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Old 06-10-2011, 03:00 PM   #21
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+1

Forget what you read in the paper about "needing x% of your pre retirement income".

What you need is to cover 100% of your post retirement expenses.
Exactly ...

It was easy for us, since our post-retirement expenses (I'm retired - a bit over four years; DW is expected to be this year) are the same.

We never looked at pre-retirement income at all.
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:02 PM   #22
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With my SO from the 00s (engaged but never actually got around to getting married) we did our figuring jointly, which seemed sensible given our plans, but then very unfortunate for me when we split up as I'd taken a bunch of risk doing startup stuff that hadn't panned out, based on estimates of our shared worth.

After that experience I'd like to think I will always just ignore my partner's finances and have each person be individually responsible for their own, but I expect the next time I end up that committed with somebody I'll start thinking in terms of a team again.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:59 PM   #23
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Calculated combined in marriage #1. Attorneys kindly assisted in determining hers and mine.

Calculate separate in marriage #2.
No matter you calculate it, the attorneys will always assist in determining who can walk away with what, unless of course you have been very careful to maintain and document whatever your state considers separate property.

In general, the share of the partner without a womb [moderator edit] will be discounted. Not sure what happens in same sex marriages.

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Old 06-11-2011, 07:36 AM   #24
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I track both ways. Individual net worth, individual interest income vs. expenses and combined net worth and combined interest income vs. expenses. Since I like tracking everything it's hardly any more trouble. As per the pre-nup everything is separate, but we plan to stay together of course and split joint expenses 50/50 right now (similar salaries). We are also the same age so will probably retire around the same time. But this is not for sure.

We have agreed that as long as each person is paying their share (barring illness, etc of course) then we can work as little as we like. I have switched recently to 4 days a week. So if I decide to work part time that means I might have to work more years. Whereas if he decides to work full time and make as much money as possible and retire sooner than that is his choice. I wouldn't expect him to pay a higher percentage of our expenses to allow us both to retire, if it was my decision to work less for the preceding decade. However, if he was insistent that we look at our net worth as combined at that time and would pay extra for me to retire, that is his choice.

There are just so many variables since we're only 34 now - that's why I track every which way.
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:43 AM   #25
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We started with nothing. We both worked first nine years although after 3 years and birth of first child she was very part time. After a major move, geographically and career wise for me, she became a SAHM. Both kids are now out of the nest but she is still "SAHMi-retired" and we are both very happy with that. It would never even cross my mind to calculate separately, particularly after promising each other to love, honor, cherish, etc, etc, in sickness and health, poverty or wealth. Of course, we also made those life decisions together (career, geography, SAHMing, etc). We share our cookies.

While I respect that all have different opinions about how to operate the household finances, ours is that trying to divide the Internet bill and the gas bill, and retirement living savings or expenses 50/50 is rather fruitless.

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Old 06-11-2011, 08:48 AM   #26
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We share our cookies.
So did we until we could afford 2 PC's
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:51 AM   #27
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So did we until we could afford 2 PC's
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Old 06-11-2011, 12:53 PM   #28
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I live on my own and my GF lives in another state. Therefore in my case, I only consider individual assets.
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:43 PM   #29
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I live on my own and my GF lives in another state. Therefore in my case, I only consider individual assets.
My DW often accuses me of being from another planet, yet we still consider net worth and expenses jointly. So I don't think it is an issue decided strictly based on geographic proximity.
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:39 AM   #30
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I live on my own and my GF lives in another state. Therefore in my case, I only consider individual assets.
I would think that it's more important that you are not married in order to separate your finances - not where you reside.
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:28 AM   #31
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Agree.

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I would think that it's more important that you are not married in order to separate your finances - not where you reside.
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:47 AM   #32
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We married in early 20's (age, not year). We had no money. She supported us while I was in grad school. I supported us while she stayed home with our kid & finished her degree. Later we both worked. Never occurred to us, and still doesn't, to calculate anything separately (I typically have no idea what's in our checking account & emergency fund.). However, several of our accounts are in separate names/trusts for estate purposes. Plus, IRA's & 401's are in individual names. Net, we could pretty well calculate separate net worths but I see no reason for it. Yes, we at times disagree over expenditures & thus put some off till we do agree or least minimize animosity. I think that's good as we're more certain we're doing the right, or at least not a dumb, thing. I.e., it's a built-in financial advisor.
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:16 PM   #33
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It's more fun to calculate jointly: the number is bigger!
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:30 PM   #34
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Been married to my DW for 33 years we never considered separate accounts. It has been a team effort with good results. Our kids go the individual route maybe its a generational thing.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:09 AM   #35
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For our new forum member, first of all welcome

When I was married, both of us in our first marriage, everything we youngsters built up together was always considered to be joint marital assets. Investments accounts were always started by me doing the paperw*rk, but all had JTWROS registrations from day 1. No exceptions.

Now that I am single, I view things a bit differently, but that is outside the scope of this thread.
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:13 AM   #36
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I always enjoy it when married people say "We calculate our net worths separately." Unless you are an unusual couple, maybe with a big non-comingled inheritance to one of you, this is a fantasy.

See how family court deals with your assertion that "our net worths are separate". If you are married, or in many cases if you have been married, you cannot be free from claims, so why delude yourselves?

Ha
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Old 06-18-2011, 02:45 AM   #37
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I always enjoy it when married people say "We calculate our net worths separately." Unless you are an unusual couple, maybe with a big non-comingled inheritance to one of you, this is a fantasy.

See how family court deals with your assertion that "our net worths are separate". If you are married, or in many cases if you have been married, you cannot be free from claims, so why delude yourselves?

Ha
To add to your enjoyment, I also calculate separately. This is largely for practical reasons rather than because I am delusional on this point (other matters are a different issue). We have some assets which we manage jointly but for the most part we each manage our own assets separately. We do keep a combined balance sheet as well, but it doesn't get updated nearly as often as my separate one.
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:45 AM   #38
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DW and I have been married 40+ years. I can't imagine a married couple keeping separate finances other than legal requirements for retirement accounts/pensions. These are easily combined in Quicken for our net worth statement.

I listen to Dave Ramsey most days. He regularly lambastes the following:

1. People living together who keep combined finances.
2. Married couples who keep separate finances.
3. Pre-nuptial agreements. He says this is planning for failure.
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:55 AM   #39
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the last time i used my wife's mustard, she took my bottle of mustard out of the fridge and squirted it all over my nice white dress shirt to teach me to use her things. when she put it back, she also pointed out that i had set my bottle on her side of the fridge.

we actually share our mustard, and we calculate our networth together. i personally don't understand the point of doing it individually (and i don't need to either).
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:16 AM   #40
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I live in an "ours and hers" relationship.

OK, not exactly. We do combine our retirement nest eggs with one exception. She has an investment account from a small inheritance amounting to 10-15% of our combined net worth which I do not include in any of our calculations or in our AA. We do have an understanding that she will spend only the interest and dividends, pay any taxes, and leave the principal untouched. Call it her mad money...
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