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Old 06-03-2013, 03:11 PM   #41
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So, I'm curious to know other's opinions and how you work it. If you have separate accounts are you suspicious that your spouse is plotting something else, do you feel "what's mine is yours", or how do you find some balance and harmony regarding this?

I'm amazed after 20 years of marriage how much we butt heads on this stuff or, more importantly, can not even understand what the other is trying to communicate. And, yes, the trust factor obviously needs some work. We'll see what time has to say about that.

Dr. Phil would just have a feast with us.
I've been off the boards for a while but last night revisited, and your thread caught my eye. I read the other thread where your discovered your husband's financial betrayal. I'm very sorry.

DH and have had joint accounts since marriage, nothing separate, ever. However, I wanted to say that if I discovered such a huge breach of my trust I would be reacting very similarly to you. I think it is normal to want to protect yourself at this point until trust is rebuilt (hopefully). My best wishes to you and your marriage.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:54 PM   #42
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Married for 14 years, always had joint accounts for everything. But we're DINKs, and have contributed somewhat equally over the years (he has better salary, but I have better stock options and 401k matching).

You've been through a lot though, and it seems reasonable to me for you to look to have your own accounts. Check into the legalities though, since it may not matter in the long run.

Inheritances are interesting, DH's mom has told us that we'll be getting some property from her, that we are hoping to get monthly income from in the future. My mom doesn't have much, but if I do get anything, I was somewhat planning to use it for selfish wants and for my nephews, without input from my hubby. Guess that's not really fair, eh?
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:12 PM   #43
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I married young and had been working only a few months with my own checking/savings account. DH had no paycheck (was back in school after Army) for a couple of years. I guess he had a checking and savings account before we were married but we just opened a joint account together and closed the others.

I don't think back then that it was that common to have separate accounts. I'm sure it's much more common today with two paychecks going into separate accounts from the beginning. I'll have to ask my married kids what they do.

My meager inheritance thirty years ago went right into the joint account. DH's parents' estate lawyer advises everyone to keep inheritances separate.
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:20 PM   #44
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We have his & hers joint checking accounts.

We divide up the responsibility for bill payment by expense category and divide up our income accordingly. It has worked great for almost 45 years...
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:17 PM   #45
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I live in a community property state where generally assets are considered joint even if held separately. The two big exceptions are 1.) anything one owned before the marriage, and 2.) anything one inherited when married.

Of course, records must be kept, and the above two must not be muddled together to the point where a judge can't see where to fairly divide them.
Just my 2 cents. I am not an expert in the matter.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:40 PM   #46
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I married later in life than many (was 38 when I got married, DH was 47).
We both owned homes, had investment/savings account. We kept them separate for the first few years. He moved into my house - and paid me "rent" towards the expenses - which were all in my name.

But - I added him to my accounts, he added me to his. But they were still, effectively his/her separate accounts. I didn't write checks off of his accounts, he didn't write checks off of mine.

When we relocated back to my home town 2 years later, we opened joint accounts. And have been joint ever since. All salaries are deposited in to the primary checking, and I pay all the bills then transfer money to savings/investments.

It works for us.

My best friend has entirely separate accounts with her husband. That works for them because they have different spending priorities/vices. (His is old motorcycles, hers is travel and clothes.)

My parents had his/hers/ours. It was a solution to the issue when my mom went back to work. My dad was so used to controlling everything financial and didn't want my mom to have any say. They stopped fighting about it when they did the his/hers/ours.
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:08 PM   #47
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A lot of people are listing separate accounts and all that, but I have to assume that for couples who have separate accounts, they must both work. Am I wrong in this assumption? If the spouse is a stay at home mom/dad, how could this separate account thing possbily work? By one spouse giving the other allowances?
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:12 PM   #48
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If the spouse is a stay at home mom/dad, how could this separate account thing possbily work? By one spouse giving the other allowances?
Allowance? Never allow that word to cross your lips...

