Pay Dirt is Slate’s new money advice column. Have a question? Send it to Athena and Elizabeth here. (It’s anonymous!)
Dear Pay Dirt,
I’m a 55-year-old divorced college professor who earns $140,000 a year (plus interest, dividends, and royalties). I have around $3.5 million in investments, home equity, and savings, so I am fairly well off. My 51-year-old girlfriend has little savings, works an hourly wage job, and earns around $40,000 a year (she’s had a much tougher life than me).
I would be happy to support us both and would like her to quit working (or work much less) so we can travel more and have more free fun time. But she is worried about losing independence and being financially dependent on me. She’s also worried about being perceived as a gold digger or sugar baby. I see her concerns as entirely legitimate. But I really want to be with someone who can, say, take a month off in the summer and go to Europe…