What's a single girl with a mountain of money, no man, a head full of worry and no house to do? Janine Starks considers her case.

What's a single girl with a mountain of money, no man, a head full of worry and no house to do? Janine Starks considers her case.

By Janine Starks*

From my mailbag:

Help!  I realise this is not a relationship column, but some tips on the relationship singles have with money and the housing market would be appreciated.  I’m a 38 year old woman, recently single and about to retrain in a new profession.  It’s likely I’ll have to move around New Zealand for 3 years after my studies.  I have $350,000 in term deposits, $15,000 in shares and $30,000 in Kiwisaver.  I’ll need some of this money for my studies.  I’m a realist and don’t think I’m going to find a man and have kids (man drought and all!).  Should I give up the idea of owning a house for a while, or even forever?  Should I be investing in something with higher returns?  But if true love is around the corner, I’d want access to my money for the picket fence ideal.

Unless your heart is in every financial decision you make, no amount of logic, practicality or mathematical analysis will make it the right one. 

You asked about singles and their relationship with money and house purchasing. 

While this quick-guide is full of blatent generalisations, here is how I see it.  Singles tend to:

  1. Be very cautious; despite having every opportunity to be risk takers.
  2. Worry about big financial decisions; friends and family help, but they don’t have the same vested financial interest that a partner would have. 
  3. Become paralysed; they are not able to split the weight of a decision and will over analyse.
  4. Delay buying homes; often until 10 years after their married friends.  All for perfectly sensible reasons, such as wondering if a partner will come along, or staying flexible in their career.  Some singles seriously don’t want to own a home, but many just find it easier to pretend they don’t want to.
  5. Sit on great wadges of cash in the bank; low risk bank accounts are another symptom of paralysis.  Again the rationale is sensible, because singles are always contemplating buying a home.  

Don't stop dreaming

You’re a fabulous catch and intent on bettering yourself professionally.  And lets not forget that you are sitting on top of a $350,000 money-mountain.  Most men will be wondering why the words ‘man drought’ are part of your vocab. 

So why would someone like you, be talking herself into being a realist who isn’t likely to find a man and wondering if she should give up on the idea of owning her own home.  It sounds like someone using logic and sensibleness to protect herself, because two quite important dreams are looking logistically tricky. 

Burn the real estate magazines

You’ve given me lots of reasons why you shouldn’t buy a home.  Any one of them is enough to start burning the real estate magazines.  Three years of study; your income will fall; mobility required for 3 more years; buying as a couple would be better; and to top it off, you could look for higher returns elsewhere.

All the reasons for not buying a house also stack up as pretty good reasons for not entering into a relationship either.  Fall in love now and what do you tell him?  You’ve got an expiry date and he’s headed for a three-year long distance relationship, while you move around the country?

The more you make sensible rational excuses for not finding a partner and not buying a house, the less chance there is of your heart being consulted.  Stop jamming your brain with ‘what-ifs’.

Email questions to starkadvice@gmail.com, subject line: Financial Agony Aunt.  Anonymity is guaranteed.

When you dramatically change your life (in your case, newly single and becoming an adult student), it’s very intense and there is only so much you can handle.  So stepping back for 6 months and letting the first round of changes settle in, is often wise. But don’t let that stop more change happening. 

In your head, you can’t align things; a change of career, income level and maintaining your mobility into your mid-40’s, clashing with the stability of a new home and being on man-watch.  So houses and men are out.   

Right here, right now

Quite honestly you are jamming your brain by looking too far ahead.  You are trying to consider people who don’t yet exist and a job where you might not have to be mobile (given you’ll be a sought-after adult graduate with life experience).  Just scale it all back to the two simple things which exist here and now.  You are starting a course of training and you need somewhere to live.  If you let your heart make a decision, would you want your own home, or would you be happier with a rental?  We could flick all the excuses over with a feather, if your heart was allowed out of its cage. 

I say this because you and I both know your problem isn’t about whether you have enough money.  You have a large chunky deposit and interest rates are low.  Flatmates and part time work could pay the mortgage. You could have three enjoyable years of student paint-parties and a veggie growing co-op in the garden.  Become a landlord if a few years if mobility is required. Sell and buy in another city, if you settle elsewhere. 

A realist would know that in your '40s you enter the male second-hand-baggage market and most will be financially split in half.  For a few thousand dollars in legal fees you could set up a trust and put your home in it.  With your equity protected, you can relax and consider all baggage sizes. 

If all of this creates heart-pounding panic, rather than heart-warming music then it’s a sure sign you should delay home ownership until your career is more certain.  If you decide you could tie up your money for 5-7 years, there are a lot of non-cash investment choices available, but make sure you use a financial adviser. 

Two tips to discuss with an adviser; first consider keeping up to half your money in term deposits and second, drip feeding into any investment funds as the outlook for Europe still poses high risk and volatility.  That also means there is opportunity, but there are global implications and I don’t believe we’ve seen the worst of it.

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Email questions to starkadvice@gmail.com, subject line: Financial Agony Aunt.  Anonymity is guaranteed.   

