CNBC make it 2024-02-09 00:50:52

This is the No. 1 reason people get divorced, says Kim Kardashian’s high-powered divorce lawyer

If you’ve followed any celebrity divorce in the last 30 years, you’ve probably caught a glimpse of Laura Wasser’s career. 

Wasser, a divorce attorney at Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles and the chief of evolution at, has represented Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears and Ariana Grande. 

Celebrity divorces aren’t all that different from civilian divorces, she says. 

“I always say divorce is the great equalizer,” Wasser says. “People experience the same fear and heartache, regardless of whether they are a celebrity or not.” 

The most common reason people choose to dissolve their union, famous or not, is also the same. 

“The reason people get divorced is because they don’t communicate,” Wasser says. 

This issue might manifest as, for example, extramarital affairs or unhealthy drinking habits, but the inability to communicate is usually the root of the problem. 

Prioritize having the ‘not super sexy’ conversations before you wed

Many partners who choose to get married haven’t navigated long periods of discomfort. 

“Because you don’t develop the communication tools when things are going well, then when things are not going well you tend to not have the ability or wherewithal to discuss them,” she says. 

There are lots of “not super sexy” conversations that couples should be having before marriage, she says.

Is it important that we send our kids to private school? Are you OK with my parents living with us in their old age? 

These talks aren’t fun, but can save you money and heartache down the road, should you two not align. 

People’s needs might also change throughout the course of a marriage, in which case good communication is key. 

“It’s hard to say, ‘Hey I’m getting older and don’t feel as attractive anymore,’” Wasser says. 

But if your partner doesn’t know how you feel, it’s inevitable that they will not meet your needs and you’ll be unhappy. 

“The resentment builds up and you put your energy elsewhere,” Wasser says. 

By having tough conversations before or early in marriage, you can cultivate healthy communication habits that better serve you and your partner.

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The No. 1 resume mistake, says ex-Amazon recruiter: You see it ‘all the way up to the C-suite’

Lindsay Mustain has looked at a lot of resumes in her more than a decade in talent acquisition.

“Literally a million,” she says. The former Amazon recruiter is now the CEO of career coaching company Talent Paradigm and has seen candidates include some mind-boggling elements to their resumes — like stickers and a picture of themselves holding a shotgun.

But there’s one mistake she sees jobseekers make over and over again, what she calls giving “Miss America answers,” or ones she’d imagine hearing in a pageant. These are simple statements that don’t give much insight into what candidates actually accomplished on the job. It’s happening from the junior level “all the way up to the C-suite,” she says, and it’s preventing jobseekers from standing out.

Here’s what Miss America answers are and how to avoid writing them.

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Don’t write ‘a glorified job description’

When it comes to your resume, you want to mirror the language of the job description to the extent that it portrays your experience accurately. As you do, however, avoid general statements about the tasks you took on.

“I had stakeholder meetings with people” is an example of a Miss America answer, says Mustain. These kinds of descriptions don’t give a concrete sense of how you were able to move your team forward. They’re “like a glorified job description,” she says, adding that, “you just look like somebody who’s filling a seat.”

Instead of listing the tasks you were given, quantify and list your accomplishments.

“If somebody is fixing tickets on a help desk,” says Mustain, as an example, “I’ve solved 30 customers’ problems a day” is a good metric to start with. You can take it even further, though, and think about what you were able to accomplish in a year. Thirty problems a day, 20 days a month, 12 months per year is 7,200 problems solved altogether.

The “more metrics and analytics you can add to your resume, the more impressive,” she says.

‘Your eyes go straight to the numbers’

Quantifying your accomplishments is not just a matter of looking impressive.

Recruiters only have a few seconds to dedicate to your resume. They’re likely “handling somewhere between 15 to 25” job openings at once, says Mustain. “The average applicants per job is 250, which means they’re dealing with tens of thousands of applicants.”

The benefit of quantifying your accomplishments is that recruiters’ eyes “go straight to the numbers when we’re reviewing,” Mustain says. They’ll know how much value you added to your previous employers immediately.

Bottom line, if you want to move forward in the interview process, your resume has “got to be results-based,” she says.

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I was miserable in my 30s. Then I turned 50, and I’ve never been happier—here’s the No. 1 reason why

What if the secret to being happier was purely just to get older?

It sounds absurd, but at 63 years old, I can say that the last few decades have been a tale of two midlives: one very dark from my 30s- to -40s, and one truly splendid … starting when I hit 50. 

