Author Topic: Separate Finances After 23 years?  (Read 7398 times)

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Separate Finances After 23 years?
« on: February 28, 2014, 06:12:45 AM »
So I've read everything on the boards about getting your spouse on board with FIRE, my SO and I have been talking about it for a very long time, and we're still not on the same page about it.  We're really not far apart.  It's not like I'm extremely thrifty and she's extremely spendy; we're both actually pretty frugal.  We both grew up in frugal, blue-collar families, and we met in college. 

We're 43, we've been together ever since our senior year in college, and have had combined finances (joint checking) ever since graduation.  We can't legally be married as a same-sex couple in our state, but we own our house jointly, and we have an 8-year-old daughter who is legally both of ours.  We've done all of the legal documents we can do (wills, living wills, powers of attorney) to give each other the rights that legal marriage would automatically confer.

At this point we have no debt, we own our house outright, and we have $512k in retirement accounts and $45k in cash.  We made differing amounts of money for a very long time; I'm in IT and she's in non-profit management, so I've always made more money but we've always treated it as one pot of money.  Last year she got a big promotion and a raise and got another raise this year, so now we're within 10k of each other, and I wouldn't feel bad asking to separate our finances because our goals are just so different. 

I really want FIRE and she is of the mind-set that, as long as we're making good money and can still work we should be working.  She actually loves her job and is energized by it.  I don't like my job at all and I drained by it.  It's also very stressful to have two professionals working more than full time, plus a child, pets, and a household to run, and it always feels like we're running behind.  I would like to slow down, work part time or seasonally, or take a year off and think about what kind of work I'd like to do.  She likes the thought of me taking care of everything at home because she hates all kinds of household management, but feels like she would be jealous even though she doesn't want to do it.  She also wants me to keep working so she can have nice stuff, nice vacations, not have to think about money, etc.

I'm at the point where I just want to separate our finances and pay for common expenses 55/45 or whatever our incomes make it and we can each make our own decisions without being restrained by the other.  If she wants to buy expensive glasses, go out to eat every day for lunch, or buy a new car, or whatever, she can without me trying to talk her out of it.  If I want to FIRE or work part time or take some time off I can do it without having to get her permission.

What do you think?  Has anyone else done this?  I can guarantee that she is not going to like this idea, but I'm so frustrated and I'm pretty sure that we're not going to be able to reach an agreement.

Gray Matter

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2014, 06:24:06 AM »
This is an interesting question and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it.  The question is, is it really about money or is it about underlying differences in what you want?  If you separated finances and were able to save up enough to take time off or retire early, would she suddenly not be jealous because you saved up for it?  Or would it still cause issues in your relationship?

I think it's worth exploring.  The goal of separate finances is that both parties can spend on what's important to them, and more importantly, they have to take personal accountability for the decisions, and later consequences, of that spending/saving.  DH and I have joint finances, but have found that having enough separate money to spend on whatever we want does help with the judgement about every little thing either of us spends money on.

I think this would also be an excellent place for some "spot" counseling--working with someone to help mediate the conversation.  Sometimes it takes an outside person saying, "It's really not fair to...(fill in the blank)."

dude

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2014, 06:40:52 AM »
I feel your frustration!  My wife (married 7, together 23 years) just cannot grasp the concept of living on passive income rather than having to trade away one's precious time for money.  We're the opposite of you and your partner -- we've had separate accounts throughout our relationship, with the exception of one joint savings account that we contribute to (well, pretty much I'm the one contributing to it).  We pay the bills in proportion to our earnings (i.e., 1/3 her, 2/3 me).  I personally can FIRE in 5-6 years, and will essentially have the same amount of money coming in (taking into consideration all the deductions/expenses I'll no longer have) as I do now, so I've pretty much told her there's no reason I can't FIRE since I can still cover my share of the household expenses (she'll also still be getting her healthcare through me).  She can continue working (hell, she's going to have to), because as part of the team, she's got to do her part to cover her 1/3 of the expenses!  But the thing that bothers me frankly, is she's never bothered to even consider how much she's going to need to save to replace her income (or rather, cover her expenses) in retirement.  The idea of adjusting her lifestyle now to save more and continue that lifestyle in retirement is completely foreign to her.  But I'm trying little by little to educate her.

