Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-21-2011, 04:45 PM   #21
Recycles dryer sheets
SteveL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 380
I'd like to thank everyone for the thoughtful replies. I have the letter and acct list, and I may take up some of the suggestions and see if I can improve it. Like most couples, she has talents that I lack and vice versa. If need pressed, she might respond and learn some of this stuff. She has picked out and bought a couple of books on finance, but never cracked them. But, I don't hold out a lot of hope for change.

It is quite possible that I will be the one to live longer, and by then I might want one son to help, it is hard to predict. We are the same age, but I might have better genetics.
__________________

__________________
Retired -- 2001
SteveL is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-21-2011, 04:47 PM   #22
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
(I thought this thread was going to be about Maria Shriver ).
My first thought was "Dan Akroyd is posting on E-R!"

__________________

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 04:49 PM   #23
Full time employment: Posting here.
BTravlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
About 6 years ago I freaked out my kids when I started sending them a pdf listing of all our accounts every year (no usernames and passwords). Fact was that they had long since left home and we were both traveling a lot together.

Point is, one or both of us could die or be killed at any time.

In 2001 that happened to our best friends in Baton Rouge, the husband dropped dead at age 60, and DW realized that like our friend, now widowed, she didn't know anything about our investments finances so we talked a lot. A few weeks later LSU held courses on personal finances and retirement so we signed up and attended together.
Good for you two.

My parents were in a similar situation as the OP in that he took care of all financial matters while my mother had little knowledge of such things and little inclination to learn. My father appointed me executor of his estate and said I would need to look after my mother in the event of his death. He showed me his briefcase with a file containing all their financial info neatly summarized within and he updated it regularly. Also, container copies of life insurance policies, will and trust documents all in one place. He passed away in '92 and it was a breeze taking care of his estate. My mother knew nothing of finances but was well positioned thanks to my father's hard word and foresight. I managed her finances until she passed in '02.
__________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
(In other words, no whining!)
BTravlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 05:01 PM   #24
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 7
Sadly that happened to us. My MIL passed away suddenly in December, FIL had to learn a lot. He has managed to surprise us all, but the financial stuff is the hardest. MIL kept wonderful records though and we are now (thanks to advise from this board) setting up a meeting with a CFP. After that, DH will oversee the investments, but the CFP's "blessing" gives the other 2 brothers and FIL some piece of mind.
__________________
countrymouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 05:39 PM   #25
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,399
Timely thread.

DH is not ignorant and he is capable of paying bills and handling money. However, in practice, I do almost all of it.

In particular, I do most of the bill paying and account management online. He knows the user name/password to a couple of retirement accounts but not the credit card accounts. He is 7 years older than me but he mentioned the other day that he would be up a creek on bill paying if I suddenly wasn't there.

[Several years ago we got into a debate about who did more around the house. He ran most errands and did maintenance type tasks. I did all the money stuff. He opined that taking care of money was easy and so we switched jobs. Three months later, he begged requested me nicely to take back handling money.]

I've been pondering how to do this. I am thinking of doing a letter of instructions and putting in the account numbers with user name and passwords as well as my thoughts on investments. I think he would probably end up having Vanguard doing an annual plan and following it and then withdrawing 4% of whatever he had (easier to him that 4% of the original increased by inflation). I mostly follow the Vanguard plan but modify it somewhat (i.e. bought Wellesley with about 10% of the portfolio despite Vanguard not recommending it even when I suggested it!).

I am a little leery of writing everything down but I guess it is OK if I password it in Word?
__________________
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 06:45 PM   #26
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
I am a little leery of writing everything down but I guess it is OK if I password it in Word?
Don't blame you for being leery. How about putting the info in a safe deposit box?
__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 07:16 PM   #27
Recycles dryer sheets
ladypatriot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 121
I'm surprised by many of the comments on this thread, wherein one spouse is rather ignorant of the investments and financial planning. Please understand that I'm not criticizing anyone, but I am surprised that it seems acceptable that one or the other spouse is unknowledgeable about such an important issue in a marriage.

Each marriage finds a balance or equilibrium between each partner's strengths and weaknesses. But an issue as important as joint investments and long-term financial planning isn't something that can or should be segregated into his and her responsibilities, with a willing ignorance on one's part.

DH pays the bills online, but I know how to do it; more importantly, I know how much he is paying, to whom and for what. Every quarter, we look at our spread sheets, discuss whether to re-allocate, decide whether to move out of one investment and into another, etc. I consider it as much my responsibility as his to know what our holdings are, where they are, and how to manage them in the event of his death.

I understand that people need to find what works in a relationship, but abdicating personal responsibility, letting your partner carry the burden him/herself is troubling to me.

