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View Poll Results: Net worth: by person, or household?
Household 129 86.00%
Each individual 15 10.00%
Other, see thread 6 4.00%
Voters: 150. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-09-2020, 06:31 PM   #41
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We've been married for 37 years so household net worth.We also use Fidelity aggregator so we have our house value plugged in, no mortgage, but don't include vehicles or anything else that would take time and effort to sell.
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:59 PM   #42
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When married it was household. Still is I guess but im a household of one.
Count everything in Fido. Some days I'll add in the house.
I consider the toy car even though it's only worth about $5k. It's separate as it will eventually be sold and used to buy a different toy car.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:41 PM   #43
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Estate tax treats joint taxpayers as one unit so that is what we do. I only do this calc once a year to update the attorney. Otherwise I only look at portfolio piece.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:48 PM   #44
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In our case, household for everything financial. We've been together since 18&19, and married since our early 20s, when we were still in grad school; so we started out well below zero together.

I can definitely see other situations, as noted above, in which one would take a different approach.
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:19 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by The Cosmic Avenger View Post
Not really, just curious, since we often see people have slightly different takes on what defines net worth. It might take another thread, but I'm also curious what non-monetary assets people might include. For example, I have no idea what the fair market value of our vehicles might be, and I don't think I'd be interested in tracking it. Meanwhile, Fidelity and USAA have ways to include a Zillow valuation or manually enter a market value for your real estate. But we also have a piece of jewelry that was appraised at $10K, which is a nice round number and the value is probably pretty stable, but I don't include that simply because I have no idea how I would sell it even if I wanted to. Plus adding the value of household items feels like a slippery slope.
My interpretation of NW is that it is a number that's just for fun. I don't use it for any financial planning purposes. Therefore, I include my primary residence and personal property. Since NW isn't used for anything, I don't track the value of personal property. I just assign it a number between $50K to $100K depending on when I last replaced my car or furnishings.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:44 AM   #46
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We both work and keep net worth separate. We both contribute to joint account to pay for living expenses. We split costs even with a slight income tilt (non-essential purchases made by higher income). Gifts, cars, and high $ personal expenses (jewelry, gaming computer, etc) come from individual accounts.

Part of this is we have different timelines for work. If I want to quit early I need my savings to still cover my contribution. Back when, we both didnít want the power dynamic of being forced to rely on the other and have tried to be equal partners.

But money has never been an issue between us. I think it would be harder to commingle if one spouse wanted a $80k lux car and another wanted a $15k Camry so they could save the rest.
Emphasis above is mine. I'm just curious about couples in this dynamic, how would they deal with a sickness, either long term or not. The whole not wanting to rely on the other financially, seems to me to extend beyond just the financial realm. I know for us, I supported DW retiring years before me. Then later on, DW went back to work when I could not find meaningful work after being laid off. Sort of a give and take. not just an equal partnership. Sometimes I contribute more, sometimes DW does. It balances out over many aspects of our lives and over time. It is jut the way we are.

As I stated earlier, we are a "household NW" group. We are together for the duration.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying separate accounts or separate goals are bad. I just don't understand the dynamics and how much beyond finances, that separation extends in a relationship. Maybe this should be in a different thread?
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Old 09-10-2020, 11:47 AM   #47
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I figured when we got married in 1984 we were mutually pledging that the other could rely on us, financially or otherwise. And that is what we have done. So, I worked full time while she went to graduate school, then she worked full time while I went to law school. Since then, sometimes I made more money and sometimes she made more money. It doesn't matter in the end. Everything we've done, we've done as a team. Now, we are enjoying "our" money.
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Old 09-10-2020, 01:55 PM   #48
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Estate tax treats joint taxpayers as one unit so that is what we do. I only do this calc once a year to update the attorney. Otherwise I only look at portfolio piece.
This is a bit confusing because estate tax exemptions are per individual and tracked individually if gifts in excess of $15K per year are made. Each individual must file a gift tax form.
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:05 PM   #49
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This is a bit confusing because estate tax exemptions are per individual and tracked individually if gifts in excess of $15K per year are made. Each individual must file a gift tax form.
Yes; I should have clarified. All our individual assets go to each other in case of death. Also, individual exemption applies to joint assets if you gift them.