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2014, 06:51:22 AM »
Hmm, tough one. Have you looked at the numbers? How much do you spend per year? What kind of things would you guys have to miss out on if you would stop working? Because maybe it isn't as much as she thinks it is. For example, maybe you could miss one car, you don't have to pay for afterschool care, etc. Perhaps you can show her the advantages, especially for her, if you would become a SAHM.

Besides this, I feel it's strange that she would be jealous of you, since she knows you dislike your job and she really likes hers. I like the idea of Gray Matter, to get some counseling on this.

irononmaiden

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2014, 07:04:30 AM »
Having a kiddo might make it tough to keep your finances totally separate. What about having a common fund that you contribute to 55/45 (or whatever) for your joint expenses, and then keeping the rest of your money separate?

(My bf and I have had separate finances for 11 years and it's great--no fighting about money ever. We own a house so we do have to shore things up here and there, but it's not too bad. I think it'd be tougher with a child.)

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 07:59:05 AM »
I guess maybe she doesn't want anything to change because she already has a pretty sweet deal.  My job is more flexible, so I can work from home when we need the plumber to come or when our daughter is sick or has a day off school.  Also, I can work 6 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. so I can be home to get our daughter off of the bus (and, believe me, I am NOT a morning person).  Since getting her to do anything having to do with the household is like pulling teeth, I already do all of that:  housework, bills, dealing with repairs, cooking, etc.  I don't want to imply that she doesn't do anything; she has gotten a lot better about picking up after herself, and, since I'm not home in the morning she gets our daughter up and off to school, and, since I have to get up so early in the morning she also puts her to bed at night.  But, as I'm writing this, it's becoming a lot clearer why I'm the one who's chronically stressed and looking for a way out.  ;-)

Mori

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2014, 10:38:26 AM »
But, as I'm writing this, it's becoming a lot clearer why I'm the one who's chronically stressed and looking for a way out.  ;-)

:) Yep! Those hours alone would be super painful to me (NOT a morning person, unless I'm staying up to see it). Seconding the spot counseling. Maybe you two could discuss someone to offset the house stuff a few times a week to give you both more freedom and less stress?

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2014, 11:18:05 AM »
Thanks to all for the thoughtful suggestions.  I'm grateful for the suggestions for counseling because it makes me feel less like a dummkopf for not being able to find a solution.  :-)

One question for those who maintain separate finances:  it seems fairly simple when one person wants a luxury that another doesn't, like cable.  The person who wants cable pays for it.  But what about a necessity like lawn care?  We've been paying someone to cut our grass and rake our leaves, but I'd rather do it ourselves and save the money.  If I don't want to pay for it and she does, do we:

a.  Make it an all or nothing proposition like cable (you want it, you pay for all of it)
b.  Make it a shared responsibility, and on "her" weeks to mow and trim she can hire someone else to do it if she wants?
c.  Give her the option to pay me on "her" weeks to cut the grass for her, the same amount she would have paid the lawn service?

Or is this petty beyond belief?

swick

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2014, 12:22:42 PM »
Or is this petty beyond belief?

It might be - but I would say worth discussion, especially if there are a lot of these items. It can be easy to let resentment fester and grow if you disagree on how this stuff should be handled.

payitoff

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 12:35:24 PM »
im sorry, but ill touch the emotional part here: you're creating a recipe for divorce, or in your case, separation, as long as you love each other, try to settle for a compromise, the more willing you will be to separate your finances , the more freedom she will have, and her spending will get worse if she now has all the power over it, this will not save you from your frustation of her being a spender either, you will end up building resentment over her, and that's the last thing youd want to happen in your relationship. 

i just went through this with my husband, he is the live-for-today-what-if-you-get-ran-over-by-a-car-and-die-tomorrow kind, but i am not going to give him the freedom to spend because who knows whats gonna happen tomorrow, i try to give him bits and pieces of my hopes for FI and cheers when i pay something off, and then i try to hit on topics that touches his heart, like being in hawaii for a month someday and not worry about bills, or anything that makes him daydream too.

my goal now is to surprise him in a few months that saving does work, and will give us freedom someday. i cried over frustration from him last night, but today, im pumped again, as long as you keep your focus and be positive about it, your wife will eventually get it.

by the way, i let him get what he want as long as we budgeted for it, so he needs to let me know ahead of time, like 2 months or so, so i can break small savings towards it over 4 paychecks.

good luck!

