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Old 05-30-2016, 09:51 AM   #41
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So I know this is largely a DIY community and that any mention of using a financial advisor is likely to lead to at least a few "you are wasting your money; they are all rip-off artists" comments. But I will say that the scenario discussed in this thread is one of the reasons why we use a financial advisor. When I drop dead, Mrs. Medved will simply call the financial advisor and the trusts and estates attorney and say "Medved dropped dead." They will take care of everything. It will be seamless. Mrs. Medved will not have to worry about it or spend any time on it or learn financial and investment things that she's not interested in. She will just be able to live her life. For us, there is value in that.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:55 AM   #42
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We have a financial advisor.

We also keep an updated asset list in our safe deposit box. It includes password hints that are very recognize able to both of us. My son has access to the safety deposit box and knows where the key is kept.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:56 AM   #43
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My wife has no real interest in the accounts and investments choices. Her basic question "do we have enough to retire?" and as long as I answer "yes" she is content with me doing the work. Now if I die, she does know the (free) Fidelity account adviser and I do trust him to be able to help her structure things as needed for the future going forward.

We have a living trust set up, and between that and family to help, she will do good. It is not that she can't understand the investments stuff, just has no real interest in it. She would have some adjustment period of course, but would be able to pick up the knowledge and able to go forward.
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:05 AM   #44
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first and foremost. I did nothing for almost 16 months
Having lost a spouse, (she didn't make her 53rd birthday), I advise people not to make any major or semi-major decisions until at least a year has passed.

At the time I thought I was handling things pretty well......later, in retrospect, I realized it wasn't as well as I'd kidded myself it was.
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:19 AM   #45
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We keep a small portion of our portfolio managed by a financial adviser (10%) and DW trusts him. So she will probably use him for more, especially my $500k term life policy.
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:46 AM   #46
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We did a will eight years ago. Time to get off our lazy behinds and refresh the will. Change of executor and a POA are in order for us.
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:04 AM   #47
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I too handle the investments as DH's eyes glaze over when conversations about mobey enter the picture. Our accounts are pretty simple--four Vanguard funds for the most part, and then 5 percent at Edward Jones where DH left his inheritance from his parents. EJ is hoping I go first....
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:34 PM   #48
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Thanks to this thread, I updated my "In case I croak" document and sent it out; in the 1+ year since I created it we'd changed brokerages and moved. I also added all the utilities with account numbers.


My son's immediate response: "Mom - I hope you know that you are worth more to me than every dime in that account, but thank you for the update."


Wow. (Wiping a tear from my eye.)


I responded back, of course, and told him I appreciated that, but I wanted him to know that he and DDIL could focus on planning for their own futures and for educating their kids without worrying that I'll be living on cat food.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:06 AM   #49
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This is an area that I need to do better on. DW is blissfully ignorant of how our finances are set up... not that she doesn't care... just not interested other than "do we have enough?".

I have a folder on my laptop for each quarter with statements from all our accounts, Quicken is generally up to date within a week or so, and there is an investment policy statement on my laptop. Between those DD (a CPA) and DW could figure it out but I should probably do a document to guide them.

Our slice and dice portfolio is probably a bit more complicated than it needs to be for ultimate tax efficiency and because investing is of interest to me so I have some small allocations to emerging markets equities and bonds and high-yield bonds totaling about 8% of our portfolio that could be folded into developed international equities and bonds and into bonds to reduce our AA categories from 8 to 5.

I would probably have them go the 0.3% Vanguard investment advisor route once I'm gone... at least for a while until they feel comfortable.

One of my fears is that my life insurance agent BIL will use my demise as an opportunity to "help" DW and put her into an annuity of some sort... I hope I last long enough that he is retired by then so that problem goes away.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:30 AM   #50
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Very good thread, guys/gals.

Has anyone else had the noninvolved spouse read Jane Bryant Quinn's latest opus: How to make your money last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide? DW, our primary wage earner and overall sharp cookie has never gotten involved in investment/financial planning, but has found that book interesting enough to keep going with it. In fact, she has recommended it to some of our friends.

