[Spouses with no interest in investing]

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cali
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[Spouses with no interest in investing]

Post by cali » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:31 am

I have been married nearly 30 yr and my husband still has no interest or clue about finances. He won't even learn and when I tell him things I learn he doesnt seem to care. I heard that often times there is only one person doing the investing which can be a good thing but this is beyond crazy. He wants to retire in 8 years but has no clue how much you need or no interest in talking about it. I just went through hoops to get him to refi the house which will save $. Been trying to save $ other ways like different car insurance but he won't give me the info though agrees we need to do it. I asked a few yrs ago. I can go on and on… I don't get down on him in case you are wondering.

He is college educated and has a good income. Doesn't blow money but does not know how to invest it either as his idea is have it in the bank with interest paying pennies.. The money I invest is all gifted or inheritance from my family.

i am so stressed…

Icemodeled
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by Icemodeled » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:44 am

Wow does this sound so familiar! My husband and I have been married only 6 years and we have a great marriage, he is a hard worker and doesn't overspend ect but I am the one who plans our budget, looks into investing, figuring out our future and trying to find our way to early retirement. He will normally go along with a plan.. But has no interest in discussing it. I enjoy finances, budgeting, investing and he wants nothing to do with it. He has never invested in a 401k (it was offered but he never bothered with it). He doesn't care about wanting our money to work for us. Yes, he would like to retire early but like you say, doesn't want to discuss or try to plan for it. When I bring things up and try to discuss, he rolls his eyes and just doesn't want to talk about it or will say whatever I decide is fine. It puts a strain on me, as I am the only one making decisions. He is resistant to investing also, but probably part of that is he doesn't really understand investing (not saying I'm an expert either but I'm learning)

I can really understand, even though we are somewhat still "starting out" I do not want to go year after year without planning because he simply doesn't want to deal with it.

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stemikger
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by stemikger » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:37 am

With all due respect, it sounds like he does not value you enough to at least try to learn. My wife was similar but at least she tries, it is just not her strong point. Maybe you guys would benefit from marriage counseling. Life is too short to be stressed and let's face it money will buy you freedom and takes away a lot of the daily worries. That and making you happy should be enough of a motivator.

Good Luck
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White Coat Investor
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:03 am

This is a marriage problem, not a financial problem. A few hours with a therapist might do wonders for your marriage and your finances!

My wife isn't terribly interested in finance (I was surprised this week when she didn't let me lend out Jonathan Clement's new book because she wanted to read it) but she certainly talks to me about it because she cares about me.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by daveydoo » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:31 am

I'm not so quick to say it's a disrespect issue -- it may just be an "energy hill" issue. We've had our share of those, both his and hers. When you're not comfortable with an area, just the prospect of getting all the pieces together for someone else is daunting. After a while, you just don't want to think about it. (Plus, it's embarrassing to be incompetent.) So I took over those things from my spouse, and she did the same for me in some other areas. No big blow-up necessary -- just start doing it. Gradually, about 90% of the financial stuff has migrated to me. Spouse could easily do it -- and she's not passive by any means -- but she's out of practice and not super-interested. So I say just take this piece away from him and I think you'll hear no complaints. Get the primary data yourself rather than relying upon him -- open online access to the accounts you need, intercept the bills, etc., and just do what needs to be done. You lead the charge on the refi. This has worked well for us. It's more work for me but less stress -- I can do things when I think of them. We always get each other's buy-in before committing, but it's generally just a "sounds good!"
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sport
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by sport » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:47 am

What some people do not seem to understand that after a marriage has been in existence for a long time, eventually one of the couple will die. If that is the person who does all the financial things, the survivor will be lost. This can be a very expensive mistake. Although I do most of the investing for DW and I, I make sure she knows what is going on, and understands the reasons for it. If/when I predecease her, she will be fully able to handle the finances.

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celia
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by celia » Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:32 am

White Coat Investor wrote:This is a marriage problem, not a financial problem. A few hours with a therapist might do wonders for your marriage and your finances!
I disagree. There are some couples where both of them discuss and share financial and investing issues, some couples who have one of them make most of the decisions, and LOTS of couples where neither is interested or able (including many who do not have discretionary income, not needed for monthly bills). OP, it sounds like you (and I) are in the middle group.

I think that, in a way, we are lucky. As long as the other party agrees that we should handle investments while they handle something else that benefits the family, I say GO FOR IT and learn all you can about investments, employee benefits, retirement plans, etc. Ask him to bring home the literature about his company's benefits, especially their retirement plan choices. Offer to help him fill out the forms. Let him know if his paycheck will be smaller, but in exchange an account in his name is growing.

I wouldn't stress about this as long as he brings you some info. I would much rather go and make some decisions "for him" (if "with him" is not an option), and act on them, than have a partner who objects to each step. You can do it and we can share our experiences and knowledge on many financial subjects here. Get his OK that this plan is fine with him, then run with it. It is not written anywhere that men have to make these decisions. After all, there are many couples where the husband makes the investment decisions and the wife has no interest. But the wife can be just as capable when the husband has no interest.

mouses
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by mouses » Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:18 am

cali wrote:I have been married nearly 30 yr and my husband still has no interest or clue about finances. He won't even learn and when I tell him things I learn he doesnt seem to care. I heard that often times there is only one person doing the investing which can be a good thing but this is beyond crazy. He wants to retire in 8 years but has no clue how much you need or no interest in talking about it. I just went through hoops to get him to refi the house which will save $. Been trying to save $ other ways like different car insurance but he won't give me the info though agrees we need to do it. I asked a few yrs ago. I can go on and on… I don't get down on him in case you are wondering.

