  So what’s going to trigger it? 

“Event Risks” are rare but they can impact markets harshly.  Event risks can brew for along time.  People know it’s out there,the one triggering event, but it’s unquantifiable, virtually impossible to time.  “A key reason is that one can never be sure of the outcome, the implications and more importantly, from a market’s perspective: The reaction once the event unfolds,” reads an article entitled Event Risk. 

We can expect secret indictments with many arrests and high political resignations anticipated by experts from both ends of the political spectrum.  There have been major allegations of voter fraud in the recent Midterm Elections and buildup toward exhaustive political investigations heading both left and right, north and south.  And how about the president’s constant Twitter attacks.  How soon will it be before one of these events has a direct, irreversible market impact? 

Political uncertainly does not breed confidence in financial markets.  “Waning confidence breeds more waning confidence and before you know it you’re in a bear market,” zerohedge.com says.  “From the time of Nixon’s re-election to his resignation markets dropped 29%. It was a wild roller coaster ride with ripping rallies and steep sell-offs, but all within a downward trend that lasted until the event concluded.”

Or it could be war. John Rubino says politics and geopolitics and war tend to follow major financial crisis.  If this plays out according to history the world could go crazy on every level imaginable.  We in America have basically, including the Cold War, been at war ever since 1914, and this isn’t expected to change anytime soon.  In fact, it could get much worse.

America has been on course to turn World War III into a nuclear exchange with named and unnamed enemies alike.  We presently have major geopolitical issues with China in the South China Sea.  Russia and the U.S. have been bombing each other’s proxy armies and advisors in Syria.  Israel is again fighting in the Gaza strip.  We’re still unsure of how the major powers will line up when the next round of major Arab / Israeli wars flare. 

Then you throw in all the blood incinerating new weapons including hypersonic missiles, drone submarines that can be equipped with nuclear weapons, and Terminator robots designed for the battlefield.  Bio warfare and chemical warfare are the most deadly they’ve ever been.  We have lasers, microwaves, and other types of directed energy weapons that fry humans alive but leave trees standing.

This can all play into our impending financial crash.  “Once they’re used there’s no way to predict what’s going to happen,” Rubino says.  “That’s another thing that’s completely terrifying from the point of view of an over-indebted, over-leveraged system.  See, when you borrow too much money you get very fragile.  And any old thing can destabilize you.”

So a new hot war could easily be the catalyst that sends us into a financial crisis like we’ve never seen before.  Or vice versa.  A financial crisis could cause a major outbreak of war.  These are the things that happen when you borrow too much money and can’t pay back your debts.  These are the issues President Trump’s tweets can cause.

SO WHAT DO WE HAVE TO BE THANKFUL FOR?

It is not all doom and gloom.  There is much to be grateful for this Holiday Season.  We have much to be thankful for.  Like what?

God.  A sound future financial system backed by precious metal.  Family.

We have truth to lead us to spiritual growth and gold, well chosen farmlands and rental properties to invest our hard-earned savings into.  Things they can’t make anymore of.  “Because that’s where capital will flow when the things that governments can make more of are inflated away,” John Rubino says.

As we look ahead there is a prosperous future for those who prepare for it correctly.  We wish all of you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving from everyone here at the Family Law and Wealth Preservation Mediation Center of Ventura, California.  We encourage you to fill up with not only nutritious food this Thanksgiving but plenty of healthy food for thought.  Read, research, and at all costs find as much spiritual, financial, and political truth as you can wrap your mind around.

Understand the direction the world is heading when it comes to potential financial prosperity.  John Rubino’s bottom line is that at some point the world financiers are going to have to acknowledge that the fiat currencies are going to be called into question.  “We can’t know the timing of this, but we can know what will do well when this happens, and that is gold and silver.”  Prepare intelligently.

Thank God for gold and silver.  Thank God as often as possible and pray for healing for American veterans and the elderly, and may you and your family have a safe, healthy, and prosperous Holiday Season.

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THANK GOD FOR GOLD, PART ONE

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Why do we say, “Thank God”, when the world is on fire?  Do we really have anything to be thankful for this Thanksgiving?  And why is gold such an undervalued asset?

While we fight our way through numbness and Weimer hyperinflation posing as a 1930s depression I’m not dumbfounded to learn that debt continues to mount exponentially everywhere I look.  It’s in the tea leaves of global financial stress and it’s the bottom line of every paycheck we earn.  Everybody’s heading for bankruptcy, and nobody seems to have a really solid answer on how to avoid it.

