For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Jags4186
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For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:34 pm

Like many of you we have tons of accounts. And for the many of you who also participate in new account bonus chasing, you know what I mean by "tons" of accounts. My wife and I go over monthly all of our money and everything is tied into mint.com so we have up to the second views of our accounts.

On top of all of this I usually shop around yearly for better car insurance, renter's insurance, life insurance, etc. rates and frequently switch companies. Usually this is done with a conversation that goes "hey just an FYI I'm doing X and it's going to save us $Y". That's the end of it.

But yesterday my wife asked me for all of the username and passwords for all of the accounts incase something happened to me. I realized I have no easy way of giving them to her. I don't want to e-mail them to her, and it didn't sit right with me to just write them all down in a notebook and god forbid it gets stolen. I also realized it's my personal e-mail that is used for all of the two step verification, and for better or worse that's "mine" and not something I plan on giving access to her...sort of the same way I wouldn't read her journal/go through her e-mails/log into her Facebook account.

So how do you all who handle all of the minutia of your household finances keep your spouse up to date with online points of access? What system do you use?

Saving$
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Saving$ » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:40 pm

Keep all the account logons in Keepass, and share the Keepass database. In your case, I guess you could keep your email logon out of the Keepass database. I don't know what you would do for 2 factor authentication...

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Sheepdog » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:48 pm

My spouse does nothing financial. If I change insurers I first consult and then advise her. I have EVERYTHING on paper. When changes are made, so do the files. There is a notebook with a copy of our Trust in which I also keep all of that info. Everything which is truly confidential (stealing could hurt) is locked in our home safe.
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:52 pm

I don't bonus chase. Too much like a job, but I do use rewards credit cards.
I use Quicken, which contains all the account information she could need when I die. One button updates it all.
The Quicken password, and all other passwords, are in RoboForm. I have told DW the master password, but a letter in our safe deposit box also has instructions.
Everything is backed up via CrashPlan every few minutes, with versioning.
Untouched, with autopay and all, I think everything would run fine for a few months.

Every year or so I give her a State Of Our Investments talk. She mostly doesn't care, but tries to act interested. For a while. Then we watch Netflix.
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Timon0201 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:55 pm

My SO and I created a joint email when we got married. The email really just forwards everything to our personal emails. But I would recommend doing that, then using your joint email for the log ins so that the two step authentication goes to both emails.

Or something like LastPass that saves all username/passwords

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by aristotelian » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:02 pm

You should each have your own login credentials. Sharing that information would violate your custodian terms of agreement. All she needs if listed as beneficiary is your SS, DOB, DOD, and death certificate. I recently claimed an inheritance left for my kids by a relative (to our complete surprise) and that is all we needed.

If you want access to her accounts and vice versa, you would need to do agent aithorization which would allow you access to her account when logged in as yourself.

That said, we do quarterly meetings. We review our spending, log in to our accounts and check balances, and make her solo 401k contribution.
Last edited by aristotelian on Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by annielouise » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:04 pm

Have you considered getting a shared email account and only using that one for everything financial? Or, most places allow both people to have their own login to the account, so you could make your wife her own.

We are symbiotic, so we share everything. We regularly look at each others email accounts, etc. :D

I created a really nice financial spreadsheet with important tabs and tasks to do every 6 months to keep it updated, and I have walked my husband through it. I tell him everything that I do, but he forgets sometimes - probably cause he knows that I always have his back.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:08 pm

Saving$ wrote:Keep all the account logons in Keepass, and share the Keepass database. In your case, I guess you could keep your email logon out of the Keepass database. I don't know what you would do for 2 factor authentication...
+1

Create two (or more) databases in KeePass. Share the master password(s) to the database(s) that you wish to give her access to. If you wish, you can put the master password(s) to other database(s) in a safe-deposit box for her access in case something happens to you.

As for what we do: all financial accounts are separate except for one joint checking account. Neither of us feels the need to access the other's individual accounts, but all joint finances are easily accessible to either. We do have a KeePass arrangement very much as described above for our individual accounts. [Not a recommendation, but this is what works for us.]