He is college educated and has a good income. Doesn't blow money but does not know how to invest it either as his idea is have it in the bank with interest paying pennies.. The money I invest is all gifted or inheritance from my family.

i am so stressed…
Two things worry me about the above post.

If a spouse immovably has no interest, the best I think one can do is document everything and tell him or her where that info is in case you die first.

However, this "he won't give me the info." That sounds like a power struggle. Is this situation simple disinterest or laziness on his part, or is something else going on here?

Are you working? It does not sound like it. I would get a job, because a job is independence.

Molly12
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by Molly12 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:04 am

We have been married 37 years and are now both retired. I have been responsible for 90% of all the finances and investing decisions. My husband is intelligent and able to make good decisions but has zero interest in our money management. Many times throughout the marriage i have threatened to turn over all the bill paying to him but it just caused me more stress.

I have made sure he does at least know where to find all the necessary info in the event I die before him...he knows all the account passwords, access to all our retirement accounts, and key people who can help him navigate our portfolio. I do run all major decisions by him but he usually agrees with anything I suggest. The major downfall of this system is I sometimes feel as if I am the "parent" when he wants to make major purchases that I don't think are good for our budget. He acts like a petulant child when I say "no". We still have problems with this!!! :oops:

On the other hand I have enjoyed almost complete freedom in our spending and savings practices. It helps that my decisions have led to a successful retirement. We lead a satisfying and comfortable lifestyle.

My advice is to play to your strengths in your relationship. My husband is a great cook and housecleaner so he has totally taken over that task throughout the marriage.

Good luck!

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Rob54keep
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by Rob54keep » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:55 am

We have been married for 38 years and my wife is just not interested (the eyes glaze over quickly) in financial discussions. However, it has forced me to simplify our investments over the years and to have a good paper trail in the event I depart before her.

She also has agreed to sit down and listen to an annual financial review of what I am doing financially, insurance and estate plans. So I develop a simple outline (no spreadsheets) for the yearly discussion and we walk through quickly all aspects of financial (budgets, Roth conversions, anticipated taxes and strategy, giving etc), insurance, withdrawal strategies, social security etc. She then asks questions as we do through the discussion and makes notes on the outline. She then keeps and files her outline.

The discussion usually lasts about 30 minutes. So she is aware of the plans but not in the details.

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teen persuasion
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by teen persuasion » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:19 am

My DH isn't interested in finances, says money is all fake, not real and thus not important. I AM interested, so I've taken over essentially all of our finances over the years. Now, I was a SAHM for nearly 20 years, so it was a bit tricky when it involved things like his 401k thru work. I had to get his buy in, since he had to at least turn in the paperwork to start the ball rolling. After he was signed up, I managed things online whenever possible.

We started small - capture the match, 5%. It became normal. When his employer cut the match, he wanted to stop contributing. I wanted to double the contribution to compensate. I switched our health insurance option to a cheaper one, and tweaked his withholdings so there was little difference in take home pay. When he realized it wasn't too painful, and I wasn't being too extreme, he relaxed and was more open to future tweaks. When we paid off our student loans, I had him double the contribution again. I began working part-time (no benefits for me), and had him double it again.

At the same time, I was gradually paying down our high rate mortgage. As I tweaked his 401k contributions, I realized the tax credit benefits (we have 5 kids). So the lower I pushed our AGI, the greater our refundable credits grew, which I used to rapidly prepay the mortgage in large chunks. I also tried to at least add another principal payment each month, very easy in the beginning. Once the mortgage was gone, I used our refunds to fund Roth IRAs for both of us, and increased his 401k contributions again.

I've come to realize that DH is not very interested in finances because he's not fluent in math. Yes, math is a language, and most can understand the basics, but it's work for those who aren't fluent. They instinctively avoid it, I believe, while those of us who are fluent enjoy it. Our families are stronger if members use their unique strengths for the good of all and share our talents.

grandmacassie
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by grandmacassie » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:24 am

Hi. I've been married 42 years. Listen to what Celia and Molly said. I run the money in our household, too. DH is too busy and so nice that he would be an easy mark. I'm a little more critical. I try to keep him up to date and there are paper records if I should get hit by a bus. But he trusts me b/c he knows I'm not an overspender. Best wishes.

Achelois
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by Achelois » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:11 am

cali wrote:I have been married nearly 30 yr and my husband still has no interest or clue about finances. He won't even learn and when I tell him things I learn he doesnt seem to care. I heard that often times there is only one person doing the investing which can be a good thing but this is beyond crazy. He wants to retire in 8 years but has no clue how much you need or no interest in talking about it. I just went through hoops to get him to refi the house which will save $. Been trying to save $ other ways like different car insurance but he won't give me the info though agrees we need to do it. I asked a few yrs ago. I can go on and on… I don't get down on him in case you are wondering.

