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FA for wife after my death?
Old 12-04-2020, 10:37 AM   #1
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FA for wife after my death?

My wife worries that if I die, she has no one to turn to for financial advice. She has no interest in learning to manage our portfolio herself, although we try to review everything periodically.

Would a fee only FA be what I am looking for?

How would I find one?

Would a fidelity advisor work for this role?

I don't need them unless I die, so I hate setting up and paying for any kind of relationship with one now.

Is anyone else in this position? If so, what are your plans?
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:44 AM   #2
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I'm in the same predicament. My plan is to have DS2 handle financial things. He has a good head on his shoulders and I've slowly been showing him where all my info is. He has the credentials to all my accounts. I hate to put the burden on him. I looked into a trust that might spell out everything to keep DW from "blowing the dough" but state laws says she has access to 100% upon my death. Hopefully she would listen to DS2.
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:46 AM   #3
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I'm in a very similar position. My portfolio is fairly simple 50/50 AA with a five year CD ladder with more than enough to cover annual expenses. I review this a couple of times a year with the DW but she is more than apprehensive about managing it should I take the dirt nap before she does. I don't have a good solution.
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:50 AM   #4
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I currently have money at Fidelity and Vanguard. DW is the same, doesn't feel confident about her skills. I've told her to use Vanguard PAS and roll the Fidelity accounts into VGI if I go first.
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:51 AM   #5
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DW doesnít trust my advice, so she rolled her 401k into an FA managed IRA. I also have an IRA with the same FA. It will be easy for her to roll over my iraís into hers when I pass.

I added her name to my taxable accounts. Sheíll probably move those $ into a taxable acct with the same FA to make things easier for her to manage.
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:33 AM   #6
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I am watching this thread to look at the options. My wife does not or want to mess with it. She only likes spending money. Most of our assets in the market are at FIDO and VG and EJ. Most of our CD's are with Discover and have 2 MYGA annuities. My first thoughts are to have her use VG PAS but I believe she would feel better with a local person she can visit with. I know that is not the best thing as far as cost go.
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:55 AM   #7
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With the caveat that I haven't worked with these people, they are located near my summer home and seem to me to be saying all the right things... they prefer index funds and AUM of 0.5% on first $2 million for hand-holding and they are fiduciaries. I may check them out for DW if something happens to me.

https://www.onedayinjuly.com/offer
https://www.onedayinjuly.com/fiducia...ancial-advisor
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:03 PM   #8
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I am in the same boat. DW has not interest.

So, when we shopped for a new fee for service financial advisor one of the key requirements was finding an adviser, a firm that DW felt very comfortable with and with whom she would attend our meetings.

Second thing I did was consolidate our investments and make it very easy for her to move forward should I fall off my perch.

So far, so good.
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Old 12-04-2020, 12:26 PM   #9
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I have no suggestions, but instead a caution. Whatever you leave in place for your surviving spouse, try to make sure thereís instructions to get a second opinion from a trusted family member or friend.

There are a couple of clients who come to have taxes done at the AARP TaxAide site where I volunteer. In each case, their husband set them up with a financial advisor to help after his death. In each case, the woman has loyalty to the advisor because ďmy husband set this up to look after meĒ. And in each case, the advisor is churning the brokerage account to his benefit.

One year a brokerage statement showed the money moving between three investments, 200 times during the year. Of course, with a fee per transaction. Any growth of the account was eaten up by fees, yet there were taxes to be paid on those capital gains. The poor old lady was distraught that she owed taxes because she didnít take any withdrawals (which in her mind meant that she didnít make any money). She was barely keeping even after fees. The advisor was doing well for himself.

We arenít allowed to give financial advice (beyond tax matters) to the tax clients, so we canít tell the old ladies to dump the advisor. But in each case I did ask if there is a family member who could help her make some decisions regarding the account.
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Old 12-04-2020, 01:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philliefan33 View Post
I have no suggestions, but instead a caution. Whatever you leave in place for your surviving spouse, try to make sure thereís instructions to get a second opinion from a trusted family member or friend.

There are a couple of clients who come to have taxes done at the AARP TaxAide site where I volunteer. In each case, their husband set them up with a financial advisor to help after his death. In each case, the woman has loyalty to the advisor because ďmy husband set this up to look after meĒ. And in each case, the advisor is churning the brokerage account to his benefit.

One year a brokerage statement showed the money moving between three investments, 200 times during the year. Of course, with a fee per transaction. Any growth of the account was eaten up by fees, yet there were taxes to be paid on those capital gains. The poor old lady was distraught that she owed taxes because she didnít take any withdrawals (which in her mind meant that she didnít make any money). She was barely keeping even after fees. The advisor was doing well for himself.

