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Old 07-10-2011, 11:07 AM   #61
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:45 PM   #62
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I don't think you can call a couple "a" millionaire just because they have a million between them in today's day and age. Women work and contribute substantially to the marital household, even if they work part time to take care of the kids. As such, a million dollars for a married couple with kids (who may be out of the house) isn't that much these days.
they are millionaires because they have a NW of greater than or equal to a million dollars. is doesnt matter how much (or little) that million will purchase. it doesnt matter if it is enough to retire on, it is still a million and hence they are millionaires, that is the definition of the word!
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:39 PM   #63
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they are millionaires because they have a NW of greater than or equal to a million dollars. is doesnt matter how much (or little) that million will purchase. it doesnt matter if it is enough to retire on, it is still a million and hence they are millionaires, that is the definition of the word!
So if I'm single I need to have $1,000,000 to be a millionaire, but if I'm married I only need $500,000, as long as he also has that much? I think that's the point but I might be misunderstanding. I always thought of millionaire as singular, but maybe not.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:33 PM   #64
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So if I'm single I need to have $1,000,000 to be a millionaire, but if I'm married I only need $500,000, as long as he also has that much? I think that's the point but I might be misunderstanding. I always thought of millionaire as singular, but maybe not.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:13 AM   #65
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And if a couple has a million, can they say "we're millionaires?" (Note the plural.)

It sounds weird to say "We're millionaire." or "We're a millionaire."

You could always say we have a million dollars, but that's much more crass.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:57 AM   #66
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While statistics regarding financial assets and net worth are presented by household, the term is also often used to describe only the individual who has amassed the assets as millionaire. That is, even though the term statistically refers only to households, common usage is often in reference only to an individual.
Millionaire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:44 AM   #67
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Life doesn't change for them one single bit whether you label them millionaire (or millionaires) or not. I think people get too hung up on what they can label things, and it rarely matters.
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:11 AM   #68
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Life doesn't change for them one single bit whether you label them millionaire (or millionaires) or not. I think people get too hung up on what they can label things, and it rarely matters.
True. However IMHO it's a major goal for a lot of folks, and if they can reach it by combining assets - so be it.

I look at it as my/DW's joint assets. Why? Simply, from a legal standpoint (with a living trust) some assets (such as our home) are already in the trust as "one unit" - not 50/50.

Every year, I send an updated list of assets to our (elder law) attorney, along with any account changes and current values. He also looks at it as one combined number. Why? Simply because even though we have separate wills, assets upon either death flows to the other. When we both are gone, the reaminder estate flows into the trust (for the benefit of our disabled son).

Just my POV.
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:54 AM   #69
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:34 AM   #70
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I guess my point was that claiming to be a millionaire by combining spousal assets gives the couple a false sense of security. As others have pointed out, a million dollars today isn't what it used to be. At a SWR of 4%, a million dollars generates only $40k of income before taxes. Assuming no other sources of income in retirement, living on that amount (after taxes) might be a bit tight for folks who don't have a paid-off house, cars, etc...

Also, claiming a million dollar net worth by aggregating assets between two working people gives the couple an excuse to spend more and save less (or excuses a decade or more of spending and not saving). In other words, it excuses some degree of financial irresponsibility. Let's say that a couple is in their early-50s and have a combined income of $100k. They've both been working and saving for 30+ years. Assuming that their combined income has been near that $100k amount for several years, one would expect they would have accumulated more money than the hypothetical million dollars we're discussing.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:25 PM   #71
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We track our assets/expenses every possible way. My spouse always had her "own" money and we keep it that way. I pay all household expenses and she uses some of her income for gifts and personal items she doesn't want me to know about while reinvesting the rest. All accounts are joint but separate with no secrets. She owns all the real estate. In Canada you need to keep income separate as there is generally no way to file "joint" returns. Based on this methodology she would own maybe 15-20% of our total net worth and on any measure she would be a millionaire.
This has worked very well for us over the years. She has a sense of independence while we manage our total positions together.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:49 PM   #72
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I guess my point was that claiming to be a millionaire by combining spousal assets gives the couple a false sense of security. As others have pointed out, a million dollars today isn't what it used to be.
Couldn't agree more. And for the same reasons, claiming to be a millionaire as a single person gives one a hugely false sense of security as well. Back in the 1950's, being a millionaire meant something but times have changed.

Although I might consider making such a claim on the forum, I think it would be outstandingly gauche to say such things to friends, relatives, or anyone, really.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:34 PM   #73
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Although I might consider making such a claim on the forum, I think it would be outstandingly gauche to say such things to friends, relatives, or anyone, really.
Wow, there is a word that doesn't get heard very often today. Maybe because almost all of social life as seen on the media is outstandingly gauche.

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Old 07-12-2011, 01:38 PM   #74
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Wow, there is a word that doesn't get heard very often today. Maybe because almost all of social life as seen on the media is outstandingly gauche.

Ha
Agree. Also agree with W2R. Have never talked about any of this stuff except to spouse. That's a lot of the appeal of this place.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:49 AM   #75
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I calculate combined for me and DW, but our retirement and investment accounts are separate. That's because she has a much higher aversion to risk than me--she's a more conservative investor. But our checkings/savings/CDs etc are all joint. And why not? She knows I don't dare spend any money w/o her informed consent.
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