Numbers Man

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 12:48:20 PM »
IMO separating your finances doesn't solve any problems. Just continue to save and invest as much as possible. Eventually your partner might catch on. As your body gets older people start changing their minds about wanting to work forever, trust me. Talk to all of the mid 50 plus workers and ask if they rather be retired or working. I bet an overwhelming majority of them wished they had saved enough to be retired already.

TGod

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 01:13:11 PM »
I think this question is pretty interesting, because on a broader scale it's a question of priorities, direction and individualism within a marriage.

I don't think separating finances is automatically a recipe for divorce, UNLESS this becomes less about individual and personal goals within a marriage and more of the "I like how things are and I don't want to change regardless of how stressed you are at work".  I think it's fair to to have both a personal and marital view on finances and make decisions that are good for you personally, as long as they are not detrimental to the family unit and that units long and short term goals. You have a child, perhaps your wife likes to spend more on things for the child than you do, definitely a point where compromise is key. But if your wife likes to buy new clothes all the time and you prefer to wear yours till they fall apart, well that is a personal choice that has nothing to do with need. Less of a compromise required.

There was a thread awhile back similar to this where they had tons of cash, huge house equity, he was the main breadwinner and his spouse didn't want him to quit because "what about our future...what about the children (who were grown)", He wanted to retire, he had every right to retire, but his spouse who didn't work I think, wanted him to keep working regardless of how stressed and burned out he was.
At that point it becomes about selfishness on the spouse's side. If you were going to quit your job and ALL the financial burden would reside on your wife, just because you were tired and didn't like your job, that's one thing, and I too would balk, but dividing your income (what is left after you've paid your share of the fixed expenses etc) to focus on your personal goal of early retirement is different.  If you feel yourself becoming resentful towards your spouse because her wants outweigh yours financially, this may be a great way to get rid of those feelings and help put you back in control.

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2014, 04:55:01 PM »
This is an interesting question and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it.  The question is, is it really about money or is it about underlying differences in what you want?  If you separated finances and were able to save up enough to take time off or retire early, would she suddenly not be jealous because you saved up for it?  Or would it still cause issues in your relationship?

Agreed. You two are having a disagreement about life goals and separating finances won't fix it. Counseling is a great idea, or at least continued in depth conversations. Finding a compromise you can both live with would be a worthy goal. :)

Sunflower

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2014, 05:13:08 PM »
I'm assuming your wife knows that you're getting burned out - maybe you can frame this as a short time thing and see how it goes? Agree to save aggressively for a few months (or whatever is needed), plan that you will take 1-2 years off, and then revisit the issue. It sounds like she is supportive of the idea that you want to stop working but is afraid of the reality (i.e. she might be jealous). This would probably be even easier to pull off if you could find something to do part-time as a transition period and/or backup plan.

ch12

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2014, 06:42:06 PM »
Split Finances
I live in a 50/50 household with my best friend, not my wife. We've got the mine, yours, and ours accounts. We keep $600 in the ours account and refill it on the first of every month. We don't spend all of it. It covers shared expenses: gas, utilities, Internet, food, etc.

That model definitely works, and there's zero friction about our spending. When I was wondering about upping the percentage of electricity that we get from renewable energy, we talked about it. She gave me carte blanche on household expenses up to $300 a month. (She's also extremely environmentally conscious, so she would probably be rooting for that if she paid attention.) I manage the household, but it's mostly because she doesn't want to bother with it.

