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Old 04-15-2015, 09:09 AM   #21
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Mathjack: WOW. The only thing I can agree with you on is the fact that women live longer than men and for that reason are understandably concerned with outliving their money. The rest of your stereotyping is very condescending IMO. "Dumbing it Down for her" Is an extremely arrogant attitude. My Mom is 90, a widow of 5 years and thoroughly capable of understanding her finances. I take the lead in my family on finances because personal finance interests me even though my husband, an Econ major could fulfill my role. My daughter is just as savvy as my son with her finances.
I don't think it's "dumbing it down" at all. I think it's actually knowing what each persons strengths and weaknesses is.

Listen, I have a pHD in Chemistry, been a Research scientist all my life. I figure I'm halfway smart, some times lol. Two things I loathe, hate and despise...
Writing
Finances.

I suck big time at writing. I have to pay some one to write my technical reports, don't like 'em, not going to learn how to be a better writer, it will never be my strength.

Same thing with investing. I find it tedious, dull, boring and any other adjective that means "it sucks". All that crap about "no one will care for your money like you" is bull. I care a great deal about my money and have tried to learn the basics about investments.

So why would you then force some one like me to suffer through it? What leaving me with a couple of million dollars is supposed to motivate me to become a financial whiz?? that's insane!

People scream here and on other forums about how evil financial planners are, do you really think I'm going to suddenly become a whiz at investing? Didn't like to do it when I was married just because I'm now a widow, what?? that magically is going to make me interested in it.


Now sure I understand basic household finances. I know to live below my means, how to balance my checking account, what interest does and how much it cost but after 10 years I still can't figure out why everyone hates annuities.


Yeah, dumb it down for me. After 57 years and a few tragedies I'm honest enough to know what I will and will not do well.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:56 AM   #22
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We changed investment advisors several years ago shortly before I retired.

DW is not interested. Apart from the usual attributes my goal was to find someone that DW was absolutely comfortable with...someone who talked to her not through her. My goal was to arrange our affairs so that if anything happened to me the investment advice/direction would carry on as before.

I wanted to avoid a situation where DW had to start shopping for advice. Too many wolves out there.

We were successful in doing this however it did take time to find the right person/right firm. There are so many unprofessional and unqualified advisors out there let alone the qualified ones whose advice is on the edge.

Bottom line is that DW is now very comfortable with the advisory service to the point that she happily comes along to our regular meetings.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:13 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Golden sunsets View Post
Mathjack: WOW. The only thing I can agree with you on is the fact that women live longer than men and for that reason are understandably concerned with outliving their money. The rest of your stereotyping is very condescending IMO. "Dumbing it Down for her" Is an extremely arrogant attitude. My Mom is 90, a widow of 5 years and thoroughly capable of understanding her finances. I take the lead in my family on finances because personal finance interests me even though my husband, an Econ major could fulfill my role. My daughter is just as savvy as my son with her finances.
I just switched genders (and capitalized all the proper nouns ) in mathjak's post and it worked out okay for me. No harm, no foul, no permanent damage imho.

DH (valedictorian of his high school class) is so financially clueless that we still get all paper bills sent to us even though I pushpay them all online, because when I get hit by that bus he won't know what they are and is terrified that I will try to explain it to him ahead of time.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:50 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by brett View Post
We changed investment advisors several years ago shortly before I retired.

DW is not interested. Apart from the usual attributes my goal was to find someone that DW was absolutely comfortable with...someone who talked to her not through her. My goal was to arrange our affairs so that if anything happened to me the investment advice/direction would carry on as before.

I wanted to avoid a situation where DW had to start shopping for advice. Too many wolves out there.

We were successful in doing this however it did take time to find the right person/right firm. There are so many unprofessional and unqualified advisors out there let alone the qualified ones whose advice is on the edge.

Bottom line is that DW is now very comfortable with the advisory service to the point that she happily comes along to our regular meetings.
VERY good advice IMO, thanks to you and thanks to everyone who contributed to what I have found to be a very informative thread.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:55 AM   #25
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Here's what we've done:
1) Have most of our investments consolidated with Vanguard and have a revocable living trust with assets placed in it.