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*Janine Starks is Co-Managing Director of Liontamer Investments. Opinions in this column represent her personal views and are not made on behalf of Liontamer.  These opinions are general in nature and are not a recommendation, opinion or guidance to any individuals in relation to acquiring or disposing of a financial product.  Readers should not rely on these opinions and should always seek specific independent financial advice appropriate to their own individual circumstances.

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31 Comments

I'll tell ya what she should do Janine.....she should come live with me, and be my sugar momma...I aint too proud to beg ( good song BTW )..I can cook  (really good too), wash ,clean, fix things, play and write music, an I look after myself in a buff kinda way.
 So if you know this person, you know where to find me, I uh, eerrrm,may have to clear it with the wife first, she tends to notice new peoplemoving about  in the house.

Betta get a photo first Chistov, wouldn't want a nasty surpise. Anyway these stories are all made up like dating sites, not that id know. Just heard it through the grape vine.

"Betta get a photo first Chistov, wouldn't want a nasty surpise"
 
She might want a pic first, he calls himself 'buff' but what's the reality?
 
"Anyway these stories are all made up like dating sites,"
 
Like the stats that have, say , 5% of the population earning 100K+, but on dating sites its about 20% making that claim.
 
"not that id know. Just heard it through the grape vine."
 
Yeah right!

Nah nah...southpaw...I'm comfortable with the level of buffiness, but yes I agree she can peek too..seems fair....!!
 Tell you what , later on I think the Friday funny might go here ...the theme is already in motion. Cheers Matey.
P.S. I take back the thing about the cooking ,,,I'm not good ,...I'm fantastic.

"P.S. I take back the thing about the cooking ,,,I'm not good ,...I'm fantastic." And as we can all see, extremely modest too ;)

Well alrighty Elley , you got me there, I have no excuse for being self opinionated, but I do love good food and  good company......much like here really.
and don't forget it is Friday...!

appropos your question yesterday about leaders and leadership, was going to reply with a question as to whether you prefer to SEE the HAMMER coming or are you happy not to know it's sneaking up behind you and smashing you on the back of the head .. now I know .. dont need to ask.

Never judge a book iconoclast.....!   I take my lumps front on.......you wanna tell me who him is ..? or was I thereabouts...
 keep smiling ...it's Friday ...Yay!!

Brilliant SoreL......I'm keeping that one..! it's gonna make a beautiful sentiment card...!
 Of course, I'll forward you the royalties.

In a trust and also ensure investments are not all too liquid, the number of women I have meet that have forgone their finacial options hopeful for love... is very sad when they discovery too late they have been used.
 

Come back when there is an extra '0' on the end of that money mountain love.

Christov, for all you know this 38 yr old woman could be a 45 yr old Nigerian blurly bloke.. your wife would be pleased!
BTW, we should stop saying bad things about them, my good Nigerian friend Abalunam Ibukunoluwa Tochukwu has a very good business in Lagos and he is looking at divesting his income overseas.  All you have to do is lending your bank accounts and you can keep 20% of the proceed.  Leave your name and bank details here.
 

Sorry about the hijack earlier Janine, but it is Friday n all.
Tell you what , "she" says she's recently seperated....38....has cash ..is retraining in a new profession.
So....firstly at 38 she may be used to being in a relationship, that will need time to recover from in itself, disconnecting from the idea you a not complete without a relationship.
At 38...in my view still young enough to enjoy the thrill of it without needing to continually analyse it to reassure one's place amoung things.
Retraining in a new profession , suggests to me more of a re-entry into the work force or a willfullness to disconnect from the past altogether.
 I have to make an assumption here, that little travel has been undertaken, and would recommend it as the first port of call...get out there and take a bite, don't overthink it, never use your financial position as an advertisement for love  (if that's what you want).
Be secure for the moment ,you have the wherewithall to bring to a relationship.., but the confidence to know it cannot be your deal maker /breaker.
Have some you time .......get out there...there will be s*%t..there will be sugar...take it all in stride....Enjoy.
Of course if this person is ficticious......I withdraw  the above and defer to the Quad.

God forbid if you should find yourself in this category Count. " A realist would know that in your '40s you enter the male second-hand-baggage market and most will be financially split in half" 

True that Scarfo...but I'm not in the "market" just looking. I'm not buying. 

I had to run for the toilet so I didn't wet myself. LMAO. Look but don't touch eh? Or is going for a test drive acceptable?

Happy to provide professional advice, contact me
lonelygent@geemale.com

Wonderful advice - and I might say - as usual.  Keep up the good work.

Allrighty then....YaY it's Friday has come early...!
In keeping with the thread (or on topic) as it were, i wish to assist those who wade through the personals trying to decypher the lingo.....without further ado...!
 

DICTIONARY FOR DECODING WOMEN'S PERSONAL ADS

 

40-ish.................................49.

Adventurous.......................Slept with everyone. 

Athletic...............................No breasts. 

Average looking..................Moooo. 

