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Old 05-15-2009, 08:55 PM   #101
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TY
I can relate to Jambo's situation a little bit further even though we're not married. There has been and continues to be an imbalance in dh2b's and my fiancial situation for several reasons. Most of the drains on "his" money are court-ordered for him in relation to his divorce. That imbalance will continue until the kid is 21.
I'm on a fixed income, so "her" money is also limited.
So we find ourselves juggling the "our" money when we need to pay for something with a big ticket. If I have extra "her" money that month, I throw it in. If he gets a nice tax refund or hasn't bought technotoys, he throws in some extra "his" money. We don't keep exact score.
We strive to keep everything 50-50 and still allow ourselves some separate fun money.
He elected to have me serve as the "our" budget cop and just sez to tell him if we need more. So far so good.

I guess my point here is I agree with Jambo's reaction on many levels.
I am a 50-50 share, 100% team person all the way with full flexibility if one partner has a limited income or special circumstances.
If 1 partner finds themselves in a better situation for whatever reason, that partner should not only share ALL costs
50-50, but IN ADDITION the more $ solid partner should chip in MORE to make the common situation easier for both.
I've done it, so has dh2b as the need arose.
Come on that a very important job. I do that at our house and go by the title of " Chancellor of the Exchequer". Kind of adds a little class to the whole deal.
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:35 PM   #102
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I'm feeling for ya Jambo101. The others who responded that it is your wife's money are full of it! Most of them have not been through the emotions and experiences that you have.

My spouse also received an inheritance. Her in-laws said, "Keep it separate" and my spouse started off that way. I was miffed. I retorted that I would be keeping my salary "separate" from now on as well until I had saved up a similar amount to her inheritance.

If you ask her if the tables were turned and you received a similar inheritance and kept it separate, how would she feel? That question turned out extremely powerful for me. She knew that she herself would be pissed.

So while there is always danger in a long marriage of divorce and splitting up the assets, the fact that she keeps this separate is just telling you that she wants to divorce you. That may not be a problem for you. Just get the divorce now.

In the end, my spouse relented, we are still married, and I did not have to keep my salary separate from hers. Most of the inheritance went into 529 plans for our kids.

For you others who are in the "separate" camp, you will be changing your tune when it happens to you.
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:36 PM   #103
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Well, all of the single people certainly came out of the woodwork. WoooHoooooo!

Uh-oh...Look what I've done now!!! We'll all be seeing online matching services ads up above.
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:53 PM   #104
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Kumquat, "giving them their inheritance early" can be good or bad.

Are you thinking of 'helping them gain social/economic capital'? ( pay off a student loan for them, gift for a downpayment on a house, help fund grad school, that kind of thing?) This can really give a young person a jumpstart in life.

Or are you thinking of funding party time?

The second choice is not so good in terms of 'value for your money'. Your kids mileage may vary on that statement....

ta,
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:33 AM   #105
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So, I talked to DW about this thread over dinner and it opened up a huge can of worms... Kinda ruined the evening really. But it gave me a brand new appreciation for Jambo's predicament because DW and I usually see eye to eye when it comes to finances. But the issue of inheritances really seemed to bring up a lot of raw emotions for both of us.

I have seen first hand the damage inheritances have done to personal relationships in my own family but I thought that DW and I would be above that. That was a huge mistake. But good to know for the future...
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Old 05-16-2009, 01:34 AM   #106
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What Meadbh said.
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Me too!! Seems that is something that several of us can agree on!
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But... but... but... who's going to nag after you guys to keep you from feeling bored and unfulfilled?!?
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Old 05-16-2009, 05:50 AM   #107
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I'm glad DH and I have no inheritances to worry about. That's an ironic statement when you think about it.

Jambo, I must say, I feel for you. DH and I have always had an "its ours" philosophy, even though our economic contributions to our little family unit have not been equal (he has always made more than me until recently). We have had some issues, though, when it came to loaning money to family members (I had more issues than him; I guess I have to admit I am more stingy!)

In any case, I would get into counseling. Don't risk losing 32 years over this. If the love between you is strong, you will be able to work this through.
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:19 AM   #108
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I second the counseling thing Jambo....don't let money come between 32 years of marriage.
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:24 AM   #109
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Jambo, I must say, I feel for you. DH and I have always had an "its ours" philosophy, even though our economic contributions to our little family unit have not been equal (he has always made more than me until recently).
Imagine DH winning $500,000 and stashing it away in a private account and not letting you have any say in how the money will be spent or not spent,Oh and if you want a newer car? take the bus. kinda has me thinking about my relevancy in the relationship.
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:27 AM   #110
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I'm single so really not a good one to respond as I have no experience. But I would have thought the inheritance would get lumped into your family's regular savings. Then it would be used as you 2 would have used it if it had come from normal income sources. But what do I know?
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:13 AM   #111
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Thats what i thought too but she made it abundantly clear right from the get go that this was her money and i shouldn't expect to have any say in the matter. This matter about the car has just come up recently.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:12 AM   #112
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Years and years ago my mother had an inheritance. She always kept it separate, but it didn't lead to any discord. I guess the differences were that my parents had a strong relationship and that my mom was doing a great job as Chief Financial Officer of the family.