We arenít allowed to give financial advice (beyond tax matters) to the tax clients, so we canít tell the old ladies to dump the advisor. But in each case I did ask if there is a family member who could help her make some decisions regarding the account.
I can vouch for what you said here. In the seven or so years I did taxes, I saw the same thing on a number of occasions. I would just suggest they might have some other trusted person or institution check how their investments were doing. These people were totally clueless and being taken advantage of for pure and simple greed.
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Old 12-04-2020, 01:14 PM   #11
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Most of the trusts DW managed at the megabank were established to take care of a surviving spouse, almost 100% women. Putting assets into a professiionally managed trust protects them from, for example, a child badgering his mother into giving hie/her a big chunk of money. In more complicated estates, too, the widow does not have to worry or make financial decisions. Admittedly it was decades ago now, but she actually had clients who did not know how to write a check.

So for bigger and/or more complicated financial situations this might be an option. Our estate plan establishes several trusts for different reasons and we have named Schwab as trustee. IIRC the fee was very reasonable vs what a bank would charge.
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Old 12-04-2020, 01:19 PM   #12
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I am the financial person in our house. I have known women to take over when their husbands got sick and did well. I am surprised about the number of women not interested.
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Old 12-04-2020, 01:33 PM   #13
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Nowadays i'm trying to meet with DW every month to go over how the finances work, where we are, etc.

She has no interest in managing things but she is smart and resourceful.

What I need to do is have her do some purchases and such in the brokerage accounts. Maybe run a test with her as practice.

I do have as a fallback a local money management firm that I have not used but would trust. as other have said, hate to bake in a bunch of fees. Do not want to put this on DS, but at least he has more investing knowledge and could probably figure things out a bit more easily.
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Old 12-04-2020, 01:41 PM   #14
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I left a very detailed Final Instructions sheet for my wife. It includes everything, names of institutions, account numbers, passwords, etc. Also our finanical responsibilities such as property tax, car insurance, monthly HOA, etc. To be honest, I don't think she has the head for it, so I told her to turn it over to a trusted friend for help. But, at least I did the best I could for her. I also provided information about my life insurrance policy including the claims phone number, our policy number, etc.
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Old 12-04-2020, 01:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
I am watching this thread to look at the options. My wife does not or want to mess with it. She only likes spending money. Most of our assets in the market are at FIDO and VG and EJ. Most of our CD's are with Discover and have 2 MYGA annuities. My first thoughts are to have her use VG PAS but I believe she would feel better with a local person she can visit with. I know that is not the best thing as far as cost go.
Exactly why we moved everything to FIDO. She liked actually talking to a human face-to-face when we set everything up. She knows not to do the active management thing and I've written up detailed instructions, but if she feels better letting someone else handle things and knows how much it's going to cost, I guess I won't care all that much at that point.

Once a month, I give her a net worth statement with all of our financial accounts to look over. Depending on what the dancing stars and/or the Kardashians are doing at the time, she may or may not look at it.
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Old 12-04-2020, 02:04 PM   #16
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Exactly why we moved everything to FIDO. She liked actually talking to a human face-to-face when we set everything up. She knows not to do the active management thing and I've written up detailed instructions, but if she feels better letting someone else handle things and knows how much it's going to cost, I guess I won't care all that much at that point.

Once a month, I give her a net worth statement with all of our financial accounts to look over. Depending on what the dancing stars and/or the Kardashians are doing at the time, she may or may not look at it.
Close to the same for me. We use Fido except for CDs at PenFed and Navy FCU. About 5 years ago I started looking for FA so DW would have someone she was comfortable with and I trusted. I manage our investments 100% but we meet with a Fido advisor once a year or more to review finances.
No cost to us, I think we get free advisor due to size of portfolio. OP should qualify also. DW is very comfortable with advisor and she gets emails from said advisor every couple of months to keep communication going.
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Old 12-04-2020, 02:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Lawrencewendall View Post
My plan is to have DS2 handle financial things. ... He has the credentials to all my accounts.
I've often heard people say that they have given the username and password to their accounts to their loved ones in case the pass away, but I wonder how useful that is?

First of all, it is illegal for someone to pretend to be you and use your account credentials to take any action as you after you are dead. And yes that applies to your beneficiaries, and yes that applies to someone with a durable power of attorney because the power of attorney dies when you die.

Second, as soon as your account providers find out that you are dead they are going to freeze your account so those account credentials won't be any good anymore.

I suppose your heirs could use the account credentials to log in and see the account information without taking any action before they notify the account holders (and assuming the account provider does not find out that you are dead from another source) and that may be beneficial, but you could accomplish the same thing simply by giving your heirs the contact information for the account provider and making sure they know your SSN and birthday and have a general idea of what accounts are with which provider. I think that's all they need anyway.
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Old 12-04-2020, 02:43 PM   #18
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She knows not to do the active management thing and I've written up detailed instructions, but if she feels better letting someone else handle things and knows how much it's going to cost, I guess I won't care all that much at that point.
Lol. Yea, I think active versus passive investment management will be the least of your concerns at that point.
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Old 12-04-2020, 03:08 PM   #19
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Same for me - DW's interest in money is strictly on the disbursement side. The FA at Fidelity is nice enough but I wouldn't necessarily trust him not to get her in a managed account with some nice fees. Not sure what to do.
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Old 12-04-2020, 03:12 PM   #20
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Thanks everyone! You've pretty much all (perhaps inadvertently) reinforced my appreciation that DW saw fit to marry me.
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