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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%
Voters: 169. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-18-2012, 12:14 PM   #61
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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
I think it is easier being a woman in this sort of situation. If a man wouldn't take money (or a lot of excessive "gifts" or indulgences) from a girlfriend anyway, then his girlfriend wouldn't have to make tough decisions like that. Also, if a couple is close enough then I think that in time, they learn to respect one another's decisions.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:29 PM   #62
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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
This is a tough thing to deal with if you are not married . I would make it as financially easy on the other person without harming my finances .I would not offer money unless their was a dire need but I would pick up more checks and buy tickets for events we wanted to attend . I would also cook more rather than going out .I think it all depends on how connected you are to the other person. For me it would be impossible to just watch the situation and do nothing if I really cared about the person . As Suze Orman( who I have to admit I watch sometimes ) would say "People first " .
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:58 PM   #63
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Good reading. Thanks all. It certainly shows why some poeple aren't cut out to be DIYers when it comes to finances.

DW manages the checking & savings accounts, pays like 90-95% of the bills, keeps the spreadsheet of income & outflow for our rental units' LLC, & get its taxes done. I keep up with the market, recommend to her with our advisor what/where our investments ought to be (generally pretty perfunctory) & what donations to make, keep track of our total assets & liabilities, & take care of our personal taxes/returns. Either of us could do both jobs, but she has some trepidation over the investments side whereas I enjoy that. Also, our parents were good stewards of their assets & I think passed that trait onto us.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:23 PM   #64
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When we got married I made my wife read through a bunch of articles on the web to get a basic understanding of stocks vs bonds, what a mutual fund is, how to ferret out fees, etc. She has retained it, but has only a surface level of knowledge. I run the finances from deal finding to investing to bill paying, and of course I run the spreadsheets.

She was on her own for years and totally capable of handling her checkbook and I think would be fine in my absence.

She is a good judge of character and frugal enough that I don't think it will be a problem. With life insurance combined with our savings she'd have more than enough as long as she didn't marry again poorly. Given that her first move would be to fully fund the college funds I guess I can't be too concerned about that risk.

Its interesting to hear about folks running their parents finances. I know mine will keep the wall up for a long, long, long time. Hers too, except in that case I am expecting them to go broke at some point.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:54 PM   #65
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Its interesting to hear about folks running their parents finances. I know mine will keep the wall up for a long, long, long time. Hers too, except in that case I am expecting them to go broke at some point.
It's "interesting" until they can no longer care for their finances, and a responsible adult child is brought in to pick up the pieces.

Assuming you can find the pieces to begin with.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:43 PM   #66
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I must agree that DW doesn't focus so much on the finances as I take care of all that now. I involve here to the extent we converse about what stage we are in, where we are trying to get to (roughly), and that everything in between is simply a distraction.

That being said, DW would currently go with the safe bet (can't blame her for that), although I really need to put together my 5-10-15 year plan on paper so that she can peruse through it for her own sake ... and that of our kiddos!

Love her to death, I do! (spoke with with the the worst Yoda accent in the world).
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:25 PM   #67
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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.

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...
A simple thought if you will ...

DW has requested (and I still need to take care of it fully ), for a simple piece(s) of paper that explains everything she'll need to know to take care of things.
Now I want her and our kiddos to be OK in the unfortunate event of my passing. However, I'm starting to transition to the entire financial aspect to a "turnkey" system. In so much as she will receive statements and has the capacity to understand most of it, but my goal is to automate our lives as much as possible to the extent that I myself don't have to think of it ... much less that she does too.

I am considering setting up a relatively simple Living Trust that will define the mechanisms necessary to take care of the house and most of it's necessities. Granted, there can/will be some events that I cannot predetermine, but I am finding that these seem to be fewer and far between as I get older.
And in case anyone is wondering, NO I don't know everything. I'm just considerably wiser than I was say 10-20 years ago.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:39 PM   #68
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You could take the Claymore mine approach: "This End Toward Enemy".
As I have been learning, you don't aim a shotgun, you merely point it. Same basic idea.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:05 AM   #69
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I think he knows to just put it in some balanced funds so he doesn't have to mess with things much. He gets the general idea, and understands about withdrawal rates, etc. He does our annual taxes (I do the estimated), so he knows our history.

I hope he doesn't just put it all in Apple stock like he did with his SEP-IRA over a decade ago.

Oh, wait........
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:01 AM   #70
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As I have been learning, you don't aim a shotgun, you merely point it. Same basic idea.
Even more to the point, you point it and prepare for a good amount of kickback.

Had one give me a bloody nose!
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:43 PM   #71
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I analyze everything to death and DH just...isn't that interested. So I do all the money stuff. We do talk about it and sometimes he has an opinion. I think if I wasn't here he would just have Vanguard do a financial plan and then would follow it and have done with it.
Ours similar situation. However, even though we talk about our finances, when my DH offers his 'knowledge' about investments, my frequent reaction is "which tree did you drop from this time?"
He's the kind of guy who wouldn't even know his salary if you asked him out of the blue.
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:56 PM   #72
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I suspect that the poll is skewed towards us self directed types since only two people selected other which I took as the other half being more savvy (as Free to Canoe implied).

DW is an engineer, unfortunately, that means if it is not tangible, she doesn't quite get it. I remember explaining on a mortgage why you pay more interest in the early years and less and the balance goes down. A month later, she had forgotten the conversation.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:43 PM   #73
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Update on post #28: We actually did talk about this last night over dinner and I found DH much less confident of what to do than I thought he would be. So I'll be working on some instructions/explanations for him, and we may pursue having a professional "in the wings" for him to consult (fee-only of course). Once DS is a bit older (he's still in college) I may see if he is interested in being the back-up investment manager, as he's always shown more interest in the subject than his sister.

Thanks for the thread as I probably wouldn't have asked the question without it.
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:48 PM   #74
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Even more to the point, you point it and prepare for a good amount of kickback.

Had one give me a bloody nose!
I believe the correct format would be - Point, Aim , Follow through
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:25 PM   #75
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DW is quite capable, but is not at all interested in the finances. She will likely depend on trusted friend, and my instructions to continue on with current investment/withdrawal strategy.
I like to show her all the great things I am doing with years ahead planning, and she gives me an ear, but alas, I sense that her mind is elsewhere.
This stuff is not for everybody!
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