In Annie's mailbox yesterday

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
In Annie's mailbox yesterday
6
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 10:24am
Did anyone see this?

Dear Annie: I read your column in the Louisville, Ky., Courier-Journal about "Jean in the Southwest," the totally dependent 68-year-old widow who said someone in her husband's company embezzled "our" (not his) retirement. This woman has been a parasite existing off her husband, and now she expects others to provide for her? No one owes her a dime. She should show some responsibility. -- J.B. in the East

Dear J.B.: Get over yourself. "Jean" apparently married right out of high school, at a time when it was not uncommon for a woman's career to be that of homemaker and mother, both time-consuming and demanding jobs. She earned the right to share equally in her husband's income. While today's women are taught to rely on themselves, it wasn't always so. It's easy to apply current standards to Jean's situation, but it would be unfair. We don't get to turn back the clock.

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Personally, I would have believed this letter to "Annie" a joke if I had never been on this boad. It is completely preposterous to me that ANYONE thinks this way. However, after being on this board, I really do realize there are more people out there, with MUCH different "beliefs" than I have, than I ever thought.

So, whatcha think about about the letter?

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

Avatar for taylormomma
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2003
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 11:40am
Hmmm...I'm a bit more surprised by the response than I am the letter. Just what are the 'current standards' that Annie is talking about? The ones that apparently consider a SAH spouse a "parasite"?

Guess Annie has never heard of community property, or sweat equity.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 11:47am
Well, that bothered me too. I assume that they were getting at the point that some 50-60 years ago, the "standards" were that women couldn't work, and therefore, to now expect them to have done so is impossible. But the wording was horrible, and that bothered me, as well.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 11:51am
Gee, the last time I signed up for my 401K, it was still the law that if I chose someone else to be beneficiary of it, my DH had to sign a paper aknowledging it.

Based on Annie's logic, since the guy made the money, the wife isn't entitled to anything purchased by them. I don't think those are current standards and most divorce judges don't either.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 2:03pm
The popular press prints some amazing viewpoints. In Marguerite Kelly's Family Almanac column in the Post last week, she answered a 39 year old woman who has a 6 month old dd and who wants to know the ideal spacing for her next child by asking the mother if her "personal priorities are in order. Did you know children would rather mommy or daddy be home most of the time playing store or kick the can than out working to buy them fancy toys?" I know she's at least 60, or this would have fried me even more.

Why would an elderly woman, a columnist, assume dual WOHPs work for toys? I guess it's because 30 years ago, one income went a lot farther than it does today.

And I do think the letter writer echoes some common sentiments of the 40 year old and under segment.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 2:09pm
I think it's clear none of those involved live in Maryland, where it's the law that a spouse is automatically the primary beneficiary of the deceased spouse. dying intestate means the surviving spouse (regardless of working status) gets 51%, any children split the remainder. In order to leave more than 51% of a person's assets to someone OTHER than the children, the spouse must agree to it on a legal form that has been notarized and witnessed.
Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 2:20pm
Equally strange, why would she assume the SAHP was playing with the kids? I know plenty of SAHM's with plenty of outside interests besides playing kick the can or store.

Though as someone who prepared for retirement married to someone who didn't, the idea that dh gets half of my retirement and I get nothing from him because he failed to prepare does bug me. It was, after all, his choice not to stay with one company long enough to have a retirement not mine but because I prepared, dh would get half and I'd get shafted if we were to split. I do agree with the notion that we should all take care of ourselves but that's not the way it works.