He is college educated and has a good income. Doesn't blow money but does not know how to invest it either as his idea is have it in the bank with interest paying pennies.. The money I invest is all gifted or inheritance from my family.

i am so stressed…


Many good suggestions in this thread. I tend to agree that there is a relationship component to this issue. He seems to be controlling both the money and the information. I doubt this is anything new, but now you realize its importance. Have you run numbers yourself to try to figure out how much you will have/need when he retires: pension, social security, investment income vs projected income needs?

If you are concerned about retirement but are unable to get him to communicate or act, you have a few choices:

--continue as is and maintain status quo
--marriage and/or financial counseling
--take matters into your own hands by getting a job and investing your income, however much you can earn, for the next eight to ten years or however long you can work.

Best wishes.

Rodc
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by Rodc » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:30 am

sport wrote:What some people do not seem to understand that after a marriage has been in existence for a long time, eventually one of the couple will die. If that is the person who does all the financial things, the survivor will be lost. This can be a very expensive mistake. Although I do most of the investing for DW and I, I make sure she knows what is going on, and understands the reasons for it. If/when I predecease her, she will be fully able to handle the finances.
And best to set things up in cases like this to be simple. For example no 12-fund slice and dice: vanguard lifecycle or target retirement fund for example. Or written instructions on how to covert to a simple plan.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

Ron
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by Ron » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:33 am

Careless or care less?

My wife may not be overly interested in investing and can care less. However, I would have a problem if she were careless with investing :mrgreen: ...

- Ron

dbr
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by dbr » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:35 am

Achelois wrote: --continue as is and maintain status quo
--marriage and/or financial counseling
--take matters into your own hands by getting a job and investing your income, however much you can earn, for the next eight to ten years or however long you can work.

Best wishes.
I was going to post a similar list. A possible addition to the second is divorce, but of course that is entirely a personal question. The third item is tricky as married couples cannot easily just separate their assets under law though the situation for personal inheritances and so on is more clear.

I would probably suggest that the first item in the list is practical and possible. I did not read as much antagonism into the situation as some posters are suggesting. It seems the person in the greatest danger here is a surviving husband rather than the other way around.

To put this situation back into an actionable context for the forum a posting for financial advice supplying details in the sticky might be of some use.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6211

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6212

alexost
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by alexost » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:37 am

If you separate your incomes, would he be saving a portion of his income?

Rodc
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by Rodc » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:45 am

Mom, is that you!?

***************************

Why are you so stressed out? Honestly that seems more on you than him. It really does not have to be that big of a deal. Handle the investing. Give him a report each January 1st or something. Include a table or graph of where you have been, where you are today, and what you project going forward - pictures are easy to take in. Include a date that seems realistic for retirement, or better give him a projected retirement income for retiring in 5 years, 8 years, 12 years, or something; something that makes it easy to understand - we are on track, or we are a little behind, or ahead. And then unless there are big changes needed, drop it.

People, all people, are a lot like toddlers in many ways. :) Maybe back off and your stress will go down and his resistance will go down as well. Power struggles are like those Chinese finger trap thingies where the harder you pull the tighter they hold on.

What car information do you need for insurance that you do not have? I have a hard time understanding what you might need that you could not just get on your own.

Other than the bit about the car insurance honestly this does not sound like a big relationship issue in and of itself - though if you insist on making it one you could do so. Not sure that is in anyone's best interest. This is a fairly common situation and most couples seem to handle it just fine.

Sometimes we get all hung up expecting our spouses to get at least interested in what we are interested in. But often that is not realistic. I would love it if I could get my wife interested in technical climbing and skiing. Not going to happen. :)

Likewise, my wife is not very interested in retirement planning. She is of the persuasion that she puts some money into a pension. She has an IRA and it sits in a blended index fund of stocks and bonds and over the years it goes up and down with hopefully more ups and downs. When she/we is/are fed up with working she/we will retire and adjust spending to income. You know that is not how I do things. I spend a lot more time and thought on this. But in the end her way would likely work as it has for so many. If one simply puts about 15% or 20% of income into a 60/40 stock/bond index fund for a few decades and then goes off and lives life - when they get to 60 or 65 and take a look they are likely to be fine.

While not very interested in the details, she does listen to my 10 minute January summery of how things are progressing. Only once, years ago, did we have a problem. She thought I was saving too much causing us to crimp our lifestyle too much. We did sit down and go over the what's and why'fors in detail and come to an agreement, including a professional review of the plan (that said something very close to: Rod is doing exactly the right things for retirement, college savings, insurance, etc.). Since then I just give her a quick update once a year, and she kind of nods. :)
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

*3!4!/5!
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by *3!4!/5! » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:04 am

Ron wrote:Careless or care less?
Or couldn't care less?

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White Coat Investor
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:18 am

celia wrote:
White Coat Investor wrote:This is a marriage problem, not a financial problem. A few hours with a therapist might do wonders for your marriage and your finances!
I disagree. There are some couples where both of them discuss and share financial and investing issues, some couples who have one of them make most of the decisions, and LOTS of couples where neither is interested or able (including many who do not have discretionary income, not needed for monthly bills). OP, it sounds like you (and I) are in the middle group.
The problem I'm talking about isn't the fact that she manages the money or she has more interest in good money management or whatever. I certainly agree with your thoughts on that subject. The problem is this:
I have been married nearly 30 yr... and when I tell him things I learn he doesnt seem to care.
he won't give me the info....I can go on and on…
The money I invest is all gifted or inheritance from my family.
i am so stressed…
Those are not financial problems. They are marriage problems. They are not solved with financial solutions. They are solved by fixing the marriage. In this case, the messy finances are merely a symptom of the disease (which is a messy marriage.)
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by LarryAllen » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:23 am

White Coat Investor wrote:This is a marriage problem, not a financial problem. A few hours with a therapist might do wonders for your marriage and your finances!

