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Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 12:26 PM   #1
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Does your spouse share your financial goals?

In my opinion, selecting the right spouse or life partner is probably one of the single most important financial decisions we can make. A spouse who shares your values and financial goals can help you by working as a team towards the same goal, ie LBYM, avoid bad debt, save, invest, reach financial independence. On the other hand, a spouse can also have a severe negative impact on reaching your financial goals by overspending, incurring unnecessary debt, not saving, and making it difficult or impossible for you to obtain your goal of financial independence.

I am very fortunate that my spouse is not high maintenance, and she shares my desire to LBYM to achieve FI. We live a comfortable life, but certainly below the standard that we could live if we chose to "keep up with the Joneses" like others in our peer group. For example, we live in a modest yet comfortable house in a modest middle class neighborhood that we purchased over 11 years ago when we were starting out and money was tight. We could now easily *afford* to pay the mortgage payment for a house that is 2-3 times the value, and I know that our income is well above all of our neighbors (at least double for some). I know from first hand knowledge that other wives of other guys in my peer group would not "tolerate" our current living conditions, and they have already moved up at least once, sometimes twice, to bigger newer homes, with larger and larger mortgage and tax payments. In fact, I know one guy who moved up to a more expensive home because his wife pressured him into it, and soon after, she divorced him and got the house. By contrast, we are happy where we live right now knowing that we are working towards the FI prize, and don't feel the need to "upgrade."

What are your experiences regarding your SO and how their financial goals fit with yours? Do you agree that the selection of a life partner is a very important factor in whether you acheive your financial goals? I think this issue is often overlooked as a critically important personal finance issue.
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 01:07 PM   #2
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

Fights and differences of opinion on financial matters and money is the #1 cause of divorce.

Many people here have related tales of how their first marriage to someone with incompatible financial objectives ended, and how that divorce started their ability to get to financial independence.

From the ashes indeed...
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 01:24 PM   #3
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

This was a topic in one of the two Millionaire Next Door books. Seemed to go along with what you wrote.
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 01:57 PM   #4
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

I would say this is the most important piece of the FIRE pie. More so than income. For me, having someone who shares my goals is imperative.

How many of our friends and family have two people with completely disparate financial/life goals? What I see a lot is acquaintances where the women either won't work or won't work fulltime, and then want to spend all the husband's money! There's no telling these guys to run, unfortunately.

My DH does not share my love of quicken and spreadsheets, but he lives the LBYM lifestyle. Happy Valentines day indeed--after the gym, we had a nice dinner at home that I cooked--no cards, no chocolates, no flowers. Saved that money! Sarah
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 02:16 PM   #5
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCurious
selecting the right spouse or life partner is probably one of the single most important financial decisions we can make.
Yep........ selecting a wealthy lifemate who doesn't insist on a prenup is critical!

Despite that, DW and I married with her deep in student loan debt and me just barely at break-even at the tender age of 22. 36 years, kids, houses, grandkids, jobs, and lots or wear and tear later, we're comfortably FI and enjoying RE..........because we predominantly shared the same financial goals and pulled together towards acheiving a shared vision. I'm a very lucky guy in that regard.

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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 02:32 PM   #6
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

Absolutely!

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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 03:14 PM   #7
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Many people here have related tales of how their first marriage to someone with incompatible financial objectives ended, and how that divorce started their ability to get to financial independence.
Me being a case in point...
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 03:30 PM   #8
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by igsoy
This was a topic in one of the two Millionaire Next Door books. Seemed to go along with what you wrote.
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...hp?topic=646.0

Save someone the whole read...
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 03:32 PM   #9
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

Yes, it is huge. DW makes a lot of money but pinches many (not all) pennies. I was the one more inclined to buy toys (new windsurfers, skis, etc). She always made me think twice about it. I always planned to ER and saved but I was a bit more of a spendthrift that DW -- she has pulled me in the direction of frugality. On the other hand, she has zero interest in finance and is relying on me to figure out where to put everything we have saved, including her IRAs/401Ks - how dumb is that? :
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 03:53 PM   #10
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Fights and differences of opinion on financial matters and money is the #1 cause of divorce.

Many people here have related tales of how their first marriage to someone with incompatible financial objectives ended, and how that divorce started their ability to get to financial independence.