Yeah, I know that *financial stuff* just isn't interesting to some people (just look at the "I don't need to worry about retirement because I'm going to work forever" people). And guess what? All the electronic and computer stuff my husband has installed throughout this house is mind-numblingly boring to me (I just care that it works!). But I listen when he tells me how to reset the modem, do diagnostic checks, run scans, etc. Because I'm a big girl now and if he dies tomorrow, our computers (and we have 6!...because he's a geek) will need to be maintained.

Just my opinion.

LadyPatriot
__________________
ladypatriot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 07:21 PM   #28
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,120
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladypatriot View Post
...I am surprised that it seems acceptable that one or the other spouse is unknowledgeable about such an important issue in a marriage.
Life is chuck full of surprises, eh?
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 08:38 PM   #29
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladypatriot View Post
All the electronic and computer stuff my husband has installed throughout this house is mind-numblingly boring to me (I just care that it works!). But I listen when he tells me how to reset the modem, do diagnostic checks, run scans, etc.

My husband died suddenly and I mentioned to one of my co-workers that if I could have a seance I would ask him how he programmed the VCR!
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 08:40 PM   #30
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,284
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladypatriot View Post
I'm surprised by many of the comments on this thread, wherein one spouse is rather ignorant of the investments and financial planning. Please understand that I'm not criticizing anyone, but I am surprised that it seems acceptable that one or the other spouse is unknowledgeable about such an important issue in a marriage.

Each marriage finds a balance or equilibrium between each partner's strengths and weaknesses. But an issue as important as joint investments ...
I fully understand where you are coming from. But my own DW is also very reluctant to go over the finances (not as extreme as the OP, but leaning that way). So what should I do, divorce her because of this flaw? I realize that it took some effort for you and your DH to cover this, but realize that for some (many?) couples, there may be a greater distance to cover in this matter.

But I'm glad the OP started this thread. It reminds me that I do need to take the steps to get her more up to speed. Its a royal PITA 'cause she doesn't like it, but it does need to be done. It isn't hopeless, just gotta take it in small steps.

The last time I attempted this, I got one excuse after another. Not now, I'm tired, I have a headache (wait, we were talking finances, right?). I finally threw the calendar over to her, I said pick three 20 minute time periods over the next month and we will review. She really couldn't say no to that simple request. And I kept it to 15 minutes each to make it seem easier to take (wait, we were talking finances, right?). Time to do it again (wait, we were talking finances, right?).

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 08:46 PM   #31
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 213
both of us regularly check the accounts, can pay the bills etc. I know exactly how much money we have and where it goes as we track all the money we spend. It is somewhat of a hassle but leads to great harmony in the long run because there are no surprises or secrets.

What we did, though, was make a document with all of our account numbers, with the phone numbers, passwords and approx balances and it is in the safe. The kids know how to access this.

We also have health care proxy's and wills and the kids each have a copy with the originals in the safe.
__________________
52andout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 09:08 PM   #32
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 567
I'm not worried about my wife as we both came up with our AA, our strategy, and she knows all the accounts in my name (and visa versa).

However, a friend has a red folder labeled 'What to do when I croak' and it has everything his wife needs in it. I think that's as good an approach as any.
__________________
Webzter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 10:03 PM   #33
Confused about dryer sheets
cwatson69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Washington, MO
Posts: 8
I read the original post and I thought that he was talking about my wife and I. My wife paid the bills before I retired so I know doing that would be no problem - she just didn't do them online. She doesn't know how or care to use Quicken but I imagine she would figure out some way to get by.

What I did was similar to the letter that REWahoo had a link to but expanded it a lot further. It is a Word doc that has grown to 38 pages of information - not including the list of usernames and passwords. I originally put it together not for my wife but for anyone that would need to have all of our important information in the case where both of us died at the same time. (Ex. car accident or whatever) All of this is in a 3-ring binder and stored in a fireproof safe in our house. Our daughter is getting married in June and will have an envelope that will be labeled to open upon our death. Inside will the combination to the safe, house key, instructions on how to disable the alarm system, and instructions with what to do with all of the information in the 3-ring binder.

If I died my wife would use the same information in whatever fashion she felt comfortable with. She knows the people that I use for brokers, lawyers, CPA's, etc. and would rely on their advice. These people are aware that my wife is not the most versed in these matters and I trust them well enough to help her set up things so she can manage everything.

I know this is long, but I hope this might help.
__________________
cwatson69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2011, 12:20 AM   #34
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 882
I run a TaxAide site in our community. Every year we get several recent widows or widowers who come in with Schedule D transactions and the records of the cost basis are a shambles or non-existent. We help reconstruct the basis when we can but sometimes we can't.