My wife isn't terribly interested in finance (I was surprised this week when she didn't let me lend out Jonathan Clement's new book because she wanted to read it) but she certainly talks to me about it because she cares about me.

A "marriage problem?" Really? I disagree. Some people just don't care about financial matters. I don't care about some stuff my wife does and I don't try to learn. It doesn't mean there is a marriage problem. People should do what they are good at. Yes, the non-financially minded spouse will have a rude awakening some day if they outlive the other but that is what it is. Not a marriage problem in the least in my opinion.

ResearchMed
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:03 pm

LarryAllen wrote:
White Coat Investor wrote:This is a marriage problem, not a financial problem. A few hours with a therapist might do wonders for your marriage and your finances!

My wife isn't terribly interested in finance (I was surprised this week when she didn't let me lend out Jonathan Clement's new book because she wanted to read it) but she certainly talks to me about it because she cares about me.

A "marriage problem?" Really? I disagree. Some people just don't care about financial matters. I don't care about some stuff my wife does and I don't try to learn. It doesn't mean there is a marriage problem. People should do what they are good at. Yes, the non-financially minded spouse will have a rude awakening some day if they outlive the other but that is what it is. Not a marriage problem in the least in my opinion.
I think you missed a few things, notably that he won't give her information.

That alone is a huge red flag, regardless of whether it is financial or other information.

And she is "so stressed". That is not a problem for only one spouse. Not for long...

RM
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delamer
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by delamer » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:32 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
LarryAllen wrote:
White Coat Investor wrote:This is a marriage problem, not a financial problem. A few hours with a therapist might do wonders for your marriage and your finances!

My wife isn't terribly interested in finance (I was surprised this week when she didn't let me lend out Jonathan Clement's new book because she wanted to read it) but she certainly talks to me about it because she cares about me.

A "marriage problem?" Really? I disagree. Some people just don't care about financial matters. I don't care about some stuff my wife does and I don't try to learn. It doesn't mean there is a marriage problem. People should do what they are good at. Yes, the non-financially minded spouse will have a rude awakening some day if they outlive the other but that is what it is. Not a marriage problem in the least in my opinion.
I think you missed a few things, notably that he won't give her information.

That alone is a huge red flag, regardless of whether it is financial or other information.

And she is "so stressed". That is not a problem for only one spouse. Not for long...

RM
If your spouse tell you that s/he is stressed (and it isn't clear that the OP has said that directly to her husband) about an issue and you can help relieve that stress with a couple hours of your time and the sharing of some information, then you need to act. Spouses should have each others' back.

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by LarryAllen » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:07 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
LarryAllen wrote:
White Coat Investor wrote:This is a marriage problem, not a financial problem. A few hours with a therapist might do wonders for your marriage and your finances!

My wife isn't terribly interested in finance (I was surprised this week when she didn't let me lend out Jonathan Clement's new book because she wanted to read it) but she certainly talks to me about it because she cares about me.

A "marriage problem?" Really? I disagree. Some people just don't care about financial matters. I don't care about some stuff my wife does and I don't try to learn. It doesn't mean there is a marriage problem. People should do what they are good at. Yes, the non-financially minded spouse will have a rude awakening some day if they outlive the other but that is what it is. Not a marriage problem in the least in my opinion.
I think you missed a few things, notably that he won't give her information.

That alone is a huge red flag, regardless of whether it is financial or other information.

And she is "so stressed". That is not a problem for only one spouse. Not for long...

RM


You are right. Not the first time I missed something! :)

Gropes & Ray
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by Gropes & Ray » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:48 pm

I handle all of the finances in my marriage because my wife doesn't care. Once a year I sit her down and explain (to her glazed-over, disinterested eyes) how much we invested and what our finances look like at that point in time.

But, when I ask her to change her 401k contribution she does so. I have access to her online stuff to rebalance it. She may not care, but she is a partner to the extent that I need her help, because she ultimately does care that I care, and she does want to retire someday.

So, OP's problem is a marriage/communication problem. He needs to either care that she cares or affirmatively state why he disagrees with her ideas. Counseling is probably the way. Good luck.

Easy Rhino
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by Easy Rhino » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:58 pm

My wife gets so boooored when it comes time to talk money. I can prattle on for about 10 minutes, and that's about all I have before I lose her.

We work around it pretty well, though.

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by stoptothink » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:10 pm

Gropes & Ray wrote:I handle all of the finances in my marriage because my wife doesn't care. Once a year I sit her down and explain (to her glazed-over, disinterested eyes) how much we invested and what our finances look like at that point in time.

But, when I ask her to change her 401k contribution she does so. I have access to her online stuff to rebalance it. She may not care, but she is a partner to the extent that I need her help, because she ultimately does care that I care, and she does want to retire someday.

