Yesterday, I drove over to GFJ's place and met her for a dinner and a movie. It's been forever since I've been to her place, and it was nice to see her there for a change.
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GFJ lives about 90 minutes away from me, and reaching her involves a trip into the Shawangunks. (Think of the lower Catskills near Mohonk Mountain House.) She grew up in Lower Westchester, and ended up moving to Ulster County around 30 years ago. And it was there that she and her (now to be ex) husband raised two sons and started a business. Life was good for her until her husband had an affair, and now the breakup is going to destroy both a family and the lives of the to-be exes.
Last night after dinner, we stopped into GFJ's office and I had a look at two proposed property settlements. Even without tax considerations, GFJ is not going to be well off after the family assets are broken up. Capital gains will take away a lot of the money she would need for the future. And then, she would need both a place to live and a job to bring in new money. She needs to be with someone who has a few extra dollars to spend or needs to live with one of her sons. If her to-be ex were to die before the divorce, she would likely inherit his share of the pie and be able to have some financial security.
Once we left her office, it was up to Kingston and off to the movies. The Hudson Valley Mall has seen its better times, and most of its anchor stores have left for greener pastures. The internet has destroyed shopping for many of the malls, and this mall may not survive the next recession. The one sign of life when I was there with her was the movie house - the restaurant next door was defunct, and hasn't been open in ages. At least the theater was neat, clean, and relatively kept up to date. And, the movie we saw, Home Again, was a pleasant diversion. Then it was back to GFJ's place. I didn't plan to stay over, but I ended up doing so.
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Both of us woke up early, and I was on my way home by 9 am. Who knows if this will be the restart of something nice? But if so, it was a nice way to do so.