Who's getting the short end of the stick? - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Who's getting the short end of the stick?

Chris and I recently married in our early 50ís. We have decided to keep separate bank accounts. We are both debt-free. We have adult children from previous marriages and have protected our assets with a prenuptial agreement. Our separate wills leave most of our assets to our own children.
Since graduating from high school, Chris has been mostly self-employed and owns a house shared with me. Chris saved nothing for retirement before we married. Chris has a net worth of about $150K which is primarily the value of the house. If Chris dies, I will receive only a minimal amount of spousal benefits from Social Security. Chrisí children will split the house.
I have a job with excellent benefits including health care for Chris and me. My net worth is about $400K which is primarily the value of my retirement funds. I hope to save enough to afford a winter retirement home for us in a more favorable climate. If I die, Chris will receive spousal benefits from Social Security, spousal benefits from my pension, a life insurance payment of about $60K, plus $20K that I bequeathed in my will. My children will split the remainder of my assets.
Chris pays about one fourth of the household expenses and I pay the other three fourths including the real estate taxes on Chrisí house. In addition, I also pay for all entertainment outside the house including vacations, meals, concerts, etc.

Chris and I both think this financial arrangement is not equitable and strongly favors the other. Specifically, Chris thinks I should contribute more to expenses or a joint savings account since I pay no rent to live in the house. Plus, Chris has an irrational fear that I could leave without sharing my retirement funds. I think Chris is lucky that I spent most of my adult life saving for retirement and am willing to share it. If I did leave before retirement, Chris will still be much better off financially than before we wed. We would like your opinions.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 08:02 PM
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Chris and I recently married in our early 50?s. We have decided to keep separate bank accounts. We are both debt-free. We have adult children from previous marriages and have protected our assets with a prenuptial agreement. Our separate wills leave most of our assets to our own children.
Since graduating from high school, Chris has been mostly self-employed and owns a house shared with me. Chris saved nothing for retirement before we married. Chris has a net worth of about $150K which is primarily the value of the house. If Chris dies, I will receive only a minimal amount of spousal benefits from Social Security. Chris? children will split the house.
I have a job with excellent benefits including health care for Chris and me. My net worth is about $400K which is primarily the value of my retirement funds. I hope to save enough to afford a winter retirement home for us in a more favorable climate. If I die, Chris will receive spousal benefits from Social Security, spousal benefits from my pension, a life insurance payment of about $60K, plus $20K that I bequeathed in my will. My children will split the remainder of my assets.
Chris pays about one fourth of the household expenses and I pay the other three fourths including the real estate taxes on Chris? house. In addition, I also pay for all entertainment outside the house including vacations, meals, concerts, etc.

Chris and I both think this financial arrangement is not equitable and strongly favors the other. Specifically, Chris thinks I should contribute more to expenses or a joint savings account since I pay no rent to live in the house. Plus, Chris has an irrational fear that I could leave without sharing my retirement funds. I think Chris is lucky that I spent most of my adult life saving for retirement and am willing to share it. If I did leave before retirement, Chris will still be much better off financially than before we wed. We would like your opinions.
This sounds like a story problem from school. Is Chris make or female?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 08:09 PM
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I'm not one to ask. Met W at age 19 and am in my 50's and we have pooled all assets the whole time. We only have "our" things. I've earned more than W the entire time but we share financial values and live pretty simply and have accumulated wealth. Our house is big but full of kids. My new car is a 2001 but we have almost 7 figures saved plus the house (but have 5 kids to put through college)

It doesn't really matter though - it's not about the number - it's about shared values.

If Chris is a spendthrift and you are a saver, you're likely to build resentment toward each other unless you work through that.

Separate finances and long term planning on both your parts was an excellent idea though.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 08:38 PM
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Re: Who's getting the short end of the stick?

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Originally Posted by transplant View Post
Chris and I recently married in our early 50ís. We have decided to keep separate bank accounts. We are both debt-free. We have adult children from previous marriages and have protected our assets with a prenuptial agreement. Our separate wills leave most of our assets to our own children.
Since graduating from high school, Chris has been mostly self-employed and owns a house shared with me. Chris saved nothing for retirement before we married. Chris has a net worth of about $150K which is primarily the value of the house. If Chris dies, I will receive only a minimal amount of spousal benefits from Social Security. Chrisí children will split the house.
I have a job with excellent benefits including health care for Chris and me. My net worth is about $400K which is primarily the value of my retirement funds. I hope to save enough to afford a winter retirement home for us in a more favorable climate. If I die, Chris will receive spousal benefits from Social Security, spousal benefits from my pension, a life insurance payment of about $60K, plus $20K that I bequeathed in my will. My children will split the remainder of my assets.
Chris pays about one fourth of the household expenses and I pay the other three fourths including the real estate taxes on Chrisí house. In addition, I also pay for all entertainment outside the house including vacations, meals, concerts, etc.