Edit: To be clear, even though most finances are separate, I do handle all joint expenses, bills, etc, but DW has access to all that info whenever she wants via above methods.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Kenkat » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:20 pm

My wife and I sit down together at the computer and Quicken and pay bills every two weeks. We will occasionally talk about retirement account balances, etc. as well. If I want to make any changes, I always run it past her first and listen to her comments. I don't change things very often though.

Some things I keep a little simpler because it doesn't matter much to me; for example, she has emailed bills such as utilities come to her email address and she prints them out for later posting because that's her preference. Other things I explain the whys and hows but do per my preference. For example, we still receive credit card bills in the mail but I pay them online while her preference would be a check. She quietly tolerates me painstakingly itemizing the credit card bills into budget lines.

Since I am the type of person who doesn't like to replace things until they are worn out, we have a deal where she can spend a certain amount per year on the house to upgrade things like bathroom fixtures (that are still perfectly functional) with new ones. Compromise is a key to a long marriage I believe and so we try to find a good a balance.

She always says that if I die first, she's going back to a full paper-based process. Which is fine, I will not care at that point. :happy

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by livesoft » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:32 pm

We also have a joint e-mail and use that as the e-mail address of record for all insurance/government/financial accounts. My spouse can see evidence of everything I do with those accounts and I can see evidence of what she does.

I also have my spouse responsible for paying 3 bills while I pay all the rest. That way, my spouse knows the mechanics of bill pay AND she has to tell me how much her credit card bill pay is every month in order to make sure there is enough money in the checking account to pay it. The notices for all bill pays do come to our joint e-mail, so that I can see when either of us has payments due.

As for investments, she was in two investment clubs and can handle investments if I asked her to, but she doesn't care about investments anymore.
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by JGoneRiding » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:57 pm

That is tough. My phone is used for all 2 step verification but nether of us lock our phones and do regularly share them. I have a list of all accts hand written but thr passwords are shorthand for thr most part. My DH hasn't asked for them but if he did I would write out most of them for him. As it is he doesn't even know for our joint checking or his ira I handLe it all.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by nisiprius » Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:44 pm

This is a statement of what I do. It's not a recommendation. What I do is the result of some conscious thought. Note: my wife handles the checkbook, the credit cards, the bills, the real estate taxes, and budgeting to the extent that we budget. She hates everything to do with securities, mutual funds, and brokerages.

1) Whenever possible, I opt for mailed print paper statements, no e-delivery. That's to minimize the chances of heirs overlooking assets.

2) About once a year I ask my wife to recite, from memory, the names of all the institutions at which we have assets. That currently means Vanguard, Treasury Direct, one Internet bank, and two brick-and-mortar banks, and three insurance companies (long-term-care insurance, and two income annuities). She also has to remember that there are paper series I saving bonds in the safe deposit box.

3) She has her own Vanguard login with view and transact authorities on my Vanguard account, and vice versa. Ditto Treasury Direct (a royal pain since authority must be granted individually for each bond issue).

4) Every time a Vanguard statement comes in the mail, I open it, glance at it, hand it to her and say she needs to look at it, but I do not check or quiz her as to whether she does. Sometimes I point to the asset allocation pie chart. She has some idea of the size of the account.

5) About once a year I ask her to actually take $100 out of my Vanguard account and transfer it to our checking account to make she still knows how and that there hasn't been any software rot that makes the website not work right with her computer. This also smokes out issues of forgetting procedures, passwords, web addresses, etc. I try to do the same thing with Treasury Direct, but I'm overdue on that.
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by jebmke » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:09 pm

My spouse pays nearly all the bills (mostly on billpay). I reconcile the account and fund it. All of our VG accounts are linked separately to each of our VG log-in IDs so either one of us sees the entire picture when logging in. We discuss any investment or withdrawal other than monthly withdrawals that go to the checking account to pay the bills. Annually, we go over the balance sheet and income. I do the taxes - that is one thing she has no interest in. But I have a rec from Line 37 to the total income (mentioned earlier) -- this answered the one question that normally comes up when I show her the tax return: Why is Line 37 so much lower than the income you showed me in January?
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Uncle Pennybags » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:15 pm