The No. 1 reason? My emotional intelligence increased. And, as I discovered while writing my book, “Learning to Love Midlife: 12 Reasons Why Life Gets Better with Age,” high emotional intelligence is a crucial ingredient for boosting happiness and resilience.

Why higher emotional intelligence boosts happiness

Emotional intelligence, which is the capacity to understand and control our emotions, as well as being sensitive to others’ feelings, nurtures our relationships and boosts our empathy.

This can lead to stronger social connections. And as we age, our social bonds become even more vital to our well-being. With higher emotional intelligence, you’re also better equipped to grasp and empathize with the emotions of others, fostering deeper, more fulfilling relationships.

Here’s how my emotional intelligence has grown since I’ve gotten older:

1. I feel more compassion for others

As I age, I’ve softened … and not just around my belly. I experience less ego and more soul. I feel more deeply for others’ life circumstances.

Fortunately, I am able to direct some of that increased compassion toward myself as well.

2. I am less emotionally reactive and more emotionally fluent

When I was younger, I had a kind of emotional vertigo; my emotions constantly made me feel imbalanced and uneasy. I didn’t know how to dance with them. In fact, I often tried to outrun my emotions.

Today, I don’t sweat the small stuff. I’m able to positively reappraise negative experiences, like getting stuck in traffic in an Uber (interpretation: great chance to meditate).

Simultaneously, my enhanced ability to recognize my patterns, habits, and tendencies allows me to observe myself more effectively.

3. I don’t take things so personally

Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of “The Four Agreements,” says: “There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.”

This skill is particularly valuable in our polarized, “cancel culture” era.

4. I have a better understanding of how to create my ideal habitats

Social scientists call this “environmental mastery,” or the ability to determine which environments one will flourish in — and the capacity to adjust and adapt to changes in those habitats.

This also speaks to why, in the workplace, older people on a team have been found to create more “psychological safety” on teams: because their environmental mastery, combined with their compassion, helps them create the proper conditions for team flourishing.

5. I value relationships more

It’s been said that the two questions people ask on their deathbed are “Did I love well, and was I well‐loved?”

The longitudinal Harvard Study on Adult Development and the Blue Zones research conclusively show that the relationships we cultivate in our lives can actually increase our lifespan.

Of course, there are always outliers — Exhibit A: your perennially grumpy 75‐year‐old uncle. But he’s an exception, not the rule.

Chip Conley is the author of ”Learning to Love Midlife: 12 Reasons Why Life Gets Better With Age.″ After disrupting the hospitality industry twice, first as the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, and then as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, Conley founded MEA (Modern Elder Academy) in January 2018.

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Founder of $1 billion startup: This harsh money lesson from my mom ‘forced me to start hustling’

When Gregg Renfrew was a year out of college and racking up credit card debt, she called her mom for help — only to be told, bluntly, “Well, it’s time to get a new job.”

The tough-love lesson in financial independence pushed her to be more mindful of her spending and income, says Renfrew, 55, the CEO and founder of billion-dollar clean beauty startup Beautycounter. “Living in fear of not being able to pay my bills — having literally no idea — it forced me to start hustling,” she tells CNBC Make It.

Upon graduating from the University of Vermont in 1990, Renfrew’s mother gave her two gifts, she says: a monogrammed black briefcase and a check for $5,000. The check was enough to cover “first and last month’s rent on an apartment in New York,” along with some work clothes and other odds and ends for someone just starting a career, she says.

Renfrew was free to do whatever she wanted with the money, but her mother was adamant that she wouldn’t receive any more financial support.

Less than a year after moving to the city, she “immediately racked up credit card bills,” owing more than $1,000 on her American Express card, she says. Her mother, a real estate executive at the time, “absolutely could have bailed me out,” she adds.

Instead, her mom instructed her to find a way to make enough money to pay off her own debts. While Renfrew was “frustrated” with that response at the time, she now says she was lucky to get any sort of head start from her parents.

“I was fortunate to have a debt-free education and to receive any money,” says Renfrew. “A lot of people don’t have either of those things.”

Learning to hustle

The reality check worked. Renfrew “immediately sought a [new] job,” leaving her gig at an advertising firm to join the sales training program at the Xerox Corporation. Soon, she was selling copiers to businesses across Manhattan, paying off her debts and eventually becoming one of the company’s top salespeople.

Renfrew was still working at Xerox when she started a side business with a friend selling bridesmaid dresses. In 1997, they partnered with Nicole Hindrich to bring the British bridal registry business The Wedding List to the U.S., landing a $1.5 million investment from Nordstrom three years later. 

That business, which sold to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in 2001, wasn’t Renfrew’s first foray into entrepreneurialism.