So, OP's problem is a marriage/communication problem. He needs to either care that she cares or affirmatively state why he disagrees with her ideas. Counseling is probably the way. Good luck.
We're in the exact same boat. I handle everything, including changing her contribution rates - of course, I tell her what I am doing (she would never otherwise notice). Every quarter, when I update all the numbers, I show her. She has a flash drive, with all the numbers and usernames/passwords, but she has never looked at it nor cared. She has a fundamental understanding of investing and our plan, but it simply doesn't interest her and she trusts me to handle it.

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by Rupert » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:13 pm

Easy Rhino wrote:My wife gets so boooored when it comes time to talk money. I can prattle on for about 10 minutes, and that's about all I have before I lose her.

We work around it pretty well, though.
That's the key. Both partners have to be on board with the arrangement, whatever the arrangement happens to be. Doesn't sound like OP is on board. OP, don't tolerate feigned helplessness. Some people adopt it as a life strategy -- they pretend they can't do things so other people will do it for them. In some people, it's a sign of depression. So I agree that some form of counseling may be in order here. It really does help to have an objective party point out the silliness of a situation.

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by MikeG62 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:38 pm

cali wrote:I have been married nearly 30 yr and my husband still has no interest or clue about finances. He won't even learn and when I tell him things I learn he doesnt seem to care. I heard that often times there is only one person doing the investing which can be a good thing but this is beyond crazy. He wants to retire in 8 years but has no clue how much you need or no interest in talking about it. I just went through hoops to get him to refi the house which will save $. Been trying to save $ other ways like different car insurance but he won't give me the info though agrees we need to do it. I asked a few yrs ago. I can go on and on… I don't get down on him in case you are wondering.

He is college educated and has a good income. Doesn't blow money but does not know how to invest it either as his idea is have it in the bank with interest paying pennies.. The money I invest is all gifted or inheritance from my family.

i am so stressed…
I am in pretty much the same situation as you in that I manage all the financial affairs as my wife has no interest in getting involved (hopefully because she thinks things are being handled appropriately, but who knows). We too have been married almost 30 years. As long as she has cash in her wallet and the bills are paid on time there are no issues.

I tend to agree with others here that it's a lack of interest caused in part by a lack of understanding. My wife too has said many times that if I died tomorrow she would sell all our investments and put the money "in the bank". Despite my attempts to explain how horrible an outcome that would be, she changes the subject and off she goes. This is why our wills provide for money going into a trust and that the investment decisions of the trust will all be handled by Vanguard. Deep down inside I think she gets it. She does not want to screw things up and realizes she'd need professional help to manage the money if I should pre-decease her.

Long way of saying you ar not alone and should not feel like your situation is totally different from everyone else's situation.

Now I would add though that your husband cannot just assume he can retire in 8 years without going through the process of making sure the numbers add up. I can tell you that it takes a heck of a lot of money to retire unless one has a very generous pension and/or is willing to curtail their lifestyle to meet their reduced level of income. By the way, the math is not all that hard either. It goes something like this: List all your expenses (and be realistic about medical costs too because buying that in the open market is nothing like the trivial amount you pay through your employer who likely picks up 80% of the cost), add a good sized buffer for contingencies (things break and stuff needs to get replaced or repaired), and another decent chunk for travel and entertainment (after all you won't want to retire and then sit around at home all day). Subtract from this number any after tax pension income that will be coming in (include SS income, although you may be too young for that). Divide the result by 4%. If your nest egg is not this big, you cannot retire. It's as simple as that.

This is not something where you "wing it" and figure it out as you go. So in that regard I think he needs to face reality and this is where a meeting with a professional would probably yield a lot of benefit.

I suspect he does not want to go through the "brain damage" of having to be dragged through this and maybe he realizes deep down inside that the math won't work. I can't tell you how many people I have heard tell me they are going to retire and then keep working. However, work with him on that. Try to get him to agree on a 1 hour meeting with a professional (financial planner type). If you can do that, your stress level will be greatly reduced.

Good luck.
Last edited by MikeG62 on Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by marco49 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:01 pm

I post this with the complete knowledge that it is heresy and sacrilege for a Bogleheads forum. You ought to consider handing half of your investments over to a fee-based wealth manager. Keep the other half of it under your own management with the explicit instruction that if you pre-decease your husband, all your managed assets will be handed over to the money manager. Get him used to trusting and following the hired manager's advice.

Managing money is NOT for everyone. If DH is not interested enough to learn how to manage money, think of the fix he'll be in as a widower when the vultures come around. Those guys are slick and they know how to take advantage of naive people.

OK, I've got on my asbestos suit. Let the flames begin...

Marc

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by dbr » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:10 pm

marco49 wrote:I post this with the complete knowledge that it is heresy and sacrilege for a Bogleheads forum. You ought to consider handing half of your investments over to a fee-based wealth manager. Keep the other half of it under your own management with the explicit instruction that if you pre-decease your husband, all your managed assets will be handed over to the money manager. Get him used to trusting and following the hired manager's advice.

Managing money is NOT for everyone. If DH is not interested enough to learn how to manage money, think of the fix he'll be in as a widower when the vultures come around. Those guys are slick and they know how to take advantage of naive people.