From the ashes indeed...
I would be the poster child for this one.

First wife was a financial disaster.

Second wife was a mix...frugal in some areas but also a compulsive shopper and hoarder.

Third wife has always been the breadwinner and the bill payer in her previous relationships so has an appreciation for not being in debt and living within ones means. She is still adjusting to being in the upper 5% of all US incomes and it has been an eye-opening experience. She is "on board" with the financial plan and lets me take care of it all. We do discuss the "pile" and she is aware of where everything is but has no interest in managing it. She is content with her budget for house upgrades with the goal of downsizing in 3-5 years. So far so good.
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 04:18 PM   #11
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

"In my opinion, selecting the right spouse or life partner is probably one of the single most important financial decisions we can make".

You dang betcha! My honey is alla time singing the Tom Petty song at me - "You got lucky babe, when I found you". Of course I sing it back at her - we share common viewpoints on most things but have a really nice set of complementary skills - makes us much stronger as a couple than our added seperate accomplishments would be.

Can't really say that it was a decision, financial or otherwise though. Got lucky babe.
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 04:32 PM   #12
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCurious
In my opinion, selecting the right spouse or life partner is probably one of the single most important financial decisions we can make.
Not just one of the most important financial decisions, one of, if not the, most important decisions period.
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 08:45 PM   #13
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

My ex-fiance was one to LBYM...ONLY if the "B" stood for BEYOND!!! I was VERY fortunate to realize that BEFORE the intended wedding date......I went my way and she went hers!!! I'm FI, and she's bleeding some other poor sucker to death!!! Lucky him!!!
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 09:09 PM   #14
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

You guys have all done really well.

Congrats!

Ha
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 09:48 PM   #15
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

My partner is a saver. I was not an over spender, but I didn't save. Once I figured out we could retire early we were both on board. She figures out where to cut corners on a daily basis and I take on the long term planning.

We make a good team. Of course, I also have a document titled, "If I bite the dust" so she knows where everything is and what our plan is.
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-15-2007, 11:12 PM   #16
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goonie
My ex-fiance was one to LBYM...ONLY if the "B" stood for BEYOND!!! I was VERY fortunate to realize that BEFORE the intended wedding date......I went my way and she went hers!!! I'm FI, and she's bleeding some other poor sucker to death!!! Lucky him!!!
LOL...Congrats Goonie, from a fellow poor sap who (through the grace of God) saw the light and called things off shortly before the wedding. She was like a vampire when it came to money, although she had no problem sucking up any money she happened to come into (which wasn't much, considering she barely worked the bare minimum to eke out the minimalist of existences, and leeching off of others for everything else). However, her personality was more the reason I gave her the heave-ho. Cost me dearly in the short run (wedding expenses, since she made me pay for the whole wedding from the outset, engagement ring she refused to return, honeymoon, etc., etc.), but it was the greatest $25k I ever spent (equal to several years of average expenditures, which makes me even more frustrated)

Oh well...back to stoking the FIRE fire with a still-virgin ring finger...and carefully looking.
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-16-2007, 02:31 AM   #17
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

Absolutely!
We both are the LBYM types. However, as we have different areas where we like to spend we are balancing each other in some ways.
Example: he likes to dress very well and reminds me to update my clothes regularly.
We both like to travel with a reasonably small budget, but once in a while I select an upscale hotel to enjoy the features, comfort and difference. Thereafter we gladly return to our usual level and are happy that we do not "need" but could afford the splurge.
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-16-2007, 06:59 AM   #18
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

Yes, always have. We both LBYM, but I tend to spend more than she does.

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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-16-2007, 11:25 AM   #19
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

Yes, it's been very important in our team effort for FI. We both got smart on our 2nd time 'round marriages...
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?
Old 02-16-2007, 01:45 PM   #20
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Re: Does your spouse share your financial goals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mclesters
What I see a lot is acquaintances where the women either won't work or won't work fulltime, and then want to spend all the husband's money! There's no telling these guys to run, unfortunately.
Sarah: Are these women your age? I could see this coming from my mother's generation (she is 68), because that's what people thought was normal in the day, but I can't imagine where any woman in her 30's ever got the idea that it was okay not to support herself.
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