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Separate Assets
Old 02-09-2015, 03:44 PM   #1
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Separate Assets

In my situation my wife (57) and I (55) have been married just about three years. We have kept our assets separate. We have closely the same amount of total assets. Myself 1.6 and my wife 1.3 + .35 paid off condo.

We both pay our own bills and split larger purchases such as a car.

Being very close to retirement I am curious how any of this fine bunch handle a situation such as this. Is there a better method then the 50/50 bill paying?
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:47 PM   #2
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You could have a joint account that you fund equally, or however you decide, and pay all of your common bills from that.
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:36 PM   #3
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For 45 years we've shared it all. Of course, we started out together with nuttin' and while I was the primary earner never had a reason to segregate other than to each have our own tIRA and Roth.
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:39 PM   #4
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Not in that situation, as we are like H20Dude, married when we had negative net worth many years ago.

But, in your situation, 50/50 seems to make sense, particularly if kids are present from prior relationships. Maybe it would help to have the jointly funded account for ease of administration?
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:43 PM   #5
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We've always kept thing separate - both single and married. The only combined accounts are the joint checking, the kids 529s and a credit card for joint expenses (yay Thank You points!)
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:51 PM   #6
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Separate assets, with a joint account for food, entertainment, vacations, etc. We each transfer money into the joint at the start of the month.

This is the second marriage for both of us. I think it's different when you marry young and have no significant financial assets. That's how my late first wife and I arranged things.
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:55 PM   #7
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Similar situation here - we split joint costs like food, utilities, etc. 50/50, buy our own cars and other personal items like clothes.

Did the share and share alike thing in my first marriage when we started with essentially nothing.
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Old 02-09-2015, 05:07 PM   #8
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Second marriage for both of us, so DH and I have a joint account which we have funded proportionately to our income while working and with only a few months until retirement, we intend to continue. It has worked for over 10 years and we don't see a reason to change things...

That being said, I think everyone should do whatever works for them.
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Old 02-09-2015, 05:12 PM   #9
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Separate accounts here with a 50/50 split of expenses. Discretionary 'mad money' is up to each of us as long as the bills are paid.


I do get slightly annoyed when there is yet another box from someplace that DW has ordered from for something we already have or don't need.


But - you know the saying....
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Old 02-09-2015, 05:23 PM   #10
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Joint accounts and ownership of everything, except of course the individual TSP/401K / IRAs. We funded the retirement accounts as a team with our pool of money. We've been married over 25 years. DH came into the marriage with more than me but graciously considered everything "ours" right from the beginning.

It works for us.
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Old 02-09-2015, 05:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by H2ODude View Post
For 45 years we've shared it all. Of course, we started out together with nuttin' and while I was the primary earner never had a reason to segregate other than to each have our own tIRA and Roth.
This describes us, right down to the 45 (we were married in June 1970).

I can see that people who come into second marriages with significant assets and prior children may want to keep them separate.

I can see that people who had ugly divorces and are somewhat gun-shy would keep them separate.
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Old 02-09-2015, 05:45 PM   #12
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We're quite the opposite. We were both married before for many years, being a widower and a divorcee. To us, everything seems so much simpler if we just live apart, don't mix our money, and don't marry. No reason the church or state has to get involved.

Our emotional commitment to one another couldn't be deeper. We enjoy plenty of time together every day. Life is good.
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Old 02-09-2015, 05:45 PM   #13
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Isn't all money earned after marriage joint property?

Even then, it makes sense to keep your pre-marriage accounts separate & fund a joint account. If you're worried about possible scenarios, it would be wise to jointly see a lawyer/CPA.

We didn't do that, but most of our money has been earned after we got married. And we're getting along pretty well.
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Old 02-09-2015, 05:59 PM   #14
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We have an arrangement similar to op. Real estate is joint, but all accounts are separate. Separate ira's. She pays some bills. I pay the rest. We're both retired. She has a pension. I'm living off my savings. We are both on her retirement insurance. We keep each other informed of our finances. Works very well for us.


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Old 02-09-2015, 07:50 PM   #15
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Unmarried but living with Mr B. All of our assets are completely separate. He has grown children, I have none. It would make absolutely no sense to co-mingle assets from the point of view of inheritance.

I added him as an authorized user on my cashback credit card since he does all the shopping for the household, fills the gas tanks and gets the oil changes and car repairs done. I am so glad to be relieved of all that running around.

When we both had to replace our vehicles, we went 50-50 on the cost of both cars. He picked out both. Each car is registered in only one name.

All household expenses are split 50-50. Personal types of purchases (clothing, my gardening stuff, his accounting business stuff) are paid by the person who bought the item.
I always chip in on gifts and treats for his Mom. Gifts to his kids, well, I usually let him cover those, since I have no kids.

I own the house we live in, so I do not ask him to contribute to maintenance or repairs or taxes. He handles all of the business calls for me as my agent. He is so much better at that.

This system w*rks very well for us.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:09 PM   #16
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We have most retirement cash in separate accounts.
Part of the reason is for tax purposes.
Example......About a billion years ago my Mother bought a lot of stock and mutual funds. She held it jointly with me (only kid) so it would pass without question when she died. So I inherited it some 16 years ago. When I was told about the tax basis of the holdings(it was unknown, but it was clear enough that a tax nightmare was ahead,) I decided I would probably never sell any part of it. It has grown into an even larger mess since then.. Given the fact that it is only in my name, when someone else inherits the portfolio they will have a reset basis and the ability to sell it minus the tax.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:11 PM   #17
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We combined all income, budgeted for common expenses and retirement (whatever makes sense to you), and split the rest 50/50 into individual accounts. We used individual money to purchase cars, allowing maximum individual choice. We reimbursed for mileage from the common budget so choosing which car to take was roughly neutral. Over the years different items have been swapped from individual to common or vice versa as family choices affected our economics.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:18 PM   #18
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Isn't all money earned after marriage joint property?
Absolutely not. Where did that idea come from?
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:21 PM   #19
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Coming up on 37 years of unmarried bliss. We share to our best mutual advantage. She has an ex but sharing works to her advantage with me - didn't with him.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:21 PM   #20
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Example......About a billion years ago my Mother bought a lot of stock and mutual funds. She held it jointly with me (only kid) so it would pass without question when she died. So I inherited it some 16 years ago. When I was told about the tax basis of the holdings(it was unknown, but it was clear enough that a tax nightmare was ahead,) I decided I would probably never sell any part of it. It has grown into an even larger mess since then.. Given the fact that it is only in my name, when someone else inherits the portfolio they will have a reset basis and the ability to sell it minus the tax.
In your example the basis of the portfolio should have been stepped up on your mother's death based on date of death values. You could easily go back and get those prices and manage your portfolio properly.
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