I no longer have that problem. :D

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by watchnerd » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:25 pm

Jags4186 wrote: But yesterday my wife asked me for all of the username and passwords for all of the accounts incase something happened to me. I realized I have no easy way of giving them to her. I don't want to e-mail them to her, and it didn't sit right with me to just write them all down in a notebook and god forbid it gets stolen. I also realized it's my personal e-mail that is used for all of the two step verification, and for better or worse that's "mine" and not something I plan on giving access to her...sort of the same way I wouldn't read her journal/go through her e-mails/log into her Facebook account.
There is an envelope in our fire safe entitled "In Case [Watchnerd] Dies" with all the accounts and logins.
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by tibbitts » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:30 pm

Uncle Pennybags wrote:I no longer have that problem. :D
It might not be a spouse but then it's not any easier because it's probably not someone that lives with you or even in the same state. And that person has to deal with not just your finances but a spouse, parents, etc. etc. so they're spread pretty thin.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by tibbitts » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:30 pm

Uncle Pennybags wrote:I no longer have that problem. :D
It might not be a spouse but then it's not any easier because it's probably not someone that lives with you or even in the same state. And that person has to deal with not just your finances but a spouse, parents, etc. etc. so (s)he's spread pretty thin even without dealing with all your accounts/logins/passwords.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by indexonlyplease » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:39 pm

Easy, I have a safe. If you don't buy a small one you can bolt to the floor.

Then I have a book with name of investment accounts with username and passwords.
She know about the savings and checking. We only have one of each. I believe in keeping it simple for this reason your wife mentioned. I nevered beleive in moving the money all around every year because with rated these days it really does not make a difference. Also, long relationships are great with banks.

I have two kids, high school and college. They also have a folder in there with the name of their investment accounts user and passwords.

All next to the Will.

All very simple. This is talked about alot that people should keep their money in a few places as possible. For the reason your wife mentions.

Also, I update it as needed. My wife every blue moon will ask about our investments. This is when we talk about it.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Mike Scott » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:49 pm

Everything is on paper with at least annual updates. I try to minimize complexity but tax strategies make that more difficult. All the $$ is connected through a joint bank account which she balances each month with questions about anything she does not recognize. Of course, in real life, she is a finance tech for a fairly large organization and does more complicated stuff on a daily basis that any of our own.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by KSOC » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:49 pm

Two spreadsheets, both locked. One with all the passwords & one with all investments. Sheets printed & locked in safe.

At the beginning of each month we go over where we're at & where we're headed. Doesn't take long. Usually over a cup of coffee and we talk "business"
for a bit. Upcoming bills, repairs, goals & downsizing timetable. We are very similar financially. And after 27 years we pretty much know each other.
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by tibbitts » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:00 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
But yesterday my wife asked me for all of the username and passwords for all of the accounts incase something happened to me. I realized I have no easy way of giving them to her. I don't want to e-mail them to her, and it didn't sit right with me to just write them all down in a notebook and god forbid it gets stolen. I also realized it's my personal e-mail that is used for all of the two step verification, and for better or worse that's "mine" and not something I plan on giving access to her...sort of the same way I wouldn't read her journal/go through her e-mails/log into her Facebook account.
It's surprising that you haven't thought of this before. The person who has all my logins/passwords etc. (via encrypted files and LastPass) isn't a spouse but has unlimited access to everything, and account-specific power-of-attorney for my most important accounts, etc. I guess you wouldn't feel okay with your spouse having that access, so you should try to find someone you trust sufficiently. Having access to someone's email isn't the same as accessing it for no reason - although really why would I care if the person with access to my passwords read my email? I also have a file I update with a description of finances, but without any account numbers, etc. - it's just cloud-shared, no encryption (other than on the server platform obviously.) I don't think physical options (like a safe) work as well when you're sharing with someone in a different city or state.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by bayview » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:38 pm

Good heavens, a joint email account is so simple! As others posted, ours is used for joint credit cards, joint bank accounts mortgage, insurance, etc., anything that affects the family "business."