OK, I've got on my asbestos suit. Let the flames begin...

Marc
Your point is valid. I think that is one reason someone suggested leaving money in trust. Vanguard PAS, which otherwise I just can't see, would be a possible resource for this case.

Unfortunately naivete about money extends to far more than just investing but also to careless spending, scams, unwise schemes, gambling, credit card debt, failure to insure, and many other personal finance failures that a money manager does not address.

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by Rodc » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:48 pm

dbr wrote:
marco49 wrote:I post this with the complete knowledge that it is heresy and sacrilege for a Bogleheads forum. You ought to consider handing half of your investments over to a fee-based wealth manager. Keep the other half of it under your own management with the explicit instruction that if you pre-decease your husband, all your managed assets will be handed over to the money manager. Get him used to trusting and following the hired manager's advice.

Managing money is NOT for everyone. If DH is not interested enough to learn how to manage money, think of the fix he'll be in as a widower when the vultures come around. Those guys are slick and they know how to take advantage of naive people.

OK, I've got on my asbestos suit. Let the flames begin...

Marc
Your point is valid. I think that is one reason someone suggested leaving money in trust. Vanguard PAS, which otherwise I just can't see, would be a possible resource for this case.

Unfortunately naivete about money extends to far more than just investing but also to careless spending, scams, unwise schemes, gambling, credit card debt, failure to insure, and many other personal finance failures that a money manager does not address.
Yes, lots of ways to screw up!

One option, not perfect but likely good enough for most, is just buy an annuity with all or a good portion of the money upon the death of the money manager spouse.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by celia » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:47 pm

teen persuasion wrote:I've come to realize that DH is not very interested in finances because he's not fluent in math. Yes, math is a language, and most can understand the basics, but it's work for those who aren't fluent.
This is a great observation! I've never thought of math this way, although I have a math degree and taught it for a while. Thank you for sharing this.
ResearchMed wrote:I think you missed a few things, notably that he won't give her information.

That alone is a huge red flag, regardless of whether it is financial or other information.
Have you considered that maybe HE doesn't have the information either? Maybe he doesn't save any records (like many other people) and is thinking SHE won't share the car insurance information with him.

OP, do you know who your car insurance is with? Can you call them to get information on your policy? Ask for a copy of your "declarations" page and the page showing your current limits for each coverage (liability, property damage, collision, etc). Once you have that, you can call other companies and ask for an insurance quote for a new policy with the same limits (in order to make a fair comparison).

One way to get a lower premium is to also ask for quotes with a higher deductible (on both your current policy and potential new policies). While you are at it, you might also compare policies that give you more protection than what your state requires. Just make sure you compare policies that quote the same limits.

Go For It!

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by celia » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:56 pm

marco49 wrote:I post this with the complete knowledge that it is heresy and sacrilege for a Bogleheads forum.
......

OK, I've got on my asbestos suit. Let the flames begin...
No flame throwing needed. In theory, your proposal would work if at least one person cared about investing and had some (a lot of) money saved. In practice, those who don't get around to investing probably won't have wills or trusts or "instructions" that have a legal basis to be followed.

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by finite_difference » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:59 pm

I think for 90% of people talking about investing is like watching paint dry.

Then 9.9% likes to talk about it and trade stock tips and play the market.

The remaining 0.1% are Bogleheads :)
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by AllieTB1323 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:28 pm

finite_difference wrote:I think for 90% of people talking about investing is like watching paint dry.

Then 9.9% likes to talk about it and trade stock tips and play the market.

The remaining 0.1% are Bogleheads :)

+1

Ha, our marriage is of two Bogleheads. My wife and I co-owned and co-managed a business for over thirty years. We made investment decisions only after what we call "the discussion". This process continues today. Both of us own our success.

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by delamer » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:19 pm

It's a materially different situation when a person does not have much interest in or aptitude for finances but is fully onboard/cooperative with a spouse who has taken on the responsibility versus the OP's situation where her spouse is impeding her ability to take make good decisions and take action.

The former isn't ideal but is workable (at least while both partners are alive). The second is marital malpractice on the part of the non cooperating spouse.

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by Miriam2 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:44 pm

Wisdom from Charlie Munger:

"If you want to guarantee yourself a lifetime of misery, be sure to marry someone with the intent of changing their behavior."

(Warren Buffett, quoting Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway Report 2015)

OP said they've been married almost 30 years.
marco49 wrote:I post this with the complete knowledge that it is heresy and sacrilege for a Bogleheads forum. You ought to consider handing half of your investments over to a fee-based wealth manager. Keep the other half of it under your own management with the explicit instruction that if you pre-decease your husband, all your managed assets will be handed over to the money manager. Get him used to trusting and following the hired manager's advice.
Managing money is NOT for everyone. If DH is not interested enough to learn how to manage money, think of the fix he'll be in as a widower when the vultures come around. Those guys are slick and they know how to take advantage of naive people.
OK, I've got on my asbestos suit. Let the flames begin...
Marc
Marc, no fire extinguisher necessary, I think you're correct. We here on the Boglehead forum enjoy discussing finance - LadyGeek says we eat it for breakfast :happy - but others can't stand thinking or learning about it, let alone discussing it with their spouse.