No business or governmental entity appears to be immune.  Financial writer John Rubino says nothing demonstrates the “imminent bankruptcy” problem for cities, states, and countries that are swimming in unrepayable debt better than the financial obligations of New York City.

“They just announced that they have unfunded liabilities for retiree healthcare, just retiree healthcare and not the rest of their pensions, of $100 billion,” Rubino, founder of blog and news aggregation site dollarcollapse.com, says.  “That’s for a city, not a state or a country, and if you add their unfunded liabilities for their pensions, which is another $50 billion or so, and their official debt, which is $50 billion or so, you get $200 billion that New York City is on the hook for that they have not put money away for.”

Across our nation many cities are having major financial problems that run parallel to debt.  Unfunded liabilities for pension funds are a real liability.  Unfunded liabilities for retiree healthcare alone, not the rest of their pensions, can be astronomical, as the New York City example illustrates. 

We’re talking about a city filled with generations of unlimited healthcare for life for those who retire at age sixty, which is a really big expense.  Then you add in the pension fund unfunded liabilities, that cities and states are on the hook for, but have not put the money away for. 

So if you’re a fireman, cop or school teacher, and you worked ten years for New York City, you got health care coverage forever.  Baby Boomer cops, firefighters and teachers are retiring in greater numbers now and they’re going want to get the benefits of that healthcare coverage and retirement pension as cities’ finances fail into bankruptcy, so where’s it going to come from?

Major cities like New York and Chicago and Los Angeles are facing bankruptcy because of these unfunded liabilities, and who’s going to be the first one to blow and how will that affect your family and state?

The city of New York’s problems aren’t my city’s problems, exactly, yet, but they are the type of problem facing pretty much every major city and state tied to every country in the world that’s tied to the U.S. dollar.  Think Puerto Rico, Turkey, and Chicago, Illinois.  Who is going to pay their debt bond holders when their revenue streams dry up?  Who’s going to pay to haul the trash and clean city streets?  It can be difficult trying to be thankful in a world that seems to be at war with everyone while we all go bankrupt.

WHO WILL BE THE FIRST DOMINO TO FALL IN THE PUBLIC PENSION CRISIS?

A hundred other states and cities are in the same position, says John Rubino to Greg Hunter on usawatchdog.com.  When one goes they all go.  At some point, the whole thing blows up.  We’re talking about our financial system here, and it’s all interrelated through debt.

Unfunded liabilities in many cities and states are greater than the amount of official debt.  They are real obligations.    

Financial stresses are cyclical, Rubino says, and the question for New York is will they be able to raise the revenue needed to continue to keep the city going and to pay off their bonds?  Running a city or government is expensive.  Where will NewYork – Chicago, LA, Illinois, Turkey, Puerto Rico or the US – continue to get their revenue from to pay their growing debt?  New York has Wall Street, and New York does well when there’s a bull market and everyone’s making money and paying taxes.  But what happens when there’s a bear market? Where then do they raise the capital to pay their bills? 

Ongoing expenses can eat up a tax revenue quickly, and then you throw in massive public sector obligations like pensions and healthcare that will break the bank for these municipalities.

 States and cities must have the money to take out the trash and keep the water running which can pose tremendous conflict when it comes time to pay their bond holders.  If they don’t they will be closed out of debt markets forever.  Forced to live within their means.  Make cuts, or raise taxes.  Taxes go up, services diminish, and everyone leaves.  The tax base moves out, which is what we see here in the Golden State.  Think San Francisco.

In California our problem is that we rely on Silicon Valley and tech IPO capital gains and when that goes away during a bear market our tax revenues plunge too, Rubino says.  What happens when the cash flow simply isn’t there for us anymore?  Do we all have to move to Reno?  If we get to the point of where nobody can pay their debts and the bondholders get stiffed, then what?

The government comes and bails everybody out, right.  When major companies like GE or a state or locality goes bankrupt the government usually steps in and assumes the bankrupt balance sheet of that company, municipality or state.  This has been the American way of doing business for many decades.  The taxpayers take on the burden, having assumed all of the risk, and our national debt expands.

WHAT IF NO ONE BAILS THEM OUT THIS TIME?

We don’t have to bail out failing cities or corporations.  We can allow them to go belly up and learn their lessons.  That’s how it goes with capitalism.  There’s room for failure.  It’s called bankruptcy. 

Of course even if the federal government doesn’t bail them out the Federal Reserve could step in with loan guarantees or some other kind of tools to bail out bankrupt entities, Rubino says.

President Trump can help teach a lesson to those who control the financial system, but will he?  Or are the numbers too great and will the threat to destabilize the entire system be too scary to most?  Everyone wants to know who will be the next Lehman Brothers.  Will it be Chicago?  Goldman Sachs?  Apple?  PG&E?  New York City?

