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View Poll Results: When I am out of the picture, my spouse will manage the finances:
With about the same expertise as me. 24 14.20%
He/she will manage, but at a more basic level (with some help maybe). 73 43.20%
Will be dependent on others mostly, or rely on specific plans that I've detailed for him/her. 70 41.42%
Other...there's always someone. 2 1.18%
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Old 04-17-2012, 04:21 PM   #41
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Dh doesn't really participate in financial decisions other than the spending portion. He's really good at that! I remind him, frequently, we are now set up with Vanguard for the investments and the local credit union for CDs/savings. And I've given the info. to my DIL since I can trust her to help him out. I've done what I can over the years but he just doesn't care. Won't be my problem if I'm the one to go first. It may take some time but he'll figure it out.
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Old 04-17-2012, 04:29 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa99 View Post

But, he's a very smart guy and I share what I'm doing with him in little chunks so he doesn't tune out.
My DH is intelligent, just not in a way that relates to money and numbers. He also tunes out if I don't relate financial info in little chunks. One time he got up to wander out of the room to escape and I had to stand in front of the doorway. It wasn't an argument, it was an update and all good news. He just gets itchy and restless when it comes to financial discussions. Just not his thing and he'll look for any distraction to not have to deal with it.

A few years ago Dave Ramsey had a nightly TV show. DH wouldn't watch it but I did and he'd hear it from another room and come in and comment about what dumb things other people do with their money. He usually agreed with DR but there's no way he would sit down and watch the show.

DH is much improved in his tolerance of money discussions since he's retired. If I let him know in advance he can sit through a spreadsheet and a few comments if I keep it under a few minutes. His eyes still glaze over but he never disagrees and he really does appreciate that I handle it all.

I can't imagine being that detached from your own financial life.
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Old 04-17-2012, 04:37 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue J

My DH is intelligent, just not in a way that relates to money and numbers. He also tunes out if I don't relate financial info in little chunks. One time he got up to wander out of the room to escape and I had to stand in front of the doorway. It wasn't an argument, it was an update and all good news. He just gets itchy and restless when it comes to financial discussions. Just not his thing and he'll look for any distraction to not have to deal with it.

A few years ago Dave Ramsey had a nightly TV show. DH wouldn't watch it but I did and he'd hear it from another room and come in and comment about what dumb things other people do with their money. He usually agreed with DR but there's no way he would sit down and watch the show.

DH is much improved in his tolerance of money discussions since he's retired. If I let him know in advance he can sit through a spreadsheet and a few comments if I keep it under a few minutes. His eyes still glaze over but he never disagrees and he really does appreciate that I handle it all.

I can't imagine being that detached from your own financial life.
I think our DH's must be related!
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Rethinking this since Papa's gone
Old 04-17-2012, 04:42 PM   #44
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Rethinking this since Papa's gone

My father-in-law (85) died 5 years back, my own father died last year (80), and my husband's uncle (83) died this month.

Each of these gentlemen left their wives with enough money to survive and even thrive -- NONE left his wife with the confidence to do so happily.

In my mother's case I tell her, her lawyer tells her, everyone tells her she has enough money (at 87) to support herself into her 100's. But she worries incessantly anyway. This is a woman who can't write a check, can't read a utility bill, and can't comprehend a bank statement. Her life is decidedly unhappy because she can't understand enough to believe what we're all telling her.

I'm her primary caretaker, and I'm exhausted. Not by managing her finances, which are simple enough, but by her endless fretting, worrying, questioning, and distrust of issues she never took the time to understand. She's convinced that the utilities, the credit union, the repairmen, the dentist, the doctor, the grocer... everyone is out to rob her blind (myself excepted, my siblings not).

NO amount of explaining will convince her otherwise.


Why am I boring you with this? Because, while part of this is probably her natural disposition, a large part is ignorance. I've learned that it's not enough simply to leave a solid financial reserve for your surviving spouse, -- it's vital that they understand it, also.

