Gold Diggers And Deadbeat Dads

I figured you needed a song in your head this gloomy morning, so here you go! Inspired by this article in US News titled, in cable-news-ready fashion, “Are You Married To A Gold Digger?” My first reaction to the headline was God I hope not. Any gold digger willing to settle for me is pretty half-assed. This is New York! There are way richer ladies with way higher earning potential who probably also know how to dance.

Anyway, here’s the article:

When Valerie Rind ​got married, her husband suggested renting out the condo he owned while they moved into another place. “He said, ‘Why don’t we keep this as an investment and rent it out, and then when we’re ready, we’ll sell the condo,’” Rind recalls. Later, when the couple needed some extra cash flow, Rind suggested they put the condo on the market. Her husband resisted.

Eventually, Rind realized her now ex-husband had been lying to her from the start. He never owned the condo but had been just renting it. “That was a traumatic realization,” she says, not just financially, but because her trust was irreparably betrayed. “It destroyed the relationship. Having someone lie about something so fundamental, I felt I couldn’t trust him again,” she recalls. They soon divorced. …

Uh. I have to say I expected something a little more cut and dried.

Is it such a big deal that he claimed he owned a property he was merely renting? Is that a full-on betrayal? I mean, yes, of course, it’s a deception, but I don’t think it has to be a deal-breaker, ladies; and I don’t think it makes a person a gold digger. Maybe it’s merely a bad example?

The author goes to describe other, perhaps more dire, situations.

People often find themselves in trouble, she says, not necessarily because they’re naïve, but because they’re not educated enough about personal finance to notice the warning signs that indicate a problem. As for Rind, she didn’t have much of a chance to protect herself, given the degree of deceit that was going on. Short of asking to see real estate paperwork before she got married, she’s not sure how she could have uncovered the truth about the condo earlier. “I don’t think it could have been prevented,” she says.

Many other situations, though, come with bright red flags.

Those include secrecy around money, hiding credit histories, not having an estate plan, resisting a prenup, and asking you to co-sign a loan.

I guess I’m lucky that I have not yet been taken in by someone like this, because the only one of these that strikes me as possibly being a red flag is the last one. There are plenty of innocent reasons, it seems, for the first four, including a natural discomfort with the subject of finances and/or having had a rough time of things in your earlier life. “Bright red flag” seems to imply that you should see it and run in the other direction. Would your loved one asking you to co-sign a loan necessarily fall under that heading?
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