And others simply have no ability or aptitude for it. I am convinced one of the the main reasons my dear husband married me is because I could balance his checking account :wink: Indeed, he is truly clueless at all things financial. Moreover, he is HAPPILY clueless. But his strength is in other areas - mainly writing and talking :shock: at which he excels. He can, with only a minute lead time, get up in front of an audience of 1,000 people or more and without fear give an extemporaneous speech about any subject that is either riveting in splendor or fall-on-the-floor hilarious. How many Bogleheads can do that? I sure can't.

We all have different natural gifts, interests, talents, skills and abilities. A marriage works well when each understands this - and divides up the chores.

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by celia » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:46 pm

delamer wrote:It's a materially different situation when a person does not have much interest in or aptitude for finances but is fully onboard/cooperative with a spouse who has taken on the responsibility versus the OP's situation where her spouse is impeding her ability to take make good decisions and take action.
What exactly is he doing to impede things? Maybe he doesn't "know" either. This is much different than saying "No".

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by delamer » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:58 pm

celia wrote:
delamer wrote:It's a materially different situation when a person does not have much interest in or aptitude for finances but is fully onboard/cooperative with a spouse who has taken on the responsibility versus the OP's situation where her spouse is impeding her ability to take make good decisions and take action.
What exactly is he doing to impede things? Maybe he doesn't "know" either. This is much different than saying "No".
This is what I based the "impeding" comment on, from the OP's initial post:

"Been trying to save $ other ways like different car insurance but he won't give me the info though agrees we need to do it. I asked a few yrs ago. I can go on and on…"

Sounds like stonewalling to me.

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by celia » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:12 pm

delamer wrote:This is what I based the "impeding" comment on, from the OP's initial post:

"Been trying to save $ other ways like different car insurance but he won't give me the info though agrees we need to do it. I asked a few yrs ago. I can go on and on…"

Sounds like stonewalling to me.
And I stated earlier that possibly he doesn't know / remember anything about the car insurance either (or even if there is information about it in the house). It is possible he is assuming she will take take of it and she hasn't. We don't have enough information here but some of us are assuming he is resisting her efforts. She apparently brought it up once several years ago and he agreed it should be done, but neither has looked into it.

This is not impeding her efforts, in my view. We don't have enough info and OP hasn't posted here since the thread was started.

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by delamer » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:20 pm

celia wrote:
delamer wrote:This is what I based the "impeding" comment on, from the OP's initial post:

"Been trying to save $ other ways like different car insurance but he won't give me the info though agrees we need to do it. I asked a few yrs ago. I can go on and on…"

Sounds like stonewalling to me.
And I stated earlier that possibly he doesn't know / remember anything about the car insurance either (or even if there is information about it in the house). It is possible he is assuming she will take take of it and she hasn't. We don't have enough information here but some of us are assuming he is resisting her efforts. She apparently brought it up once several years ago and he agreed it should be done, but neither has looked into it.

This is not impeding her efforts, in my view. We don't have enough info and OP hasn't posted here since the thread was started.
You and I are interpreting the original post differently. It would be helpful to hear from the OP.

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:00 am

marco49 wrote:I post this with the complete knowledge that it is heresy and sacrilege for a Bogleheads forum. You ought to consider handing half of your investments over to a fee-based wealth manager. Keep the other half of it under your own management with the explicit instruction that if you pre-decease your husband, all your managed assets will be handed over to the money manager. Get him used to trusting and following the hired manager's advice.

Managing money is NOT for everyone. If DH is not interested enough to learn how to manage money, think of the fix he'll be in as a widower when the vultures come around. Those guys are slick and they know how to take advantage of naive people.

OK, I've got on my asbestos suit. Let the flames begin...

Marc
Great thought. And many financial planners are really marriage counselors in disguise. Maybe she could get him to go with her to see a financial planner if she can't get him to go to a marriage counselor. Could be pretty expensive counseling though, but may still be worth it.
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Re: [Spouses with no interest in investing]

Post by LibertyLover » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:06 am

It's not essential that he learns about investing. But he should hand over the reigns so you can take care of it. In that case he should just give you the password to his 401k and you should take care of it (set it up... determine contribution rates etc).

It sounds like your finances are not combined or are being somewhat hidden from you. As the one who does the finances, I've refinanced the house and switched insurance without much input besides telling my wife i was doing it and why. You should be able to just do it and have him show up when you need his signature. If you don't have the control to do that then there are bigger issues going on.

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Re: spouses that careless about investing

Post by Rodc » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:09 am

delamer wrote:
celia wrote:
delamer wrote:This is what I based the "impeding" comment on, from the OP's initial post:

"Been trying to save $ other ways like different car insurance but he won't give me the info though agrees we need to do it. I asked a few yrs ago. I can go on and on…"

Sounds like stonewalling to me.
And I stated earlier that possibly he doesn't know / remember anything about the car insurance either (or even if there is information about it in the house). It is possible he is assuming she will take take of it and she hasn't. We don't have enough information here but some of us are assuming he is resisting her efforts. She apparently brought it up once several years ago and he agreed it should be done, but neither has looked into it.

This is not impeding her efforts, in my view. We don't have enough info and OP hasn't posted here since the thread was started.
You and I are interpreting the original post differently. It would be helpful to hear from the OP.
Agree, this seems to be something that strong opinions hang on, but the information is too thin (IMHO) for strong opinions.