This may be a generational thing -- I hope so. But those who haven't educated their spouses, and / or are planning to leave their spouse's financial well-being to their children -- no matter how responsible those children are -- may be passing a significant emotional burden on to everyone involved. Especially if and when that spouse enters his / her 70s, 80s, and beyond.

I love my mother and will always take care of her, but our last years together might have been so much happier and more meaningful if she'd taken the time to understand her finances, or if my dad had insisted that she do so.

I currently take care of finances for DH and myself also, and I was OK with that until Papa died. No more. I'm getting DH on board and educated now -- for his own good and for my peace of mind.

End of lecture... if you got this far, thanks for listening...
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:06 PM   #45
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Caroline,


Sorry to hear about your various relatives, including your mother....

but with the ages you posted, I think it is more a generational thing... when my father died in 1980, my mother was not that good with finances... I got her to buy some Exxon stock... and some mutual funds.. then the market went down and she got a dividend from the mutual fund... she could not understand why she was paying taxes since the value was less than she paid...

Now forward 30 plus years and she still has that Exxon stock... and has reinvested all dividends... she has more money today than when she retired... but still spends like she was a miser....

She has changed a bit over the last few years, and we hope that she does a bit more since we are not sure how much longer she will be able to drive... we keep telling her that it is worth it for her to pay a cab driver $20 even if she is only going the 3 miles to her gym and grocery store... we will see if it is sinking in within a year or so....
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:11 PM   #46
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I've learned that it's not enough simply to leave a solid financial reserve for your surviving spouse, -- it's vital that they understand it, also.

Those who haven't educated their spouses --- may be passing a significant emotional burden on to everyone involved. Especially if and when that spouse enters his / her 70s, 80s, and beyond.

I'm getting DH on board and educated now -- for his own good and for my peace of mind.
I agree. But how, I'm all ears?

The situation just presented itself last again night, so I casually mentioned some education to DW. Her reaction 'I handle the bank account, the rest IS YOUR JOB!' And her financially illiterate mother was widowed about 25 years ago, living a modest life relying entirely on family to make decisions for her.

I have yet to find the key in 32 years, offering to teach her myself or via books & classes if she prefers...some people insist on being in poll category #3 it seems.
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:42 PM   #47
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(being single again, I didn't vote)

When I was married, my ex would NOT deal with anything financial. He said that was my department. He couldn't even write a check. I tried to teach him how to do it, but he refused because he said I could do that so why should he learn? I tried and tried to show him how to do these things but he refused to learn, so I gave up.

I have to give him credit, though, because there was a good reason for this - - he went to sea for a living, so was off working in exotic oceans usually and not home even half the time. So, I really *had* to pay the bills and run the household since I was the only one predictably at home to do it. I knew that when I married him.

When we divorced after 23 years, he got everything. Still, after a year he moved in with his parents (who were only about 70 and in good health)... I guess his mother writes the checks for him now. When she dies he might have a problem.

Now as for my current steady boyfriend/companion of 12 years, he knows exactly how he wants to run his finances and he does it perfectly and accurately. I don't think he will make it to SS age doing what he is doing without running out of money, but he thinks he will so maybe he'll prove me wrong. In any case, we are not financially intermingled at this stage.
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:46 PM   #48
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I have made repeated attempts to discuss our finances with DW. One night I was trying to review our mutual funds and gave her an open ended question regarding what she would pick. She stated she like the looks of the high yield bond fund. I politely informed here that these are also known as junk bonds. Her reply - "One mans trash is anothers treasure" as she walked away.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:50 PM   #49
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My father-in-law (85) died 5 years back, my own father died last year (80), and my husband's uncle (83) died this month.
In my mother's case I tell her, her lawyer tells her, everyone tells her she has enough money (at 87) to support herself into her 100's. But she worries incessantly anyway. This is a woman who can't write a check, can't read a utility bill, and can't comprehend a bank statement. Her life is decidedly unhappy because she can't understand enough to believe what we're all telling her.
I'm her primary caretaker, and I'm exhausted. Not by managing her finances, which are simple enough, but by her endless fretting, worrying, questioning, and distrust of issues she never took the time to understand. She's convinced that the utilities, the credit union, the repairmen, the dentist, the doctor, the grocer... everyone is out to rob her blind (myself excepted, my siblings not).
Why am I boring you with this? Because, while part of this is probably her natural disposition, a large part is ignorance. I've learned that it's not enough simply to leave a solid financial reserve for your surviving spouse, -- it's vital that they understand it, also.
This may be a generational thing -- I hope so.
Caroline, I may be reading far too much into your post, but my perception is biased by reading a caregiver's book called "The 36-Hour Day". In addition to the temperament and "learned helplessness" phenomena you're describing, three other causes of that behavior are medication side effects, depression, and early dementia.