Beautiful.............................Pathological liar.

Emotionally Secure............On medication. 

Feminist..............................Fat.

Free spirit...........................Junkie.

Friendship first....................Former slut. 

New-Age...........................Body hair in the wrong places. 

Old-fashioned.....................No BJs. 

Open-minded.....................Desperate.

Outgoing............................Loud and Embarrassing. 

Professional........................Bitch.

Voluptuous........................Very Fat.

Large frame.......................Hugely Fat.

Wants Soul mate................Stalker! 

 

WOMEN'S ENGLISH:

1. Yes = No

2. No = Yes

3. Maybe = No

4. We need = I want

5. I am sorry = You'll be sorry

6. We need to talk = You're in trouble

7. Sure, go ahead = You better not

8. Do what you want = You will pay for this later 

 

9. I am not upset = Of course, I am upset, you moron!

10. You're certainly attentive tonight = Is sex all you ever think about?

 

MEN'S ENGLISH:

1. I am hungry = I am hungry

2. I am sleepy = I am sleepy

3. I am tired = I am tired

4. Nice dress = Nice cleavage!

5. I love you = Let's have sex now

6. I am bored = Do you want to have sex?

7. May I have this dance?= I'd like to have sex with you.

8. Can I call you sometime?= I'd like to have sex with you. 

9. Do you want to go to a movie? = I'd like to have sex with you. 

10. Can I take you out to dinner? = I'd like to have sex with you. 

11. Want to meet for coffee = I'd like to have sex with you 

12.  I don't think those shoes go with that outfit = I'm gay 

The funny thing about this post is that its true haha

ROFL. Hilarious, thanks for the laugh.

relationship first.............. former slut. 
 
Hilarious, I haven't seem that one before.

LMAO

Janine could buy a house but with the sole purposeto  rent it out, could put a decent deposit down and borrow at less than 5%. Yes, and set up a trust and put it into the trust as security into the future regarding possible relationships = and can gift the total amount straight away

There are guys in the same situation, and it is probably harder the more money you have. The 'man drought' is just an excuse, there is no man drought, but people being too picky. The old saying applies, a picky mans a lonely man.  $400k isn't really a huge amount of money these days, but it should be enough for a student to live on off the interest frugally while they study. eg you will earn about 15-20k per year just from bank deposits. Or you could buy a rental with the cash, and live off the rent you make.
I think the person needs to ask what they want out of life, and why are they retraining. What is the end result they want from that, and where do they want to see themselves in 10 years? Alone and wealthy? To say they don't want children cuts down on the number of guys that will want to be with her, as generally most guys will want kids.

Investing.  There is no safe secure answer.
Finance markets.  Full of sharks and hucksters.  You don't know where your money is.  Even fixed deposits are prone to having one or more of our nice respectable banks go belly up with no notice and to all our great surprise.  Finance markets are prone to worldwide oscillations beyond the control of anyone.  But you have some money so some needs to go here anyway.
Property.   Sharks and Hucksters as well.  But you can see and touch your asset.  You need a spread so a freehold property as well (you have the cash).  If civilisation as we know it ends at least you can squat in it.
Stop trying so hard.  Modern women are challenged to do it all.  Family and career. etc etc.  Men are not immune from these demands as well.  The reality is we can't have it all and do it right all the time, as well as cover every possible variation of our futures.  Relax - It will be fine.

Investing.  There is no safe secure answer.
Finance markets.  Full of sharks and hucksters.  You don't know where your money is.  Even fixed deposits are prone to having one or more of our nice respectable banks go belly up with no notice and to all our great surprise.  Finance markets are prone to worldwide oscillations beyond the control of anyone.  But you have some money so some needs to go here anyway.
Property.   Sharks and Hucksters as well.  But you can see and touch your asset.  You need a spread so a freehold property as well (you have the cash).  If civilisation as we know it ends at least you can squat in it.
Stop trying so hard.  Modern women are challenged to do it all.  Family and career. etc etc.  Men are not immune from these demands as well.  The reality is we can't have it all and do it right all the time, as well as cover every possible variation of our futures.  Relax - It will be fine.

Do we care what this person, real or ficticiuos does with her money?
Buying  a modest flat must be up there, but realistically there a so many options out there for a single person. Like going to another country.
Who knows what's for the best.
Maybe iposuction + personal trainer might be the best short term financial priority for this person. We really don't know do we.
 

Would you ever starve in a bakery?
If person X really wants to meet nice blokes then go where nice blokes are.
Are you really likely to meet the man of your dreams sat at home, drunk as a skunk down town on a night out, at the Gym or even ballroom dancing classes?
For a start; join some clubs that predominantly are loaded with the opposite sex.
I would actually suggest buying some gum boots and going into the country and engaging people at young/old farmers, rugby (yes really) etc.

She's not likely to have kids at 38 so I would recommend switching teams and find yourself a nice lady to settle down with.  Janine sounds like she is keen so maybe she could start there.  If there is a man drought then there must be a flood of woman for her to graze upon.