Death, money and wills; Silver separations and financial pain at 50; Three victorious tales of mortgage repayment; Dollars and village idiots; Cubicle slaves & the era of modern work

By Amanda Morrall

1) Get your will together

Yes, I know I've written about Wills Month already but I'm giving it one last mention before September's out. In my discussions with folks I know on the topic more than a few (with assets and children) admitted they still didn't have one. The video in  today's column goes over some of the basics. See also the Public Trust website for a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions.

2) Silver separations

I'd heard of the silver tsunami (a reference to the demographic bulge of Baby Boomers approaching retirement) but silver separations was a new one to me. The term describes the bloom in late age divorces that are becoming increasingly common. The Globe and Mail, in the following article, looks at the sad financial aftermath for the 50-something set tearing through the divorce courts. A similar trend is evident in New Zealand according to Statistics New Zealand. In 2010, the median age of a divorced male was 45.1 and for a female 42.5. Stats NZ also reports that just over one-third of Kiwis who married in 1985 divorced before making it to their silver anniversary (at 25 years).  

3) Mortgage done and dusted

Yahoo finance profiles three couples who are mortgage free and how they did it. Oh what a joyous occasion.

4) Money and trust

How can you measure the value of money when the goal posts are constantly shifting? Broker Marcus Padley, writing for the Age, argues that you can't. Not really anyway. He says the ultimate metric boils down to one thing: trust.  If you want to increase the value of your money, ensure the trust underlying the relationship wherein an exchange takes place is solid.

5) Hate your job?

Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life. That's the theory anyway. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of employees for whom this mantra holds true. reflects on the disenchantment with the modern work world and the era of cubicle slaves and sees reason for perspective.  We're not working in smoke-filled Dickensian factories after all.

The kids interviewed in this Flight of the Concords video offer some cute and clever insights on money - and relationships.



To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall

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#5 I love my day in the cubicle. According to kiwisue I'm a wage slave and in bondage to money, so like a bird in a cage or a hamster on a wheel or someone jacked into the Matrix - I'm a prisoner but don't know it. Apparently. :-)

Well if this is prison it must be one of those white-collar country farm prisons where the inmates get degrees and luxury units with TV etc and lots of home visits, because I quite like it.

I've had money, been mortgage free, had no money, now I have some again. Studies show time and time again that beyond having the basic necessities of life money makes no material difference to your happiness. I can attest to that. Few things make you happier than losing everything and realising that the world in fact doesn't end and you didn't need all that stuff you had before that you thought made you happy.

So if this is a rat race then I may not be winning, but that's probably because I stop too often to smell the roses... but I do so like being a rat.


  • According to USA financial blogger:
  • 9 out of 10 families live paycheck to paycheck.
  • Only 2% of the homes in America are paid off.
  • Most 62-year-olds still owe 22 years on their first mortgage.
  • 86% of all new homes are purchased by dual-income families.
  • 80% of divorces are caused by financial stress.
  • Women have been forced into Corporate America, with self-evident negative effects on the family.100% of a family’s disposable income is allocated to debt payments.

Is NZ much different?   Re #3  Less people will hit retirement with their mortgage paid off.  Kids later in life, topping up the mortgage in middle age, propping up the adult kids?! 

Oh yes those poor women,   it's not like they actually want a career is it?
No they would be much happer at home  looking after babies and cleaning and  stuff right?

Trust is a river of wealth which refreshes everything it touches.

#3 I'd hope that all the readers here could do better than the 3 couples in the article.