Do your spouse a favor and keep an up to date summary of the cost basis for all of your taxable assets with your "read this when I am dead" notebook or whatever you use. Don't forget to include the house and all the capital additions over the years that might have increased the basis.
__________________
jebmke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2011, 03:48 AM   #35
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Valencia
Posts: 121
my wife is fearful of my death, so she IS interested. to help her, I did three things.

1. I have a short piece of paper attached to our computer desk. It outlines "when" and "how" each monthly bill is paid. e.g. on the first of the month pay ABC credit card via internet, pay water from the bill received in the mail. On the 10th of the month, pay....All bills are received either by mail or by internet.

2. I have one sheet of paper that I update 5 or 6 times a year. This paper is called "List of Assets as of date .....". I list all of our assets and their approx value and the account numbers (no passwords). My wife knows the passwords. This list is saved in a safe place.

3. Every financial transaction is entered into our checkbook. I start a new check roster each year. I keep each year's checkbook in that year's tax return. I do this cuz I have told my wife that she can always review last year's check book to see any unusual items that are not paid monthly, e.g. house insurance.

unfortunately, she is absolutely lost on taxes.
__________________
*
using an 8.5% withdrawal rate until SS kicks in
*
albundyz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2011, 05:00 AM   #36
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,072
Assuming you do not already have adequate guaranteed income streams to support the survivor....

IMO - this is where a SPIA should be considered. Other than a SPIA... setup the portfolio in mutual funds that will take care of themselves (balanced, low cost, trustworthy company). Write down an instruction sheet for her to give her specific instructions (about the mutual funds) upon you death of how to do it and when. Err on the side of caution!
__________________
chinaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2011, 07:40 AM   #37
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,645
I have taken an approach similar to Allan's. DW has no interest in this stuff but is very smart and paid enough attention to assure herself that I have a sensible plan. Info on all of our accounts is in an encrypted Password Safe and she has the password for that. A Google doc spreadsheets tracks all holdings (no passwords or access to accounts) and she has that shared. A set of howto instructions also reside in her Google docs (again without passwords or account numbers). She did read through the instructions and, while she promptly forgot everything in them, she agreed that she could understand and follow them. We are currently in the process of setting up similar info for the kids so they can deal with the stuff if we die simultaneously.

I suspect that when either of us dies, sorting things out will still be a king size PITA.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2011, 07:56 AM   #38
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
Quote:
Originally Posted by frayne View Post
My wife does wonderful job handling the day to day finances, checking account, bill paying, etc. As for as investing she is pretty much clueless and wants to remain that way. I have my investment accounts pretty much structured and postured like I want them, regardless if I was here or not with the exception of annual re-balancing. There is enough cash handy in local savings to get her through a period of a year or two, so she wouldn't have to make any immediate decisions regarding investments. I believe by that time she is smart enough and would be motivated enough to take more of an interest.
Same situation with us.

Just to add that I also have a life insurance (term) that will provide her with a two-year tax free income base to allow her to take on the responsibility of investing without having to worry about day-to-day income needs, assuming I die first.
__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2011, 09:03 AM   #39
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,893
Not married here. But brings back memories when my sister divorced. She was one of those wives that just blindly signed everything his ex-husband did. Didn't help that he's the controlling type. I remember when the divorce was in progress, going through a "how to budget" excercise with her.

Ironically, now it's a role reversal for her. She's married to someone who doesn't think at all about budgeting. You know, those who think money in the bank is money wasted. So now, she does the budgeting, etc.

Guess learning and interest in the finances is related to necessity. A need to change, then a want to change. Not everyone gets to that point.
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2011, 09:03 AM   #40
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,690
I handle all financial matters. DW is not that interested. Having said that, just about all of our investments, other than our joint ownership home and tax sheltered assets, are in DW's name. We consolidated to one fee for service financial advisor and a small on line brokerage account. I drag DW to these quarterly meetings if only so that she will no who he is, how to reach him, as well as have a good macro overview of what we have and generally how it is invested. I keep an updated sheet in our files that lists all assets, and where they are, as well as details of insurance etc. It is all that I can do. I have no doubt that DW could pick this up in an hour and move forward with the advisor. She has the data and she has the common sense/smarts so I do not worry about it.
__________________

__________________
brett is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ignorant Question F-One FIRE and Money 3 03-15-2011 05:27 AM
One Spouse ER, the Other Not? flyfishnevada Life after FIRE 20 09-06-2010 07:43 PM
Ignorant European Elites Fume At Markets haha FIRE and Money 52 05-10-2010 08:58 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:25 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.