As you know by now, I am constantly looking to learn more about the best way to retire in comfort. My strategy along that path and as a supplemental aspect to my regular work I like to educate people about my IDEAL GROWER concept and all kinds of aspects associated with it.
Today, as has happened many times since I started getting involved with investing, I got exposed to something new I never heard about. It’s called “Dower Rights”.
This all came about because I am investing in a property in Ohio. The title company asked me if we would want to sign away the Dower Rights or not? I drew a complete blank. Actually, I responded telling the nice lady at the title company I am working with that I have to sign up for a quick refresher class in English to determine what this “Dower-thing” means.
I wondered where this came from and learned: By the Dower Act (1833), dower in England was restricted to realty still owned by the husband at his death and not devised by his will. It could also be barred by a declaration in his will or by deed. As a small measure of compensation to widows, the act extended dower to equitable interests.
Here is a summary of what I found at the Legal Information Institute website:
A surviving spouse’s right to receive a set portion of the deceased spouse’s estate — usually one-third to one-half. Dower (not to be confused with a dowry) refers to the portion to which a surviving wife is entitled, while curtesy refers to what a man may claim. Until recently, these amounts differed in a number of states. However, because discrimination on the basis of sex is now illegal in most cases, most states have abolished dower and curtesy and generally provide the same benefits regardless of sex — and this amount is often known simply as the statutory share. Under certain circumstances, a living spouse may not be able to sell or convey property that is subject to the other spouses dower and curtesy or statutory share rights.
Well, in case you are wondering what we decided regarding the investment in Ohio? No, we will not sign the dower rights away. Maybe in the not too distant future this will no longer be a question as Ohio is in the process of getting rid of this old law.
Whether you keep your Dower rights or not, please take a serious look at investing in real estate to develop your retirement portfolio. I know a lot of people depend on their 401K or other retirement plans that invest money in the stock market. I would be worried about it, partially because you don’t really have control over what happens to your money and partially because prices that go up in stock markets and economies will ultimately get corrected and come back down. In the United States we have been going up for more than 10 years. I recall that in 1999 and 2006 people were telling me convincingly that times had changed and patterns of the past would not apply anymore – and then they did.
I will keep adding more information about the IDEAL GROWER model and what I do to develop a great retirement portfolio that you could copy. Today I had to let you know about the Dower Rights we will soon receive.