Of course you're also displaying the primary caregiver's signs of burnout. I hope you have a chance to read through the book, more for yourself if not for your mother.


In our house, when spouse turns 60 and her pension faucet is turned on, she's graciously volunteered to take over the bill payments. Considering that the electrical utility has just modernized their billing system and the water/sewer utility finally streamlined theirs, all it really means is that I'd show her where the autopilot switch is.

Then I overheard spouse telling our daughter that when spouse is 83 years old, she's putting our daughter in charge of the bills. So spouse already has her succession plan in place and she only ends up with one watch on a four-section duty roster...

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I am going to have CINC House contact Nords and pay him a consulting fee to help her.
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Thanks, and I figure you guys have already banked 100 or so hours for all the contributions you've made to the book!

A neighbor up the street was recently widowed. Her eldest son (the newly designated family male in charge of finances) just deployed to Afghanistan. I've been appointed to the financial vacancy for the interim. But she's the neighbor who buys curry powder in five-pound bags, so this is a situation where I'm happy to work for food.

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Now if I can just get her to come to the target range to learn how the shotgun works...
You could take the Claymore mine approach: "This End Toward Enemy".
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:27 PM   #50
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Mr B is an accountant, so he has no trouble handling budgets and finances. However, he is strictly a stock investor. He owns no mutual funds.
I own nothing but mutual funds, with a few sprinkles of individual stocks.
His estate is currently set up for his children, which is appropriate. Mine is set up for philanthropy.
If we eventually marry, there will be some changes to both estate plans. TBD
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:13 PM   #51
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Dear readers,

Did you ever entertain the possibility that spouse could manage the portfolio BETTER than you?
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:28 PM   #52
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Did you ever entertain the possibility that spouse could manage the portfolio BETTER than you?
Well, she managed to trick me into agreeing to let her delegate its management to me, so it seems to me that she's already managing the portfolio a lot better.

Now if I could just find some motivated sucker protege to do the same for free...
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:42 PM   #53
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Caroline - Thanks for your detailed post which has a lot of instructive content for the rest of us. Bless you as you navigate these trouble waters with your family!
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:00 PM   #54
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Now as for my current steady boyfriend/companion of 12 years, he knows exactly how he wants to run his finances and he does it perfectly and accurately. I don't think he will make it to SS age doing what he is doing without running out of money, but he thinks he will so maybe he'll prove me wrong. In any case, we are not financially intermingled at this stage.
Is he quite a bit younger than you? Sounds like he had better be, because you have said that for you SS eligibility age is fairly close.

I got a phone call tonight from my dance partner. Her husband is spending a couple years in China. He is trying to get her to send him 1099s from their online savings accounts. I don't know why he doesn't look them up online himself, as she is not only incompetent, but refuses to be bothered.

She wanted me to tell her what to do. I like the way she dances, and she makes very good coffee so if there were anything simple I could have done for her I would have. But she is just too disinterested for me to get involved. She is anything but lazy, but she refuses to take any interest in money matters. Ordinarily this is agreeable to her husband, as he then has total control and she is completely in the dark. But it leaves him in pickle now.