I took the question as a reference more to retirement sustainability. I don't use NW for retirement purposes because I exclude all hard assets (and when I was working, I excluded things like in-the-money stock options and my deferred comp balance) when looking at retirement.
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Old 09-10-2020, 04:35 PM   #50
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CRLLS - if one of us needs help, then plans have changed and we need to re-evaluate.
We talked about this the other week with potential job losses. My understanding was neither of us have problems providing basic living for the family and plenty of creature comforts (our current family budget is around 100k). I think if we are sick there will no longer be a focus on the additional 5 figure annual shopping that currently makes it easier for us to keep things separate; out of sight and out of mind.

The higher earner is also the higher spender and net worths are basically equal and growing at similar rate so while it may be more difficult if the situation was different, for us this hasnít been an issue.

Even if divorced, I think we would both be there for each other emotionally and financially as so long as we have kids, we are family.
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Old 09-10-2020, 04:53 PM   #51
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Statistically speaking, someday it will all be hers, but for now, it's household. Lots of advantages to that - especially tax wise. Two can't live as cheaply as one, but almost. YMMV
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Old 09-10-2020, 11:17 PM   #52
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....

Even if divorced, I think we would both be there for each other emotionally and financially as so long as we have kids, we are family.
It's really rare, but I suppose it could happen, but not to anyone I know, or heard of..... but I think I read it's like that for some super famous actor.
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Old 09-11-2020, 04:45 AM   #53
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Old 09-11-2020, 08:07 AM   #54
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For those that are married, splitting net worth in two makes no sense because the divorce lawyers have yet to be selected
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Old 09-11-2020, 01:15 PM   #55
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For those that are married, splitting net worth in two makes no sense because the divorce lawyers have yet to be selected
It can be approximated by he get 1/3 and she gets 2/3 + the house
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Old 09-11-2020, 02:31 PM   #56
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I vote household. If not, I guess it would be divided by 2 for DW, or 4 including DD and DS... unless we count the DD2 (dog). And what if my mother wants to move in?
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Old 09-11-2020, 02:55 PM   #57
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We do household net worth. No chance of us breaking up at this point. I include real estate since it can be sold if needed. NW is used for estate tax planning too, making us realize we need to give more away to the kids if the estate tax reverts back to previous rates.
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Old 09-11-2020, 05:24 PM   #58
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Sunset, if you look at most divorces it is caused by immeasurable strain - finances, infidelity, etc. things that cause a permanent rift and hurt feelings.

No doubt hurt feelings are involved in the ending of any relationship, even mutually. And part of that is why I consider finances individually - we donít know what the future will hold.

I do know that although my parents in-law are not friends (divorces) they still help each other out (within reason) and My spouse and I both agree with that philosophy.

On the plus side, engineers are usually terrible with feelings so default more to logic.
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:20 AM   #59
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We use household NW. Almost all expenses/ $ are blended, Savings/ ckng all in both names along with main CCs. Our paid for house deed is in both names, cars- who cares (indiv names on 13+ yo vehicles both in great condition). I snatched my pension from retired job & converted into a 100% joint annuity (100% to both), and for my IRA, it remains in my name but DH gets it all if I go first. We have a "gentle/woman's agreement for new will from the one who lives the longest (split evenly betw. families).

We have friends who manage their finances separately, which just seems like too much work to us. DH handles the bills & I manage the investments. So much of both are automated, that there is very little need to do much on either side.
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:48 PM   #60
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I guess it would be household, but I am not sure of the value even calculating NW. So I've never done it.
+1. I answered other.
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