As I posted above, we "shared income" and expenses - whether DW was working or not.
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:23 PM   #49
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Somewhat related: If you take all the assets out of the name of the person in the nursing home such that they have no income beyond SS, then the person that pays the nursing home bill - anyone to my knowledge, not just the spouse or relatives - can take a medical deduction on their income taxes for paying the nursing home bill. Net, have someone with big income pay it & they get a healthly deduction.
Although the limit is now such that the first 10% is not deductable, still if your paying full freight on a nursing home, you might end up with zero net income. This is another issue on the long term care problem.
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:58 PM   #50
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I think the best way to do it for a single paycheck couple would be for the direct deposit to go into the joint account and then have transfers into each spouses' individual accounts for spending money. If it is framed as the working spouse supporting the stay-at-home spouse, it is going to generate conflict down the road.

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A lot of people are listing separate accounts and all that, but I have to assume that for couples who have separate accounts, they must both work. Am I wrong in this assumption? If the spouse is a stay at home mom/dad, how could this separate account thing possbily work? By one spouse giving the other allowances?
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:59 PM   #51
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A lot of people are listing separate accounts and all that, but I have to assume that for couples who have separate accounts, they must both work. Am I wrong in this assumption? If the spouse is a stay at home mom/dad, how could this separate account thing possbily work? By one spouse giving the other allowances?
Yes. We both worked and we both get pensions so the income still comes in as his and hers.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:45 PM   #52
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A lot of people are listing separate accounts and all that, but I have to assume that for couples who have separate accounts, they must both work. Am I wrong in this assumption? If the spouse is a stay at home mom/dad, how could this separate account thing possbily work? By one spouse giving the other allowances?
I'm retired, no income. DH is still working until the end of the year. Every two weeks I transfer $x from her direct deposit account (actually in her name only) into our common checking account (a joint account). And transfer $y from the common checking account to my checking account (also joint for convenience). All electronic transfers initiated from the common account. That keeps us even as far as income.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:14 PM   #53
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I had less assets going into marriage 20+ years ago, have earnt less throughout life (time off for kids and generally less marketable skillset) but I manage all the $ so assets are mostly joint, but sometimes in my name only for signing reasons (community property). So answering the above is not much use to you.

However, I have a close relative whose spouse mortgaged their house for business (hard working guy, but poor risk assessment) and they had to downsize. Strong and long marriage survived. Relative will not be allowing that this time as now has name on title. General advice is to work towards building trust, transparency, educate to get a plan and commitment to say - allocate 95% assets according to bogleheads.org (read wiki for books) principals (low cost, market funds or ETFs) but allow limit < 5% assets for play.

Sounds like you have to manage good-hearted, ego very gently Wishing you well.
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:19 AM   #54
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A lot of people are listing separate accounts and all that, but I have to assume that for couples who have separate accounts, they must both work. Am I wrong in this assumption? If the spouse is a stay at home mom/dad, how could this separate account thing possbily work? By one spouse giving the other allowances?
DW had been a stay at home for man for proably more than half the years in our marriage, and even when she worked her income was much less than mine. The simple answer is that I never looked at my earnings as "my" money, it was always "our" money. Her years as a stay at home mom contributed to my earning power by allowing me to put more focus on those things that aided my ability to get raises and gain promotions. So my earnings are "our" money, from which we both draw our "no questions asked" spending budget.

When she has worked part time I have let her choose how much she wanted to treat as "ours" and keep the rest, but she has always insisted on treating her earnings as "our" money, no matter how small.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:54 PM   #55
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We maintain separate checking accounts and investment accounts. But I have total access to it all and I try to maintain a proper sharing approach to expenses and investments. We used to have a joint investment account but for most purposes, it is now dormant.

If we should ever decide to split up, we will split it all 50-50. We have been retired for 11 years. Before that, we maintained more separation but have done away with most of it. DW is more of a risk taker. But she is quick to select stocks and also quick to unload them. I respect her selection judgement but resist her tendency to cut them loose at any minor reversal of fortune. I tend to trust the financials and trends more than she does.

She loves having her own checks on her account. It gives her a sense of autonomy. She handles spending and I handle savings.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:45 PM   #56
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My mom didn't work outside the home (believe me, she worked... just unpaid), until I was in middle school. My dad gave her a fixed amount to run the house. She was frugal, and got it done for less, and the extra went into her savings account. I guess you could call it an allowance - but she looked at it as a budget... and bonus for staying within budget.

So yes - dad's paycheck came into *his* account, and he transferred money to the joint, and then she transferred money from there to *her* account. They continued using the joint account for household budgeted items when she went back to work.... with their separate accounts being where their wages were deposited.
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