2) Talked to DW about investing occasionally. She's not very interested except for what the fun spending budget is this year.

3) Wrote a letter suggesting some Vanguard funds like Wellington or Wellesley. I suggested she contact VG, do the brief investor risk profile, and restructure into some reasonable AA like 40/60 or 50/50.

4) Create a trail that is fool proof: Put the letter (#3) in the safe deposit box. Quiz her occasionally on what trail to follow. The safe deposit box has trust docs, pink slips, I Bonds, where other assets are, etc. Keep a copy of this letter on my PC to review and update every few years.

5) Relax, the defensive planning phase is in place.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:56 PM   #26
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Some of the comments here really surprise me, there are lots of things about being grownup that aren't too "enjoyable", like cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, grocery shopping yet to be a competent adult you have to do them. Handling money is no different and money is vital to everyone.

It's certainly okay for one spouse to take the lead in finance matters, but I don't understand people saying they should get a pass on learning things because they" don't really care or aren't really into it"....

honestly if I had a spouse that was "terrified" of having to pay the monthly bills, that would be the first thing I would work on.If they don't want to do it every month fine, but they should know how.

An older retired farmer neighbor had his wife pass away. Every single morning he would call his adult daughter to drive to his house and make his coffee. No matter how many times she showed him the way to make coffee, he always said it was too hard and he didn't want to bother learning how. This was in the days before coffee timers were around, after about 7 months he found a new wife to make his coffee and do everything else for him.
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:17 PM   #27
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An older retired farmer neighbor had his wife pass away. Every single morning he would call his adult daughter to drive to his house and make his coffee. No matter how many times she showed him the way to make coffee, he always said it was too hard and he didn't want to bother learning how.
Wow, that's just not wanting to bother! I had no cooking experience at all when I got my first apartment but I could read the directions on a package of frozen lima beans, heat a can of soup, fry an egg, mix up a batch of tuna helper, and the like. Not the best diet in the world but I survived.
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:27 PM   #28
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Wow, that's just not wanting to bother! I had no cooking experience at all when I got my first apartment but I could read the directions on a package of frozen lima beans, heat a can of soup, fry an egg, mix up a batch of tuna helper, and the like. Not the best diet in the world but I survived.
Agreed and the "I don't want to pay bills or worry about money" kind of fits in the same area. You don't need to know everything, but some simple involvement for future planning seems like a no-brainer to me anyway. This comment is for both genders!
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:40 PM   #29
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Agreed and the "I don't want to pay bills or worry about money" kind of fits in the same area. You don't need to know everything, but some simple involvement for future planning seems like a no-brainer to me anyway. This comment is for both genders!
I'd make a distinction between bill-paying and managing investments. When I was growing up, Mom ran the household and paid all the bills. I really think she would have made a very good accountant. The checkbook was balanced every month. Large purchases such as furniture were "90 days same as cash". It was Dad who branched out into buying stocks and Mom referred to it as his "play money"- not as a put-down but making the point that it was money they could afford to put at risk. Dad did very well over the years even though he made some mistakes. We all do. Investments, however, are not Mom's thing, probably because she's more risk-averse.

Similarly- when I met DH he was solvent. He was paying his bills and living on less than he made. That was HUGE to me because I'd just divorced a financially irresponsible man with exquisite tastes. DH knows how much we have and roughly how it's invested; if I'm thinking of doing something aggressive I run it by him because I value his common sense and we both have a stake in the outcome. I don't expect him to become avidly interested in investing and that's OK. If he hadn't been able to manage his personal finances, though, there would have been no wedding.
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:51 PM   #30
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Based on tidbits dropped here (I think Brewer was the first to mention it) I've created an "In case of Emergency" document. It outlines for DH how all the bills are paid, which ones are autopaid, which ones need human intervention. It lays out all the accounts. It also has a section explaining how to balance the index funds once a year. We sat down and went over it all.