Good luck Jambo and Mrs Jambo!
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:34 AM   #113
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Years and years ago my mother had an inheritance. She always kept it separate, but it didn't lead to any discord. I guess the differences were that my parents had a strong relationship and that my mom was doing a great job as Chief Financial Officer of the family.
LOL! Do you think our kids know about the conversations that my wife and I had about inheritances?
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:58 AM   #114
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Have a question for you Jambo101. Is your wife paying her half of the joint bills?

I would be pissed in your situation. My wife and I have always put our money together. I have earned 95% of it over the years. We have both inherited small amounts. This money went into the joint account.

I think I would be tempted to tell her to take her $500K and go have a nice life.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:09 AM   #115
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Have a question for you Jambo101. Is your wife paying her half of the joint bills?

I would be pissed in your situation. My wife and I have always put our money together. I have earned 95% of it over the years. We have both inherited small amounts. This money went into the joint account.

I think I would be tempted to tell her to take her $500K and go have a nice life.
Yes we both share all household expenses but over the years my share into the joint accounts have been a greater percentage than hers due to the fact that my paychecks were always larger than hers.If the kids werent involved i'd definitely be wishing her well in her new life.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:52 AM   #116
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I'd say figure out a compromise that makes both parties comfortable. Others have essentially suggested the same thing. Let her keep her $500k separate, but explain that you can take around 4% of the amount each year and live on it now. That would add $20k to what you COULD spend each year. I would say use this new found money for things that come up - ie new car, vacations, capital improvements to house, etc. That should leave the $500k substantially intact for future nursing home expenses while still allowing the familial unit to share in the benefits of wealth. And she has the added peace of mind that it is her separate assets should she decide to terminate your marital contract.

One other aspect that no one else has mentioned yet is the potential to "trick" her into giving you some rights to the money. In some jurisdictions, when one spouse takes an active role in managing the money, that makes all earnings from the money marital property. The theory I suppose is that any result of work during marriage is a marital asset (be it earned income or increase in value of actively managed assets). To be actively managed would be something more than checking bank/brokerage statements once per year but something less than daytrading or buying rental houses. Just something a little birdy told me...

PS - I'll have to ask the DW what she would think if I decided to keep any future inheritance as separate assets and exercise sole control over it. If I survive, I'll let you know the outcome! Our situation is such that I will be in line for a decent sized inheritance (I think) and DW will get very little if anything. So I have no fear of reciprocating greediness. But I still would not keep the inheritance from DW unless I was structuring my affairs for a termination of marital contract.
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:12 AM   #117
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Inheritance is one of my mother’s greatest worries. Even coming from a thrifty family with few resources she has witnessed family and friends come to blows and split apart. It is often a spark that gives light to other types of resentment which then take shape of their own and last for a long time, often forever.

Seems there is no relationship between the amounts in dispute and the degree of pettiness and vitriol of the people involved.

There probably is no way to resolve many of these issues or satisfy all parties, but clear open and upfront communication is key to minimize resentments. The posts here that show fundamental misunderstanding between long time married couples attest to just how important it is to be very clear and upfront – and also how hard it is to make everyone feel “fairly treated” .

My practice has been to make clear that we will leave everything to charity. This may not happen, but if our children and others do receive something, it (hopefully) will be an unexpected surprise.
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:20 AM   #118
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DITTO!!! I will never marry again. The OP's issue is just symptomatic of the minefields that come up in marriage of all lengths. The real issue is underground and has never been discussed, usually because the spouses have never realized what it was or is.

I can only speculate on the OPs marital issues. But a common issue when one spouse has been the breadwinner and the other has raised the children and earned less is the resentment of the breadwinner who believes the other spouse has had a "free ride." The breadwinner commonly assumes that the other spouse at home raising children has had an easier life since he/she was not in the work force. The idea of the joint commitment to the marital unit, i.e., the family, seems to fly out the window when one partner has been the primary earner and resents it.

Then she gets an inheritance and bingo! Suddenly she realizes she is independent. A whole new set of wheels start turning in her head.

Also, the balance of POWER in the relationship has changed. And the former breadwinner now feels less power, even more resentment, and anger over small things. The spouse with the inheritance now has power over her life. And boy, what a feeling that is!!!

Wow. I could go on and on about this juicy topic. But I won't.
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:24 AM   #119
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Yes we both share all household expenses but over the years my share into the joint accounts have been a greater percentage than hers due to the fact that my paychecks were always larger than hers.If the kids werent involved i'd definitely be wishing her well in her new life.

Ah oh. Here's one of the hidden attitudes cropping up. You can bet your booty that she has felt this sort of thing over the years. That's why the inheritance is in the separate account. Good for her. She has a right to protect her future.
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:39 AM   #120
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...tell her to take her $500K and go have a nice life.
Okay, folks, we have an opening bid.

How much is YOUR marriage worth?

(my attempt at wry humor - sorry).

When money is the problem, it's rare that money is the problem.

I've venture that she does not feel connected to you (and, of course, visa versa) at a heart and soul level.

You have called the marriage amicable. That's a long ways from connected. And certainly you may have been using a shorthand description and in fact have a much deeper relationship. But this situation has thrown you and you are not able to talk about these feelings with one another to a point that both feel understood.

What would "she" say about the marriage if we could ask her? What would her exact words be? If we asked her about her connection to you, what would she say?
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