But wait, there's more
With all that said, it sounds (as a random third party on the Internet, so grain of salt here) like you're giving up on this fight. It also sounds (hearing only your side of the story of course) like she doesn't understand that you are currently sacrificing your happiness for frivolous "nice things."

I don't have a romantic relationship with my best friend/roommate as you do with your wife, but I'd totally give her an interest free loan for a few months to sort things out if she was deeply unhappy with her draining job. (Frankly, I gave her an interest free loan for a month when we moved to another state straight out of college and she had little money.) We don't even have really commingled funds besides a few hundred dollars. I'm interested in a basic amount of wellbeing for her that I don't think you currently have. If she expressed the same level of unhappiness that you express in this post, I'd be very concerned and be making an emotional improvement plan to get to a better place. She would not let me ever implement it, but I'm a planner and a fixer. It would deeply concern me if I were your wife and you expressed this unhappiness, so I'm wondering if you've ever articulated all this directly to your wife.

homehandymum

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2014, 09:29:32 PM »
So I've read everything on the boards about getting your spouse on board with FIRE, my SO and I have been talking about it for a very long time, and we're still not on the same page about it.  We're really not far apart.  It's not like I'm extremely thrifty and she's extremely spendy; we're both actually pretty frugal.  We both grew up in frugal, blue-collar families, and we met in college. 

At this point we have no debt, we own our house outright, and we have $512k in retirement accounts and $45k in cash.  We made differing amounts of money for a very long time; I'm in IT and she's in non-profit management, so I've always made more money but we've always treated it as one pot of money.  Last year she got a big promotion and a raise and got another raise this year, so now we're within 10k of each other, and I wouldn't feel bad asking to separate our finances because our goals are just so different. 

Reading this I had two thoughts:
1) If my partner of 23 years suddenly asked me to separate our finances I would have a complete panic, because I would assume they were making the opening moves towards an amicable (?) separation.

2) It sounds like you've done a lot of thinking and come up with a tentative solution of separating finances so you can feel like you're making some independent headway towards your goal.  But perhaps there are other solutions to that.  My concern is that by raising the separation of the finances without making it clear that the real problem is how trapped you feel about the current job situation/hours etc, the ensuing argument and focus will become about the separating of the finances.  The real issue of you needing to find a different way to do things could get lost in the fallout.

Before having the 'I want to separate our finances' conversation, I'd be having the 'I'm at the end of my rope with my job, the hours I work, and feeling like I'm making no headway' conversation.  Describe how frustrating and futile it feels.  Maybe even say 'I'm willing to work x more months at this job and then I've had enough'.

There are other potential solutions (than separating finances) that occur to me off the top of my head, but the best ones will be what you can brainstorm together as a couple. 

Personally, I wouldn't fixate on FI as the only solution to your dissatisfaction (not a very mustachian suggestion!), but having said that, you haven't said how that $43k is invested - is it working as hard as it could be?  Would she object to you being the one with the 'investment hat' on? 

How about separating out 'spending money' for each of you?  So, instead of having a joint account that you each pay into from your own separate finances (as an earlier poster described), you have your joint finances as they are now, and pay a sum of 'separate money' into individual accounts.  This would take a lot of conversation about what is a joint expense vs an individual expense, but it's an option.

Best of luck to you both!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 12:43:51 AM by homehandymum »

bugbaby

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2014, 01:17:25 AM »

At this point we have no debt, we own our house outright, and we have $512k in retirement accounts and $45k in cash.  We made differing amounts of money for a very long time; I'm in IT and she's in non-profit management, so I've always made more money but we've always treated it as one pot of money.  Last year she got a big promotion and a raise and got another raise this year, so now we're within 10k of each other, and I wouldn't feel bad asking to separate our finances because our goals are just so different. 

