Re: Resistance to (Joint) Savings
Let me take a stab at this one, though I haven't thought it through completely.
There's His Money, Her Money, and Joint Money in any marriage. There are His Expenses, Her Expenses, and Joint Expenses. You went into the marriage with a lot of savings, while she had none. She also brought in a large repetitive need for money to deal with her legal issues, which are Her Expenses, not Joint Expenses.
She treated His Money as Joint Money. You did too, without any worries. You were even very generous in fronting the money for her late mother's expenses, which were your wife's obligation (or her mother's estate's obligation), not yours. You were viewing all the assets as Joint Money, but she was not. She was looking at your money as Joint Money, and Her Money as Her Money.
Now she has inherited a very large amount of money, she wants to keep it all as Her Money. Basically, when she had no money she wanted all assets to be available to her for her obligations as well as for her enjoyment (lifestyle). Now she wants to keep all assets as Her Money.
This just seems very selfish and uncaring. She should be willing to pay back all of her legal fees and whatever was fronted for her late mother's expenses, as those are clearly Her Expenses, not Joint Expenses. As far as your money which was spent on joint expenses like housing etc, I think that money is not something you can ask for back.
But, you should not be now paying more than 50% of family expenses. I would also not pay for her son's expenses for things like a car, college, expensive musical instruments, etc. If she is receiving child support from her ex, there should be some allocation of it into the family expenses. She should pay more than 50% of the mortgage, groceries, health insurance, etc because she is getting money from the boy's father specifically to pay for those items.
In terms of basic finances, you should be putting at least 15% of your gross pay into a retirement account of some sort. She doesn't have to because she has almost enough from her inheritance to fund a retirement. She may need to save 5% or something like that, but not as much as you.
I think the divorce angle may be on her mind but you can sidestep that by perhaps bringing all of this up in terms of an overall financial plan as well as how it seems she is being cheap or selfish by keeping the large inheritance after having depleted all of your life savings.
Dave Ramsey has a good book and a good financial planning class called Financial Peace University which you can take locally. It could be a good framework to use to approach your wife. I am also a big fan of Tony Robbins' book "Money, Master the Game" as an addition to Dave Ramsey's stuff.
Her inheritance is legally hers as long as it is in her name. She should keep it in her name, too. But, she is wrong to not be reimbursing you for all the money you used to pay for HER expenses. She should give you whatever that amount is for you to put back into your own name, separate from her. This way you retain the assets you brought into the marriage, and she retains her inheritance, in case of divorce.
Also, with that amount of money and probably some life insurance, she needs some very good estate planning. I have a trust, which protects my estate and ensures it goes where I want it to. When there are kids, ex spouses, etc, it is important to have a trust done by a good local attorney (not an online form) who specializes in estate trusts. It will cost about $1k to $2k in lawyer fees, which is well worth it to keep her ex from getting hold of the money or her kids blowing the money if they inherit it at a young age.
Last edited by Thor; 06-14-2017 at 10:34 PM.