Chris and I both think this financial arrangement is not equitable and strongly favors the other. Specifically, Chris thinks I should contribute more to expenses or a joint savings account since I pay no rent to live in the house. Plus, Chris has an irrational fear that I could leave without sharing my retirement funds. I think Chris is lucky that I spent most of my adult life saving for retirement and am willing to share it. If I did leave before retirement, Chris will still be much better off financially than before we wed. We would like your opinions.
Well, I don't understand being "married" yet having separate finances, though I have recently realized most couples my age (50's) that I'm friends with are doing that.

But if you agreed to keep separate accounts, and you're paying about 75% of all current expenses (did I read wrong?) except whatever Chris previously paid for the mortgage, plus you have more assetts that Chris will inherit, what reason does Chris give that you should pay a bigger portion? And why is it that Chris has no retirement savings?

I think some of this comes down to your philosophy on marriage and male/female roles. If Chris is your wife, and Chris has no retirement fund because she was more a stay at home wife/mom in her past life than a business owner, and so now, here she is, with no retirement fund and you married her and want to do/have expensive things, then I don't think you can begrudge her the female role of being taken care of financially in marriage. Especially if you want to do/have things Chris cannot or would not afford on his/her own but you want Christ to be your spouse and do these things with you.

On the other hand if Chris just blows through money recklessly and doesn't have savings because he/she never cared, and stayed self employed at something that wasn't making much money because he/she just wanted to do that and not work as hard as you do, but now is married to you and wants to ride on your coattails have have you spring for everything - um - WTH?!

And I'm sure some will wig out that I'm sexist but I think if Chris is the man then seriously WTH?

Things sound like they are more financially in Chris's favor than yours to me, but like I said, who is wanting the things that run up the expenses? And how much would rent or a mortgage be if Chris did not already own the house? Maybe you could put 50% of what that cost would be (minus property taxes) were there no house aside for Chris's retirement. But if you're going to get that 50/50 then why are you paying more than 50% of the expenses?

Uggggg.... It can't be easy to combine income when you have adult children and have already lived the lives you have up to this point and are at different financial places. But I've got to say - while it sounds to me like Chris is getting the better deal financially, I just want to ask - are you married and seeing yourselves as "one" or aren't you? 'Cause this sounds very "yours" and "mine" which is not marriage to me. Of course you do have the children from previous marriages which complicates things. And my H has spent all the money I've earned and I have nothing to show at 50 so what do I know. I have no business even answering you, LOL. But hopefully I gave you some points to ponder.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 08:58 PM
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Re: Who's getting the short end of the stick?

Chris should pay half, you pay half. End of story. Forget the "after death part". You are living and each need to pay half.

Plus Chris needs to take out a term life insurance policy on him with you as beneficiary.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 09:00 PM
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Re: Who's getting the short end of the stick?

I don't believe in separate accounts. I believe in all in or all out. You work as a unit or you are just friends with benefits. Forget the kids. They should make their own way in life. They can have whatever scraps you have left over after your party your ass to the afterlife.

If you and Chris love each other, stop worrying about whose money is whose. A prenup to get you as much as you can like before he marriage is one thing. But once you are in, be in. Dive in. Float around. Hell, pee in the pool. I hate the halfsies stuff.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 09:03 PM
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Re: Who's getting the short end of the stick?

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Originally Posted by transplant View Post
Chris and I recently married in our early 50ís. We have decided to keep separate bank accounts. We are both debt-free. We have adult children from previous marriages and have protected our assets with a prenuptial agreement. Our separate wills leave most of our assets to our own children.
Since graduating from high school, Chris has been mostly self-employed and owns a house shared with me. Chris saved nothing for retirement before we married. Chris has a net worth of about $150K which is primarily the value of the house. If Chris dies, I will receive only a minimal amount of spousal benefits from Social Security. Chrisí children will split the house.
I have a job with excellent benefits including health care for Chris and me. My net worth is about $400K which is primarily the value of my retirement funds. I hope to save enough to afford a winter retirement home for us in a more favorable climate. If I die, Chris will receive spousal benefits from Social Security, spousal benefits from my pension, a life insurance payment of about $60K, plus $20K that I bequeathed in my will. My children will split the remainder of my assets.
Chris pays about one fourth of the household expenses and I pay the other three fourths including the real estate taxes on Chrisí house. In addition, I also pay for all entertainment outside the house including vacations, meals, concerts, etc.

Chris and I both think this financial arrangement is not equitable and strongly favors the other. Specifically, Chris thinks I should contribute more to expenses or a joint savings account since I pay no rent to live in the house. Plus, Chris has an irrational fear that I could leave without sharing my retirement funds. I think Chris is lucky that I spent most of my adult life saving for retirement and am willing to share it. If I did leave before retirement, Chris will still be much better off financially than before we wed. We would like your opinions.
Get a reverse mortgage on his property and invest the money or use it for traveling, cruises, or investments... The income of the investments should be divided 50% - 50%. You both take a life insurance AARP offer very good options.... I hope I could help.
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