“I have, therefore I am”
In the past 50 years the consumption of luxury goods has moved geographically from Europe to the USA (1970s) to Japan (1980s) to Russia (1990s) and is now spreading across Greater China.
Extremely popular investments were found in the Art sector. As Oscar Wilde said: “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known”.
Although Christie’s reported a slide in their sales last year, the total of £4.8bn ($7.4bn) was still the second highest in history. Particular highlights were the Impressionists and Modern Art.
We live in a Now Society and newly created wealth is currently fuelling the demand for luxury goods; New Money wants to define its new identity by showing luxury goods to other people and wants to make a clear statement to its global peers by saying: “I have, therefore I am”.
Old money on the other hand already has everything and mainly buys to maintain their status.
On the Rocks
But how does old and new money maintain the newly purchased identity or the impressive status when the marriage is on the rocks? When money for more luxury goods is not available or restricted by their spouse?
Many clients say that they feel that they have to cut back on luxury spending and lower their ambitions. This change hits them at the same time when they have to pick up the pieces and come to terms with the aftermath of the separation.
But how do you make sure that you still have money after the divorce and fulfil the wish to reward yourself?
- Family Affair: Make sure you are involved in the family finance planning during the marriage and have assets in your own name or jointly owned with your spouse. Instruct your own financial advisor to help you to secure your future lifestyle and create a financial support network which helps you to buy your own art in your own name.
- My home is my castle: Don’t agree to downsize when the marriage is going through a tough time. Some clients day that their spouse wanted to live in a smaller house or near the sea, which would be easier to maintain. This suggestion was mostly when their spouse already lost interest in the marriage and had divorce on their radar. Take early advice when these suggestions are made to you; you need to know what effect a smaller house would have on your future housing needs in the case of a divorce.
- Ex-pat nightmares: Before you agree to move abroad with your spouse and family, make sure you know your legal rights in that particular country, if you split up. Take advice from a UK based lawyer with international experience and network.
- Timing is everything: You know your spouse better than anybody. Be prepared to wait for a clean break settlement and find the right moment to control and maintain your financial future.
- Redefine yourself: This is the most difficult bit. Divorce shows very different and difficult faces. There is no easy way to deal with the aftermath of divorce and the emotional greave. But don’t make financial decisions when you are still feeling anger and when you are still grieving. It takes time to leave a marriage, but it takes more time to learn from this experience.
Don’t forget, there can be always luxury in simplicity and “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury” (Coco Chanel)
If your spouse asked you to change your life style and you are concerned and want to discuss this with us, please do not hesitate to contact James or Frank. Paradigm Family Law offers fixed fee solutions cover financial proceedings from start to finish. You can call us on 0845 6020422 or email us to [email protected].