As a college student who wanted to enroll in a “Semester at Sea” program, Renfrew was told by her parents she would need to pay for it herself. During the summer, she started a house-cleaning service in Nantucket, Massachusetts — even hiring a team of employees — to make enough money to cover the program’s cost.

The experience fit right into her parents’ child-rearing approach: They pushed her to be able to stand on her own, independent of anyone else, including any potential future life partner. Growing up, whenever Renfrew wanted to buy “material things” like a pair of jeans, she needed to earn the money to buy them herself, she says.

Her ability to be self-reliant helped lay the foundation for her future career in business, she notes: “I think that is a really good life lesson.”

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Millionaire who retired at 35: These are the 3 ‘stupidest lies’ I’ve heard about early retirement

Steve Adcock knows a thing or two about early retirement. In 2016, after years of climbing the corporate ladder, living frugally and investing the excess cash he saved, Adcock retired at age 35 with about $900,000.

Soon, with the help of an upwardly trending stock market, he and his wife saw their net worth eclipse $1 million.

In the years since, Adcock started the Millionaire Habits newsletter as part of an effort to help others build wealth and reach financial independence and early retirement. Naturally, as is the case with anyone dispensing financial advice, Adcock has his detractors.

Since he retired, “I’ve heard some of the stupidest lies about early retirement from people who will never retire,” Adcock wrote in a recent tweet.

The most common view he hears: “You’re going to be bored, it’s going to destroy your relationship and you’re never going to work again,” Adcock tells CNBC Make It.

Here’s why he says each of those three notions are myths, as long as you’re strategic about your early retirement plans.

Myth 1: ‘You’re going to be bored’

“I’ll be honest with you, with some people that’s going to be true,” says Adcock.

You don’t have to look hard to find stories of people who left their nine-to-five only to find the days growing long and boring with no work to do. “I think a lot of people fall into the trap of, ‘Once I retire, I’ll figure it out,’” Adcock says.

To avoid this pitfall, Adcock advises you to start thinking about how you’ll spend your days long before you leave your job. “You need to know what you’re retiring to, not just what you’re retiring from,” he says. “If your job is your only hobby, then you have no business retiring early.”

If your job is your only hobby, then you have no business retiring early.
Steve Adcock

Adcock suggests taking some of your hobbies or ambitions for retirement out for a test drive before actually leaving your full-time gig. Think about if something you find enjoyable here and there can blossom into something you want to be doing for the next couple of decades.

“That’s going to give you the best chance of success after you do eventually quit your job,” Adcock says.

Myth 2: ‘It’s going to destroy your relationship’

While your relationship is no one else’s business, there is something to the idea that early retirement might force you to spend a lot more time with your partner. For some couples, that would be an enormous blessing. For others, it can be problematic.

“I’ve heard so many times, ‘We’d drive ourselves crazy,’” Adcock says.

Maybe it’s true that you and your partner would get on each other’s nerves if one or both of you retired early. But that certainly doesn’t have to be the case. “The important thing is that both of you have to have your separate things that you do. You can’t just sit around the house all day or you probably will drive each other crazy,” says Adcock.

That can mean dedicating time to a big project, such as writing a book or training for a marathon. Or maybe you start a business or pick up a side hustle you enjoy.

“You need something you can do apart so that when you have dinner together you can ask each other, ‘So, how was your day?’” Adcock says.

Myth 3: ‘You’re never going to work again’

Critics of early retirement contend that once you’ve left the workforce for several years, you won’t to be able to get your old position back should you want to reenter the working world.

That may be true, but it’s a moot point, says Adcock. After seven years of retirement, he’s well aware that he likely wouldn’t be able to go back to the same job with the same salary and responsibilities.

“But the other side of that coin is, I don’t want that same job back,” he says. “I spent 15 years of my life trying to escape that job. Why would I possibly want to go back to that?”

Critics may point out that, should you find yourself in a financially difficult position, you may need to one day start working again in order to avoid running out of retirement savings.

But just because you’ve been out of the workforce doesn’t mean no one will have you. “If you were able to put yourself into the position to achieve financial independence and retire early, then you’re going to have the skills to reenter the workforce, in some fashion, in probably a job or a career that you like better than what you had before,” Adcock says.

And given that you thought you’d saved enough to live on for the rest of your life, you probably won’t need a high-powered position to bridge the gap if your investments hit the skids for awhile.

“It’s probably not going to be like, ‘Oh crap, I’m out of money. I have to go back to earning six figures,’” says Adcock. “You’re going to see the writing on the wall and maybe you get a part-time job you enjoy.”

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