Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR AMY: My boyfriend and I have been together for almost six years. We don't live together because he lives an hour away. He has two children and I have one. We are both divorced. I am concerned about my financial future because I live on a single income. I'm 44 years old and most of my friends are married and have built (or are building) a financial future with their husbands. My guy is wonderful and I love him but he's told me that if I move in with him he will not share his property, and he will ask me to sign a document saying that I have no claims on his property. He has been divorced twice. Neither of us is willing to move and/or build a financial future together. I don't make a lot of money to be able to have a decent retirement for myself, even when I have two jobs. Should I continue with this relationship, or should I find a person with whom I can build a financial future? --Strapped
DEAR STRAPPED: You should not count on finding any one person who can solve your financial problems and assure your financial future. That's your job.
Even your friends who are married may find themselves in a tough situation because life has a way of throwing speed bumps along even the best laid path.
You should focus on finding creative ways to cut your living costs and increase your income so you can start squirreling money away. The most obvious way to cut costs is through sharing housing. Perhaps you have a friend or a relative who is also a single mother. Co-housing could help both parties save on housing costs and living expenses. You could also share parenting duties, making it easier for you to pursue education or job training to increase your income.
A romantic partner who is wonderful, who loves you and wants to share everything with you is definitely something to look for. There is no guarantee you will find him, however.
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