I really want FIRE and she is of the mind-set that, as long as we're making good money and can still work we should be working.  She actually loves her job and is energized by it.  I don't like my job at all and I drained by it.  It's also very stressful to have two professionals working more than full time, plus a child, pets, and a household to run, and it always feels like we're running behind.  I would like to slow down, work part time or seasonally, or take a year off and think about what kind of work I'd like to do.  She likes the thought of me taking care of everything at home because she hates all kinds of household management, but feels like she would be jealous even though she doesn't want to do it.  She also wants me to keep working so she can have nice stuff, nice vacations, not have to think about money, etc.


The bolded parts worry me and make me question whether separation of finances is really the way to look at it. 
You've been the much larger breadwinner for 20+ years, so basically the nice chunk of savings is largely if not solely from you.   You've slaved in a stressful life-sucking career to create this nest egg of security for the both of you + child, while she's enjoyed decades of a low-stress, soul-satisfying career.... What's now wrong with having one big pot when situations reverse, and you get to slow down and do something you enjoy for lower pay?  Unless your partner is just selfish and entitled, and now that it's her turn to pull the weight you're scared she'll throw a hissy fit?

@dude: same question for your wife.... what's the deal with that

Of course y'all know your spouses best, but I'm just aghast at this picture.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 01:28:27 AM by babybug »

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2014, 11:35:55 AM »
Many thanks to everyone who answered for such kind, thoughtful, compassionate responses. Ās it turned out the minute I brought up separate finances last night my spouse immediately made it clear that she was amenable to whatever I want to do. She wants me to put together a definite plan, which is very reasonable. I also made it clear that if I put together a plan it needs to be a plan we do together, not one that she criticizes without constructively coming up with solutions. She can be prone to complainypantsism (but who isn't). 

We also have an appointment next week with an attorney/Cpa to confirm we've got our ducks in a row and to ask about getting married in another state.  I also think that some counseling would be helpful as we make this transition.

Thanks again!!

homehandymum

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2014, 11:16:46 PM »
Glad it went well! 

And best wishes for getting married.  If all else fails, come to New Zealand!  Same sex marriage was legalised here last year.  (although, a wedding on the other side of the world could well be a big mustachian fail :)   )

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2014, 03:39:42 PM »
Glad it went well! 

And best wishes for getting married.  If all else fails, come to New Zealand!  Same sex marriage was legalised here last year.  (although, a wedding on the other side of the world could well be a big mustachian fail :)   )

Thanks!  New Zealand has long been on my bucket list!  I went to grad school with someone from New Zealand and it sounds like paradise in every way!!

G-dog

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2014, 05:46:38 PM »
Many thanks to everyone who answered for such kind, thoughtful, compassionate responses. Ās it turned out the minute I brought up separate finances last night my spouse immediately made it clear that she was amenable to whatever I want to do. She wants me to put together a definite plan, which is very reasonable. I also made it clear that if I put together a plan it needs to be a plan we do together, not one that she criticizes without constructively coming up with solutions. She can be prone to complainypantsism (but who isn't). 

We also have an appointment next week with an attorney/Cpa to confirm we've got our ducks in a row and to ask about getting married in another state.  I also think that some counseling would be helpful as we make this transition.

Thanks again!!

Yay!  Congratulations, it sounds like you are well on the way to a plan towards everyone's short-term and long-term needs.
If you decide to get married in another state, please come here to Iowa!  PM me if you are interested.  Luckily, more and more states are supporting all marriages, so you have many more options than a few years ago.

G-dog

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2014, 05:54:40 PM »
Back to finances - my spouse and I have kept our money separate (before and after marriage) for 30+ years now.  I am frugal, he is not. Before marriage no good reason to give him access to my or merged funds. After marriage, did not merge because when we lived together he often did not pay his part of shared expenses.  If you can't/don't/ won't manage your own money you sure as he'll are not getting access to mine!

I can't find @Dude's post - but sounds like we should commiserate over a beer sometime.

In any event, like other's have said, separating finances may not make any difference, other than giving you more control over a pool of money.  But it won't automatically align you goals.