(I'm hoping that retirement will free her up enough to allow her to get up to full speed--otherwise, need to keep updating the "2017ish is Dead" folder. Luckily, our kids are engineer who is into finances, tax lawyer, and CPA; that is comforting backstop.)
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:41 AM   #51
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Thanks for the book tip, 2017! I just put it on hold at the library. Always looking for good, interesting books to read and recommend.
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:48 AM   #52
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You can't count on being engineer. My husband has a Ph.D. in EE, but he doesn't have the temperament for it. His parents never did invest in stocks. His sister said stocks are risky so she only invests in real estate, only London real estate. Lucky for her, but had she bought real estate in Timbuktu, it would have been disaster.
I have not checked for real estate price in Timbuktu, I could be told I'm wrong.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:04 AM   #53
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DW will spend it all within the first 6 weeks so, no worries!

Seriously, we discuss this often and she generally knows where to/not to go and what/what not to do. We have a trusted family accountant who, at the very least, can easily figure out what was inside my head strategically.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:15 AM   #54
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You can't count on being engineer. My husband has a Ph.D. in EE, but he doesn't have the temperament for it.

2017ish did mention that the engineer was interested in investing. Dad, a metallurgical engineer, was my first good example. He started buying stocks in the 1970s, back when stock quotes were in the newspaper and you had to buy through Merrill Lynch. Engineers at least have the quantitative skills and are computer-friendly, both important skills for investing. I agree that's no guarantee that they're interested, though.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:26 AM   #55
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You can't count on being engineer. My husband has a Ph.D. in EE, but he doesn't have the temperament for it. His parents never did invest in stocks. His sister said stocks are risky so she only invests in real estate, only London real estate. Lucky for her, but had she bought real estate in Timbuktu, it would have been disaster.
I have not checked for real estate price in Timbuktu, I could be told I'm wrong.
True, no guaranty. But confident in S1's case; he is far ahead of where DW/Me were at 28.
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:51 AM   #56
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Im shocked that so many users here struggle with their partner when it comes to finances. Not sure how you can go through a lifelong commitment (for some) and not be on the same page when it comes to finances.

Doesnt matter who dies first in my relationship...it would not make a difference. Wife knows where to invest money, who to trust, who not to trust...guess it pays finding someone who can work as a team and is also independent.
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:05 PM   #57
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pony, I think for a lot of us, it is a division of labor sort of thing. DH does some stuff really well, has an excellent temperament for those things, and I have it for the finances. It isn't that we are one of those "traditional" couples from the golden days of yore, it is more like a desire for efficiency and optimal use of time and talent.
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:14 PM   #58
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Im shocked that so many users here struggle with their partner when it comes to finances. Not sure how you can go through a lifelong commitment (for some) and not be on the same page when it comes to finances.

Doesnt matter who dies first in my relationship...it would not make a difference. Wife knows where to invest money, who to trust, who not to trust...guess it pays finding someone who can work as a team and is also independent.
I think you are interpreting incorrectly. I don't think members struggle, it is more that we all have different interests and levels of involvement. Most of us did not reach FIRE status by not having a spouse with similar ideas and financial habits. But the details of the investments are not always part of both persons in the relationship. I could argue that the spouse who does not have interest is actually very committed to the long term relationship since they have trusted their spouse with taking care of things. The non-involved spouse is a big part of the team, just not the detailed investment part.
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:47 PM   #59
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Just different interests. DW lets me handle the finances because I enjoy it and she doesn't. She feels confident that she could pick it up quickly if I got hit by a beer truck, and I feel confident that she's right.
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:04 PM   #60
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Im shocked that so many users here struggle with their partner when it comes to finances. Not sure how you can go through a lifelong commitment (for some) and not be on the same page when it comes to finances.

....
As with other responses, not a struggle. Just comparative advantage. She is much better at making money than I am--compounded by my SAHD years. Because she is focused so much on her practice (and its finances), she delegated personal finances to me.
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