Book Review: Money Without Matrimony


MONEY WITHOUT MATRIMONY: The Unmarried Couples Guide to Financial Security, Sheryl Garrett and Debra Neiman, Dearborn Trade Publishing. Paperback $21.95 (248p) ISBN 1-4195-0688-9)

Who knew? If you were in a heterosexual relationship and got married, there would be 1,143 federal laws that protect your personal finances. But since that's not the case for the 1.2 million gay and lesbian couples in America, out lesbians and Certified Financial Planners Sheryl Garrett and Debra Neiman have written Money Without Matrimony to help answer the hard financial planning questions. This well-written book helps gay and lesbian couples "plan around" the federal laws that negate right of survivorship benefits for same sex couples when tragedy arises like the illness or death of a partner. According to Garrett and Neiman, "If you want your partner or someone other than your parents or next of kin - no matter how distant a blood relationship - to sort through your possessions, inherit or distribute your stuff, the situation is far more complicated" than if you were married. Aside from looking at doomsday scenarios the book lays out everyday decisions that both short- and long-term couples should be thinking about like whether or not to merge finances, deciding how property should be rented and owned and the ramifications of each decision. Using easy-to-understand, accessible language, the authors have written a book that is a quick read or an easy reference guide to answer financial questions on the fly. While this book covers some of the same legal ground that can be found in other books on the topic, Money Without Matrimony picks up where the others left off with savvy personal finance advice in addition to legal advice. Filled with sage advice from financial professionals about the unique financial planning issues gay and lesbian couples face, this book forces partners to ask the questions they need to answer until (if) they receive full legal marital rights.

Al Martin is a freelance writer covering personal finance, real estate and investing topics.


MORE RESOURCES:
Polish author Olga Tokarczuk won the £50,000 (about $67,170) Man Booker International Prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world, for her novel of linked fragments, Flights, translated by Jennifer Croft. The cash award is divided equally between author and translator, who also both receive £1,000 for being shortlisted.

Philip Roth, whose novel American Pastoral won a Pulitzer in 1998 but who was best-known for the controversial and explicit 1969 Portnoy's Complaint, has died at age 85.

Writing in The Washington Post, author and professor Sandra Beasley asks, "Do we continue to teach the work of people we now suspect of behaving unethically or abusively? ... As a reader, I'm devastated. As a teacher, I've got decisions to make..."

The romance-focused magazine Romantic Times, along with the RT Book Reviews, RT VIP Salon and RT Booklovers Convention brands, is shutting down after 37 years. The closure is effective immediately, and though the RT website will remain up for another year or so, there will be no new content in the future.

Philip Pullman has been named author of the year at the British Book Awards for his "outstanding" success.

The children's author was recognized after returning to the world of his Dark Materials with La Belle Sauvage last year. Awards organizers described Pullman as a "true one-off".

Gail Honeyman won book of the year for her best-selling debut Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Judges said it was "brilliantly written" and "the complete package".

Tom Wolfe, author of notable works such as The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities, has died aged 88. In addition to his books, he was a pioneer of New Journalism, which developed in the 1960s and 1970s and involved writing from a subjective perspective as opposed to more traditional objective journalism. He was also known for coining phrases such as "radical chic" and "the me decade".

Last week, Barnes & Noble, the largest book retailer in the US, saw its stock price plunge nearly 8% just days after the New York Times published an editorial calling for the chain to be saved. "It's depressing to imagine that more than 600 Barnes & Noble stores might simply disappear," wrote columnist David Leonhardt. "But the death of Barnes & Noble is now plausible."

Author Jojo Moyes has pledged to save the British adult literacy program Quick Reads from closure by funding it for the next three years. She says she was "completely dumbfounded" on learning of the scheme's closure and is believed to have donated around £360,000 (well over US$500,000) to help it continue.

"Having written a Quick Reads myself [Paris for One, in 2015] and spoken to readers who had benefited from the scheme, I knew how important it was," she told The Bookseller. "It is relatively low cost and loved by authors, publishers and readers. At a time when libraries are ever more endangered, it seemed a completely regressive move to lose Quick Reads."

The Pulitzer Prize board has opened an independent review of sexual misconduct allegations against the award-winning novelist Junot Díaz, who is stepping down as chairman, the board said on Thursday.

"Mr. Díaz said he welcomed the review and would cooperate fully with it," the Pulitzer board said in a statement.

Mr. Díaz, who joined the board in 2010, was elevated to chairman last month, according to the organization. It said that Mr. Díaz asked to relinquish his role and that he would remain a part of the body.

Viet Thanh Nguyen argues that books by immigrants, foreigners and minorities don't diminish the 'classic' curriculum. They enhance it....

...We must read Shakespeare and authors who are women, Arab, Muslim, queer. Most of the world is neither white nor European, and the United States may be a majority-minority country by mid-century. White people will gain more by embracing this reality rather than fighting it. As for literature, the mind-set that turns the canon into a bunker in order to defend one dialect of English is the same mind-set that closes borders, enacts tariffs and declares trade wars to protect its precious commodities and its besieged whiteness. But literature, like the economy, withers when it closes itself off from the world. The world is coming anyway. It demands that we know ourselves and the Other...

thatware.org ©