G-dog

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2014, 06:03:08 PM »
I feel your frustration!  My wife (married 7, together 23 years) just cannot grasp the concept of living on passive income rather than having to trade away one's precious time for money.  We're the opposite of you and your partner -- we've had separate accounts throughout our relationship, with the exception of one joint savings account that we contribute to (well, pretty much I'm the one contributing to it).  We pay the bills in proportion to our earnings (i.e., 1/3 her, 2/3 me).  I personally can FIRE in 5-6 years, and will essentially have the same amount of money coming in (taking into consideration all the deductions/expenses I'll no longer have) as I do now, so I've pretty much told her there's no reason I can't FIRE since I can still cover my share of the household expenses (she'll also still be getting her healthcare through me).  She can continue working (hell, she's going to have to), because as part of the team, she's got to do her part to cover her 1/3 of the expenses!  But the thing that bothers me frankly, is she's never bothered to even consider how much she's going to need to save to replace her income (or rather, cover her expenses) in retirement.  The idea of adjusting her lifestyle now to save more and continue that lifestyle in retirement is completely foreign to her.  But I'm trying little by little to educate her.

Similar scenario for me, but I am the frugal one and husband isn't, and I make more $ (2/3 of total). I am shooting for retiring at 55 (13.7 months from now).  He is aware of my goal, but I don't think he is adjusting his spending or saving.  I think he hopes something will change and I won't retire (burned out and fed up).  But I don't think the job faeries have any grand plans for magical changes at my place of work.  We have no joint accounts - why is probably clear from my other posts in this thread.

Good luck on building awareness and common goals with your wife.  And my offer to buy you a beer or other libation stands!

Mori

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2014, 10:08:30 AM »

...We also have an appointment next week with an attorney/Cpa to confirm we've got our ducks in a row and to ask about getting married in another state.  I also think that some counseling would be helpful as we make this transition.


Awesome! Best wishes.

dude

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2014, 10:25:41 AM »
I feel your frustration!  My wife (married 7, together 23 years) just cannot grasp the concept of living on passive income rather than having to trade away one's precious time for money.  We're the opposite of you and your partner -- we've had separate accounts throughout our relationship, with the exception of one joint savings account that we contribute to (well, pretty much I'm the one contributing to it).  We pay the bills in proportion to our earnings (i.e., 1/3 her, 2/3 me).  I personally can FIRE in 5-6 years, and will essentially have the same amount of money coming in (taking into consideration all the deductions/expenses I'll no longer have) as I do now, so I've pretty much told her there's no reason I can't FIRE since I can still cover my share of the household expenses (she'll also still be getting her healthcare through me).  She can continue working (hell, she's going to have to), because as part of the team, she's got to do her part to cover her 1/3 of the expenses!  But the thing that bothers me frankly, is she's never bothered to even consider how much she's going to need to save to replace her income (or rather, cover her expenses) in retirement.  The idea of adjusting her lifestyle now to save more and continue that lifestyle in retirement is completely foreign to her.  But I'm trying little by little to educate her.

Similar scenario for me, but I am the frugal one and husband isn't, and I make more $ (2/3 of total). I am shooting for retiring at 55 (13.7 months from now).  He is aware of my goal, but I don't think he is adjusting his spending or saving.  I think he hopes something will change and I won't retire (burned out and fed up).  But I don't think the job faeries have any grand plans for magical changes at my place of work.  We have no joint accounts - why is probably clear from my other posts in this thread.

Good luck on building awareness and common goals with your wife.  And my offer to buy you a beer or other libation stands!

Haha!  That's funny, G-Dog!  Maybe we're fraternal twins separated at birth!  ;-)

meadow lark

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Re: Separate Finances After 23 years?
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2014, 10:34:05 AM »
Congratulations on 23 years, and impending marriage!  My wife and I went to Canada 10 years ago to get married.  Finally legal here!  Financially we are in very similar situations, main difference is our kid is 18, which is a huge difference in lifestyle.
   I am glad to hear she may be amenable to you not working.  I got completely burned out at my job and went down to 2 (12 hr) days a week.  Huge quality of life improver.  Can you go part-time, or find another job where you can go part-time?  That may be less scary for her (and you.). I also agreed to re-evaluate in 6 months, to see where we are with our financial goals.
Good luck!