Asking once years ago and never following up does not seem like a strong case for DH undermining the OP in a strong ongoing sense. Or clear evidence that they need serious marriage counseling. Just my opinion, YMMV.

If she really cared she could have just called the insurance company or followed up with DH. There may be some passive aggressiveness or something on both sides, or he just thought he would get to it later and forgot or he is just a procrastinator. She maybe using this as a "I want to see him care" or "If he loved me he would do this" test of some sort, even if only subconsciously. Who knows.

After 30 years roles and behaviors are likely pretty well cast in stone. At some point one has to realize that and the fact that working within that reality is a whole lot easier than trying to unilaterally change reality. Now if it really and truly is a source of pain, absolutely need to work on it. [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek] Which is the case we do not know - only the OP can answer that.
Last edited by Rodc on Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Spouses with no interest in investing]

Post by SQRT » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:01 am

Reading these posts makes me very thankful my wonderful wife and I are so financially compatible. We are both CPA's and share a keen interest in financial matters. I do most of the investing and budgeting but she is intimately involved. I discuss all trades with her and value her opinion. If I go first (likely) she will have no problems.

Now my first wife. That was a financial disaster and certainly contributed to our divorce. I guess if depends on how important financial matters are to the one party vs the other. Finances are very important to me, maybe even a fetish. I just couldn't imagine being married to someone who had no interest at all. What would we talk about?

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Re: [Spouses with no interest in investing]

Post by junior » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:11 am

cali wrote:I have been married nearly 30 yr and my husband still has no interest or clue about finances. He won't even learn and when I tell him things I learn he doesnt seem to care. I heard that often times there is only one person doing the investing which can be a good thing but this is beyond crazy. He wants to retire in 8 years but has no clue how much you need or no interest in talking about it. I just went through hoops to get him to refi the house which will save $. Been trying to save $ other ways like different car insurance but he won't give me the info though agrees we need to do it. I asked a few yrs ago. I can go on and on… I don't get down on him in case you are wondering.

He is college educated and has a good income. Doesn't blow money but does not know how to invest it either as his idea is have it in the bank with interest paying pennies.. The money I invest is all gifted or inheritance from my family.

i am so stressed…
I'll second the statement from others that this isn't about "interest". This is about a power struggle.

Apparently you think you are not able to invest any of the money you earn for a living without your husband's permission. You are also not entitled to know your husband's financial arrangements like car insurance, which he does without your permission, or am I misreading that?

If this was simply about interest, what would happen is the spouse without interest would get glass eyed when the other spouse talks about investment, and says "I don't understand that stuff but it sounds fine dear!" Or the spouse without interest would get nervous and agree that only a portion of the earnings would be invested as the interested spouse sees fit.

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Re: [Spouses with no interest in investing]

Post by Rodc » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:47 am

[quote="SQRT"]Reading these posts makes me very thankful my wonderful wife and I are so financially compatible. We are both CPA's and share a keen interest in financial matters. I do most of the investing and budgeting but she is intimately involved. I discuss all trades with her and value her opinion. If I go first (likely) she will have no problems.

Now my first wife. That was a financial disaster and certainly contributed to our divorce. I guess if depends on how important financial matters are to the one party vs the other. Finances are very important to me, maybe even a fetish. I just couldn't imagine being married to someone who had no interest at all. What would we talk about?[/quote]

I presume that is largely in jest. But in case not, boy that is a narrow set of interests! What do you talk about with your friends?
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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Re: [Spouses with no interest in investing]

Post by SQRT » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:03 am

Rodc wrote:
SQRT wrote:Reading these posts makes me very thankful my wonderful wife and I are so financially compatible. We are both CPA's and share a keen interest in financial matters. I do most of the investing and budgeting but she is intimately involved. I discuss all trades with her and value her opinion. If I go first (likely) she will have no problems.

Now my first wife. That was a financial disaster and certainly contributed to our divorce. I guess if depends on how important financial matters are to the one party vs the other. Finances are very important to me, maybe even a fetish. I just couldn't imagine being married to someone who had no interest at all. What would we talk about?[/quote]

I presume that is largely in jest. But in case not, boy that is a narrow set of interests! What do you talk about with your friends?
Yes, largely in jest. Although, like many here, we are both quite interested in financial matters. Now with our friends we hardly ever talk about money. I like to think I am pretty well informed and can converse on many topics and levels.

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Re: [Spouses with no interest in investing]

Post by Geneyus » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:28 am

If a spouse won't give financial information to the significant other, that's a huge red flag. Both people should be able to access all of their financial information without argument. Arguing over how to spend money is normal, hiding it is not.

My sister recently found out her husband is addicted to pain meds after a surgery a while back. He took out a loan, with his vehicle as collateral, to pay for his addiction. She had no idea for a long time, until she saw something in the mail, because he handles everything. Both spouses need to have access to financial information, and they need to be able to login and see what's going on. Would that have stopped the loan? Maybe not, but what if he was draining their savings as well? My wife isn't overly interested in our finances, but she knows where to find our login information for every account we have, and I sent her an email with my life insurance policies in case something happens to me.

I agree that marriage counseling is in order for the OP. Maybe that will convince the spouse that they are wrong.

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