Due to all the debt America has taken on we’re going to see a collapse in the U.S. dollar, the financial writer tells Greg Hunter.  That much is clear.  There’s too much pressure on the system.  That pressure has to be released somehow.  It could be released through the deflationary path, where we let them go bankrupt.  Or we could bail them out.

But is that a legitimate solution to our financial issues at this time?  Rubino says that it only masks the problem.  “If you bail out all that debt, you shift the pressure over to the currency markets,” Rubino says.  “In other words, we’re creating trillions and trillions of new dollars, dumping them in the system propping up the bond market.  And then people realize the currency itself is in oversupply.”

That’s when people convert their currencies into hard assets like farmland, rental properties, or gold and silver.  The currency has collapsed and smart investors want value.

But the economic model is still going to have to be replaced.  The present system is destroyed beyond repair.  That’s why Russia, China and other Asian countries are bailing on the U.S. dollar and buying up all the gold.

“You reinstitute some kind of sound money,” Rubino says.  “So that is the most likely way out of this for us.  This is what happens when people understand fiat currencies and that giving government an unlimited printing press is a bad idea and we have to rectify that.”

How we rectify that will be discussed in part two of Thank God for gold.

HOW MUCH GOLD DOES THE U.S. REALLY OWN AND HOW MUCH WILL IT COST US?

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Two weeks ago we published an interesting article regarding the situation where the U.S. may or may not have enough gold to back our new U.S. currency when it debuts on the international financial marketplace. The United States Federal Reserve Note is soon to be history and it’s only a matter of time before it is replaced with a new U.S. currency that will have to be gold backed.

We received many positive responses regarding the article one of which was from a former client who works in the international institutional banking industry, which is completely different than the commercial banking industry we have become used to here in the U.S. These are the organizations that deal in assets with banking institutions that fund national central banks all around the world. These are the entities that own the real assets of the world, not the green backed paper with the ink that’s printed on it that we trade here in the West and call value.

Rita and I hadn’t spoken with each other for some time but she said she liked my article and it felt like old times. A mutual friend had sent the link of my blog to her. Back in the good ol’ days I used to tease Rita and call her “Lovely Rita meter maid” because she was a very lovely lady. She still is and very bright, a well educated woman who has always been very supportive of my writing. But this time she said there was “a problem” with some of the information I had provided. She zeroed in on the amount of gold I claimed the United States government claimed it owned. I thought the focus of her response to be odd since I had researched my information impeccably, but it was right at the center of what my article was about and I had to respect it. She was very succinct in what she said.

Regarding the actual amounts of gold in the United States I wrote that, “America claims to hold 8,133.5 tons of physical gold in its official reserves.” The disagreement my former client has with this figure is that she believes it is actually much lower. “I think the total amount is not the massive amount quoted with the real figure being far below the quoted figure,” Rita writes.

It is a fair response and I know Rita knows exactly of what she speaks. She’s been working the international financial industry game a long time, much of her time these days spent dealing with computers, financial documents, attorneys, banking officials, and members of international law enforcement. She’s precise with her work and provides specific statistics.

The problem is there is one factor that no one appears to have caught on to, Rita writes. “That is that the World Gold Council has stated that there have only been about 165,000 MT (metric tons) of the precious metal ever produced.”

That “official” figure had oddly grown since 2010 in amounts that make no historical sense. “Back in 2010 the figure was 135,000 MT (metric tons), so there is a 30,000 MT addition in 8 years which practically is just not possible because all the gold mines in the world cannot produce that much gold in 8 years, which is 3,750 MT per year,” Rita writes.

Rita is an international banking and precious metals expert and I trust her experience and reasoning for the steep increase in physical gold in U.S. possession. She’s saying that somehow Uncle Sam obtained it illegally. “Therefore I can only assume that the US is adding in some of the gold that they have stolen,” she writes. “In which case the real figure for the U.S. gold holdings is likely to be somewhere between 1,000 MT and 1,500 MT, if that.”

There are several disturbing prospects raised by Rita the first of which is that if she is correct, and the U.S. does in fact only have 1,000 MT to 1,500 MT of gold, then how does that figure suddenly rise to the 8,133.5 tons of gold I cited in my article? That’s the official figure. Or is the officially stated 8,133.5 MT figure a lie?

Rita writes that, “Russia and China are snapping up everything sold by the global legal bullion Markets, so the big question is, ‘Where has the United States suddenly got their gold from?????'”

DO WE HAVE THE GOLD OR DON’T WE?

