Author Topic: Logistics of managing your spouse's financial accounts  (Read 1190 times)

Gay Burqueño Dad

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Logistics of managing your spouse's financial accounts
« on: December 19, 2019, 04:34:07 PM »
So, I newly have my husband on board for me to manage his financial accounts (401k, HSA, credit card, etc.) This means look at the bills for fraud/subscriptions that should go away, make sure the money's going in the right type of accounts for taxes etc., & put stuff in index funds. I'm just the one who knows more about it and is more motivated to do it so we are both cool with it. So this is a, YAY!

The issue I'm running into is our lovely modern-day penchant for two-factor verification. I've started getting his usernames/passwords for these accounts (slash create logins for some accounts), and whenever I log in to a site, the site wants to send him an email or text with a code. It's kind of a pain to ask him for the verification numbers constantly (he's often busy, or at work, or whatever).

The most practical way to do this seems to be to change the phone number and/or email address once I get in once. Or to get his email username/password, I guess, so I can look in there for the verification codes. I feel kind of squeamish about doing either (like I'm taking over his accounts... which I kind of am, I guess, benevolently!) If I have his explicit OK to do one of these, this is OK, right?

Our marriage is healthy. And, even if someday we ran into trouble, I would never do anything that I perceive as not in his best interest.

ETA: We conceptualize our money as shared and have for years and years. These are “his accounts” in that they’re in his name, not in that they’re (only) his money.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2019, 04:49:36 PM by Gay Burqueño Dad »

ixtap

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Re: Logistics of managing your spouse's financial accounts
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2019, 04:51:16 PM »
I just borrow my husband's phone while he works on other things around the house. He has also logged into his Gmail account on my phone.

And yes, it bugs one of his friends that I sometimes answer his phone. Not the done thing these days. But I am old enough to remember when the whole family shared one phone, attached to the wall.

Kris

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Re: Logistics of managing your spouse's financial accounts
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2019, 05:09:02 PM »
I have changed the email and phone number on my husband's accounts for this very reason.

He's retired now, though, so I don't need to anymore, because he's usually right there with me.

If he's on board -- as my husband was/is -- don't feel squeamish, as long as you talk to him about it and he's okay with it.

Gronnie

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Re: Logistics of managing your spouse's financial accounts
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2019, 05:23:52 PM »
Gmail accounts are free. Make one that is specifically only for his financial accounts and then you can both know the password with no boundary concerns.

Steeze

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Re: Logistics of managing your spouse's financial accounts
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2019, 05:24:40 PM »
I just do it while my wife is home for her 401k etc. I link our accounts whenever possible such as Vanguard or at TD so I can edit both from one login.Credit cards are joint.  I do not change her email, phone number, contact info etc. on any of her accounts.

I wouldn’t go in her email or on her phone unless she was sitting next to me watching me do it. Some privacy is good.

Lucky Penny Acres

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Re: Logistics of managing your spouse's financial accounts
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2019, 06:04:30 PM »

You can also get a financial power of attorney over your husband's accounts so then you can have your own official access to his accounts without changing his separate access.  This may be useful to get because if you ever need to make any changes to his accounts over the phone, they may not process the changes because they don't have an official authorization to listen to your direction on his accounts.

Each provider likely has their own specific way to give you official access - you will need to get him to sign some forms to grant you access most likely.


ysette9

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Re: Logistics of managing your spouse's financial accounts
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2019, 02:28:40 AM »
We use aggregators like Personal capital for seeing what balances are and updating our spreadsheet. We don’t do anything in the retirement accounts for the most part and the other accounts are joint. We do sometimes run into the two factor authentication trouble which means we often look at financial stuff when we are both at home or otherwise together. But I do feel your pain on the logistics. Practically it is the right thing to suffer through for the increased account security.

wellactually

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Re: Logistics of managing your spouse's financial accounts
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2019, 07:22:59 AM »
My husband handles more of our day-to-day and I do more of our forecasting and long-term tracking/planning. So eventually we decided to leave all the logins and phone numbers the same except for my IRA at Vanguard. He was always the one doing the transfers, so he changed it to his phone number, but my email is still the one on the record, so I get the alerts.

But overall we function like others have mentioned. If I'm updating numbers, I wait until we're both at home or else text him first to let him know I'm going to log in and to send me the number when he gets it. We also have a shared, password protected google doc with credentials and accounts listed.

It used to be so much simpler and I was using Personal Capital, but it won't sync with our HSAs anymore and never did with his 401k and after we refinanced our mortgage it got confused because it was the same servicer and so it always tries to bring up the closed account. Now it's all google spreadsheets!

plog

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Re: Logistics of managing your spouse's financial accounts
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2019, 07:58:10 AM »
My phone carrier allows me to text via browser.  I go to a site, scan a QR code with my phone and then no longer need my phone.

This wouldn't work while he's at work, but when both at home he could scan and keep his phone and you could still get the texts in the PC.

dcozad999

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Re: Logistics of managing your spouse's financial accounts
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2019, 08:35:16 AM »
My wife and I share everything, and she isn't interested (at all) in dealing with anything financial.

I just change the phone number on her accounts to my own. At one point I had her email account on my phone for a few days, but deleted it because I didn't feel comfortable with that. Not that she cared.

@Gronnie 's idea for a gmail address just for financial accounts sounds like a good one.

GreenIvy66

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Re: Logistics of managing your spouse's financial accounts
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2019, 08:48:20 AM »
Some financial institutions allow you to register multiple phone numbers and/or email addresses for 2-factor authentication. My husband and I have the same general agreement that you have (I handle pretty much all financial accounts, including those in his name only), and I have had a lot of success in authorizing my phone/email as alternative authentication methods.

I would recommend taking one day to sit down together, login to the pertinent accounts, have him authenticate the login, and see if you are able to register your phone number/email as a secondary method of authentication.

It's worked wonders for my situation.

Gay Burqueño Dad

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Re: Logistics of managing your spouse's financial accounts
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2019, 09:01:30 AM »
Thanks everyone! I'm going to try @GreenIvy66 's suggestion. Because we both work and have two little kids, time when we're both available to pay full attention to this stuff is precious and better spent on dates, conversation, etc. (yes, I suppose I could check accounts while the kids are around, but it's just unpleasant.) A one-time spend of some of this precious time to do an addition/change of my phone number to all his accounts should solve this problem more or less permanently.