Financial ignorance is not bliss
I met up with a former high school teacher a few years ago, running into him at the mall. After asking what he was doing now, he told me that he was back at the same high school after a five-year break.
He immediately (and voluntarily) launched into an explanation, telling me that he had met a wealthy, older widow a few years before and that she had taken him into her home (and her pocketbook). Over a period of a couple of months, she began giving him lavish gifts; her financial advisor cautioned her repeatedly that she was running through her estate very quickly, but she told him to mind his own business.
One day, she asked her counselor if she should marry her much-younger boyfriend and she was told, “You might as well. You’re spending all of your money on him.”
They got married a short time later and their spending increased. He told me that they thought nothing of taking friends to Paris for the weekend or going to New York City for lunch. He said that they had spent money like drunken sailors on shore leave, until one day when they found out they were broke.
They were forced to sell her gorgeous house and their numerous expensive cars. When I ran into him, they were living in a very modest home with economical cars. He said, “I spent all of her money and now we are back to where I was before I met her.”
To his credit, he did not divorce her and move on, he was actually taking care of her, albeit at a considerably lesser lifestyle than they had become accustomed to. His hard-earned advice: Be careful with your money and spend carefully!
What tales of financial woe can you share with everyone?