If it’s true, that America has dramatically increased our amounts of gold assets, beyond the gold industry production capabilities, then how did we do that?

Rita says it’s obvious that we stole it from her clients. She sites specific U.S. military assets as being used in the transporting process. “We have calculated a loss of 1.2 million MT of gold from my clients’ banks,” Rita writes, “which we have traced as having been stolen by American interests, and shipped out … by U.S. Navy ships and U.S. Air Force C17 and C130 aircraft.”

Rita sites specific instances of United States government agents in the U.S. military as being responsible for stealing American gold from other countries around the world, particularly Asia and Europe, and bringing it back to American soil (or elsewhere). She also says we steal gold out of South America, The Middle East, and Africa. She says it’s been going on for a long time.

Which of course brings us back to: How much gold does America really have? Do we have enough gold to back a new currency to replace the Federal Reserve Note? If not, where are we going to get it from since the U.S. dollar is being replaced globally, and other countries aren’t going to sell us valuable assets like gold for worthless paper?

And if we do have enough gold to back a new U.S. currency, how did we get it? How much did we pay for it? Do we have receipts? Or did we steal it? And if so, wouldn’t we have to pay it back?

WHO’S GOING TO PAY WHOM FOR WHAT GOLD?

The number repeatedly stated by the government and media for the U.S. national debt is $21 trillion. Who is going to pay that off when the U.S. dollar crashes?

Michigan State University economist Mark Skidmore and Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), claim that another $21 trillion has come up missing from audits of HUD and the Department of Defense (DOD). That’s another $21 trillion in debt our children and our children’s children are never going to be able to repay.

That’s $42 trillion of debt that we know America owes and then if we have to pay for the gold that Rita says was stolen by our government, how much would that cost us? How much would the interest alone be? To whom would we have to pay it back? And does that mean our families are going to be indentured servants in perpetuity?

 

 

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.

 

PROPERTY DIVISION IN DIVORCE IS ABOUT ASSET PRESERVATION

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One of the primary issues a family law specialist deals with in divorce is helping his or her clients resolve their financial issues.  An experienced family law attorney can help you not only divide your property and assets, but your debt and liabilities as well.  A divorce attorney will utilize the best methods to put your entire family in the best financial position possible as you move forward into unfamiliar post-divorce territory.

Sometimes the community possesses complicated financial assets, like investment and retirement accounts or stock options, and a forensic accountant might be brought in to help analyze, value, and divide your property.  A forensic accountant can help unravel the essential financial formulas that might affect not only the division of community assets, but also child support and spousal support.  Forensic accountants can be expensive, however, and they’re not right for all divorces.  In a divorce case, a little common sense can go a long way when it comes to dividing community property.  The key is to think about how you’re going to preserve what you have in this dramatically volatile economic environment we live in.

My belief is that we are in the middle of the greatest economic free fall that we’ve ever experienced in this country during my lifetime.  The United States Congress says that the U.S. dollar has lost 96% percent of its value since its inception in 1913.  Some economists say that we are in the middle of witnessing 90% percent of the global wealth changing hands of ownership.  Whose hands are your wealth going into?  Will you and your family have anything left?

The purchasing power of the U.S. dollar, which is what we live and eat on, is down to an all time low, so low, in fact, that the U.S. Congress is contemplating bringing back the gold standard to back it.  At this time, more than ever, income, expenses, assets, debts, savings, and investments, should all be at the forefront of the minds of family law attorneys helping you divide your community assets in a divorce.  If you as a divorcing spouse aren’t considering your personal state of financial affairs, as it relates to your family’s future financial reality, and the value of the assets that you can take with you in your split, you could be in for some major surprises and disappointment.

TRUE INVESTMENT CAPITAL ONLY COMES FROM SAVINGS

Unemployment in this country is at an all time high.  Even if you have a job, inflation affecting everything you buy probably keeps you from being able to actually save money.  One of the greatest issues for family law attorneys in dealing with divorce is financial disagreement between the spouses, which is compounded by the fact spouses just aren’t saving enough in real value, so they end up fighting each other tooth-and-nail to squeeze every ounce of wealth they can out of whatever community asset they have left.  So be it for inflated assets.  Sets of silverware are being split down the middle because divorcing spouses have not been saving.  They’ve barely considered the true valuation of their assets up to this point in their lives.

Savings are important because they form the cash cushion that gets us through difficult economic times.  We get the best value out of our assets by saving for them first.  A lack of savings is one of the major problems we face not only as individuals but as a country during these economically challenging times.  Economic researcher Chris Martenson, PhD, MBA, says that savings are important nationally because they are utilized for the formation of investment capital; that is, the property, plant and equipment that create actual future wealth.