He doesn't have to deal with the day to day.... until he does. I've kept it simple. And I laid out what to do if he doesn't want to do the simple rebalancing - to use the schwab portfolio management.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:09 PM   #31
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Based on tidbits dropped here (I think Brewer was the first to mention it) I've created an "In case of Emergency" document. It outlines for DH how all the bills are paid, which ones are autopaid, which ones need human intervention. It lays out all the accounts. It also has a section explaining how to balance the index funds once a year. We sat down and went over it all.

He doesn't have to deal with the day to day.... until he does. I've kept it simple. And I laid out what to do if he doesn't want to do the simple rebalancing - to use the schwab portfolio management.
Great idea! I'm putting that on my "to do" list!
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:05 PM   #32
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I take care of our investments, DH pays the bills. Recently I started going through our estate planning documents and put them all in one place. He could handle all of it but in all honesty we are not spring chickens... he gets SO frustrated with online bill paying, I really think that were I to pass his brain would be mush. Our IRA investments take care of themselves (thank you Wellington) but he knows nothing about MRD's (no 'investments' outside of IRAs)

In my 'guide to family' I will ask my DD to oversee those IRA accounts. DS & wife could to it but they may be 'supervising' DH as they live close. DD can oversee the IRAs from a distance. Husband and son would have no problem delegating that to DD, even bill paying, as she is a CFO.

Reverse genders, delete DD's skills... a survivor needs both information and a knowledgeable person they can trust to either manage their resources or provide guidance.

This thread assumed that the OP passed away. Could be worse.. either or both of them could develop dementia.. That is why it is critical to put in place estate planning documents that anticipate that possibility.

I know that seems silly to you 'kids' in your 50s or 60s, but just wait until you are on the slippery slide to 80.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:50 PM   #33
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honestly if I had a spouse that was "terrified" of having to pay the monthly bills, that would be the first thing I would work on.If they don't want to do it every month fine, but they should know how.
.
I don't know if you are referring to my post, but I actually said that my spouse is terrified that I will explain to him about how I pay most of the bills, not that he would have to pay them. He is quite competent at whatever he wants to do or must do. In some things he would rather defer to others, as in managing our finances or plumbing and electricity.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:08 PM   #34
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I don't know if you are referring to my post, but I actually said that my spouse is terrified that I will explain to him about how I pay most of the bills, not that he would have to pay them. He is quite competent at whatever he wants to do or must do. In some things he would rather defer to others, as in managing our finances or plumbing and electricity.
No offence meant with my comment, I understand handing off plumbing and wiring and such but as part of a couple for 43 plus years I still think it's good for both of us to have at least a snapshot view of the financial and bill paying picture.....each partnership needs to do what works for them. If the last remaining partner is the one without the money knowledge it might cause them stress and worry.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:12 PM   #35
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Yes, dementia is one excellent reason both partners need at least some knowledge of the whole financial picture. If the one with dementia is handling the money some bad stuff could happen very quickly.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:25 PM   #36
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No offence meant with my comment, I understand handing off plumbing and wiring and such but as part of a couple for 43 plus years I still think it's good for both of us to have at least a snapshot view of the financial and bill paying picture.....each partnership needs to do what works for them. If the last remaining partner is the one without the money knowledge it might cause them stress and worry.
Of course, and every month I briefly update DH with our status of money in and money out and watch his eyes glaze over, and I just now spent five minutes going over our tax returns (now that really was terrifying for him but in a good way). I really don't think anyone here has a spouse who really cannot do personal finances; the OP and a few other posters are trying to come up ideas for what they can do now to ease future stress and worry.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:16 PM   #37
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Of course, and every month I briefly update DH with our status of money in and money out and watch his eyes glaze over, and I just now spent five minutes going over our tax returns (now that really was terrifying for him but in a good way). I really don't think anyone here has a spouse who really cannot do personal finances; the OP and a few other posters are trying to come up ideas for what they can do now to ease future stress and worry.
Isn't that the truth and we worry about them even after we are gone...BTW I find tax returns terrifying as well! I didn't do ours until Tuesday and I about had an anxiety attack because I was the one that was reminding our tax guy about certain tax deductions and he would say "oh. yes that's right we could do that. I felt like asking for a rebate on his fee...
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