Ha
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:22 AM   #55
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My DH is intelligent, just not in a way that relates to money and numbers. He also tunes out if I don't relate financial info in little chunks. One time he got up to wander out of the room to escape and I had to stand in front of the doorway. It wasn't an argument, it was an update and all good news. He just gets itchy and restless when it comes to financial discussions. Just not his thing and he'll look for any distraction to not have to deal with it.

A few years ago Dave Ramsey had a nightly TV show. DH wouldn't watch it but I did and he'd hear it from another room and come in and comment about what dumb things other people do with their money. He usually agreed with DR but there's no way he would sit down and watch the show.

DH is much improved in his tolerance of money discussions since he's retired. If I let him know in advance he can sit through a spreadsheet and a few comments if I keep it under a few minutes. His eyes still glaze over but he never disagrees and he really does appreciate that I handle it all.

I can't imagine being that detached from your own financial life.
Gosh, you make the poor guy sit through a discussion with a spreadsheet? Using spreadsheets at home may seem perfectly normal to us ER forum types and also to other geeky people but to most of America a spreadsheet is exceedingly boring and even worse may seem like something that is work (yuck) related. I can just imagine your husband sitting at the local bar having a drink with his friends and telling them how you make him sit and listen to you discussing a spreadsheet of financial information.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:40 AM   #56
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Is he quite a bit younger than you? Sounds like he had better be, because you have said that for you SS eligibility age is fairly close.
Yes, he is a little younger. He is 57 (I am 63). Also, I do realize that I tend to be more cautious in my financial planning than most care to be (including him). If we were married, this could be a source of considerable conflict, I suppose. But we are not, and so it really isn't.

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I got a phone call tonight from my dance partner. Her husband is spending a couple years in China. He is trying to get her to send him 1099s from their online savings accounts. I don't know why he doesn't look them up online himself, as she is not only incompetent, but refuses to be bothered.

She wanted me to tell her what to do. I like the way she dances, and she makes very good coffee so if there were anything simple I could have done for her I would have. But she is just too disinterested for me to get involved. She is anything but lazy, but she refuses to take any interest in money matters. Ordinarily this is agreeable to her husband, as he then has total control and she is completely in the dark. But it leaves him in pickle now.

Ha
You are wise to remain uninvolved, IMO. This is his problem, not yours. There are some big advantages to being single.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:57 AM   #57
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I've done all the finances for years but she is smart and could pick it up if necessary.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:06 AM   #58
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Dear readers,

Did you ever entertain the possibility that spouse could manage the portfolio BETTER than you?
I didn't, but it's a fair point. One would assume the more capable/knowledgeable spouse would be handling (or sharing) finances when both are available. I guess there could be intact couples where the less capable/knowledgeable spouse handled the money, but I'd be surprised...
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:55 AM   #59
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This is his problem, not yours. There are some big advantages to being single.
Huge advantages. I really liked being married and having a family, easily best times of my life. But when the marriage part ended and my kids were grown I thought, well, I'll just wait and see. And overall, what I saw was that although women are very attractive and very interesting in so many ways, I really don't want to have to have an opinion about how another person is acting, or what effect those actions may have on me. One thing for sure, I soon understood that if someone I had become close to was on track to have a financial crash, it would likely be very hard for me to stand aside. So I quickly would take evasive action. For me, it might too late once the fat was in the fire.

Ha
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:45 AM   #60
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@Caroline: I think your story about your mother may be fairly representative of someone her age. I have heard of this kind of thing quite a bit. i, on the other hand have the opposite problem. My 86 year old widowed mother is a bit of a gullible spend thrift. I am totally in charge of her finances and she has enough money to last another 7-8 years at least not counting her condo ($400k) I have told her that if she ever runs out , I will fund her. The problem: she buys every piece of shiny junk she sees on the shopping channel. I complain from time to time but she keeps at it. Maybe around $500/month. I figure it's her entertainment but this stuff really is crap. Anyway she feels totally secure money wise and has great confidence in her financial management(me). I'd rather she was this way than that which you described. Sorry it's been so tough for you.
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