Same thing applies to spouses in a marriage.  If you are going to want to be able to invest in the “property, plant and equipment” of your future, so you  have some future wealth to be able to preserve for your family, without having a giant debt load attached to it, you’re going to have to save for it first.  True investment capital can only come from savings.

INDIVIDUAL’S SAVINGS RATES AT ALL TIME LOW

According to Martenson, savings rates have plunged to historic lows, “levels last associated with the Great Depression.”  Martenson says the personal American savings rate has steadily declined in America since 1985 to the present.  The decline we have experienced as a country and as individuals has resulted from “a culmination of a multi-decade erosion of savings as a cultural attribute of American citizens,” Martenson says.  Now, many of you are realizing this in your own lives, where you’re having problems making ends meet on a week-to-week basis, with nary the time nor thought given toward investing in yours or your children’s futures.  The truth is, you can barely deal with financing the now.  And you’ve probably got a lot of debt to go with it.

Martenson, a futurist and co-founder at PeakProsperity.com, believes that what a history of persistently declining savings tells us is that there is an “implicit assumption” by the majority of people in this country that unlimited credit will be available in the future, and so we don’t need to save now.  We have assumed a lifestyle where we have largely substituted a “save and spend” mentality, with “a buy it now on credit” mentality.

All debt across all sectors in this country, and personal savings of individuals, shifted in opposite directions in 1985, with the gap widening dramatically ever since.  “Our national tolerance of debt shifted drastically upwards beginning in 1985 right as our national approach to savings was beginning its long decline towards zero,” Martenson says.

The marketing of our financial system has created in us a belief that in order to have a grander and brighter future, we are going to need more money, which equates to greater debt, so we can buy things.  We have become a country of mass consumers fueled by credit availability.  Everything is about beating the Joneses, now, the future be damned, and the Joneses have a lot of credit at their disposal.  The idea has been ingrained in us that low savings plus high debt equals prosperity, or what Chris Martenson calls, “at least a perpetual feature of our future economic landscape.”

THE BOTTOM LINE FOR DIVORCING COUPLES

The bottom line for most Americans has become that of low savings rate and high debt, which is a major problem because it means that most divorcing spouses have a very thin safety cushion to ride out the economic hardship we are experiencing at this time.  This equates to the fact that most people have failed to invest in their families’ futures.  Dealing with the present while preparing for the future has posed a difficult task for most Americans, and, as a result, divorcing spouses have little left to divide.  They’re not alone in this.  A lack of savings is a nationwide problem.

Our bottom financial line to get through these difficult times has to be pretty straight forward from here.  Save as much as possible, now, and get out of debt.  Many financial forecasters predict that a credit freeze is imminent.  Prepare for it.  Know the truth of what’s really going on in the world, and with our banks.  When possible, move those hard-earned savings into assets that will hold or increase in value during this time of the declining U.S. dollar.  The theory behind hard earned savings, and the investment thereof, should include a ‘smart plan’ on how to preserve those assets for future family needs.

 

 

DIVIDING ASSETS AND DEBTS UPON DIVORCE

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In a dissolution of marriage, California family law courts are empowered to allocate assets of comparable value to the former husband and wife to make the overall division of the gross marital estate substantially equal.  It need not divide each asset.  For example, when dividing a business might impair its value, the court will generally preserve the ongoing business interests if the court can still make an overall equal division of the marital estate.

If you and your spouse own a home together and one spouse continues to reside in the home after separation, that spouse could owe “rent” to the community, subject to an offset for payment of the costs of the home.  If one spouse pays on community debts after separation, he or she will generally be reimbursed for those payments.  An exception might apply if the debt payments are made in lieu of support.

DIVIDING DEBTS DURING DIVORCE

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In California, when dividing property during a divorce, both parties need to be aware of the fact that all debts that were incurred during the marriage are presumed to be community property.  The only debts which would normally not be considered community property are debts which are deemed completely unrelated to the community.  This might include:

  • a debt related to one person’s separate property
  • support obligations
  • gifts or expenses related to a romantic relationship other than the marriage, or
  • criminal acts which did not have financial benefit to the community.

This means that a spouse could incur a debt for a purpose the other spouse does not approve and it would still be considered a community debt.

Debts that have been incurred before the marriage remain the responsibility of the person who originally incurred them.  If community funds are used to pay these debts, sometimes there is a right of reimbursement for the community and sometimes not.  Special rules apply depending upon the type of debt and other assets/income which were available to pay it.

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