This is a second marriage for each of us, and we each have grown kids from our first marriages. As we each lived alone for a while before we got married, we have separate (small) bank accounts and separate email accounts, because we each have some responsibilities with our kids (bank accounts), and we each have separate interests that would bore the other to tears (email accounts.) As an aside, I would probably have to kill him if we shared only one email account, as he has ~470 unread emails in his personal account, and I just really, really couldn't handle that.

But for the nitty-gritty, he's in charge of paying all joint bills from joint checking, as he's retired and has the time, and he uses bill pay from joint checking, so I'm always aware of what's coming up. Meanwhile, I'm in charge of all the investments and savings, as he is so loss-averse that he'd still have everything in a MM account if he were still single. (Yes, I know that there is inflation loss with that approach.) Nothing happens with our investments other than my biweekly TSP funding. I periodically tell him where we are, and he makes appreciative noises, and that's about it. This has been an adjustment for each of us, again because of our time on our own, but we've both learned to appreciate that the other is both sensible and trustworthy.

I like nisi's tactic of making his wife log in periodically to check access and maintain familiarity. Perhaps I will make DH handle his Roth conversions, bwah-hah-hah. I'm currently trying to figure out how to put in writing what I do and why I do it, plus a few suggestions for even easier approaches if he'd like.
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Nectarineman » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:52 pm

Separate checking accounts and all investment assets with the same company. We have access to each others accounts.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by tinscale » Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:00 pm

I use LastPass but all websites, accounts, user names, passwords, and security Q+As are written down in an 8-page folder.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by tonycar17 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:18 pm

I pay all the bills and otherwise handle the finances in our house. Here is what we do:
  • budget meeting every other week to ensure alignment on short term spending
    I keep and maintain a spreadsheet of all accounts and passwords. Hard copy in safe deposit box with wills.
    I provide a quarterly financial update that includes all balances, net worth, quarter over quarter and year over year variances. This also states explicitly where we are in relation to our "number"
We are very financially similar and this is what works for us.

TC

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Nearly A Moose » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:09 pm

Jags4186 wrote:Like many of you we have tons of accounts. And for the many of you who also participate in new account bonus chasing, you know what I mean by "tons" of accounts. My wife and I go over monthly all of our money and everything is tied into mint.com so we have up to the second views of our accounts.

On top of all of this I usually shop around yearly for better car insurance, renter's insurance, life insurance, etc. rates and frequently switch companies. Usually this is done with a conversation that goes "hey just an FYI I'm doing X and it's going to save us $Y". That's the end of it.

But yesterday my wife asked me for all of the username and passwords for all of the accounts incase something happened to me. I realized I have no easy way of giving them to her. I don't want to e-mail them to her, and it didn't sit right with me to just write them all down in a notebook and god forbid it gets stolen. I also realized it's my personal e-mail that is used for all of the two step verification, and for better or worse that's "mine" and not something I plan on giving access to her...sort of the same way I wouldn't read her journal/go through her e-mails/log into her Facebook account.

So how do you all who handle all of the minutia of your household finances keep your spouse up to date with online points of access? What system do you use?
Well, how do *you* keep track of your logins and passwords? Surely you don't just memorize them all, and please tell me you're not using one password for all accounts. Just give her access to all of that? We use LastPass to share all of our logins. My wife isn't particularly interested in our finances, but she can log into any of our accounts. A corollary benefit is that since we have online access to all of our accounts, if she ever needed to figure out what accounts we actually have on her own (and I think she knows), she can just open the LastPass vault and see every website we have a saved login for. After awhile, she'd be able to get through all the financial ones.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:51 am

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Jags4186 wrote:Like many of you we have tons of accounts. And for the many of you who also participate in new account bonus chasing, you know what I mean by "tons" of accounts. My wife and I go over monthly all of our money and everything is tied into mint.com so we have up to the second views of our accounts.

On top of all of this I usually shop around yearly for better car insurance, renter's insurance, life insurance, etc. rates and frequently switch companies. Usually this is done with a conversation that goes "hey just an FYI I'm doing X and it's going to save us $Y". That's the end of it.

But yesterday my wife asked me for all of the username and passwords for all of the accounts incase something happened to me. I realized I have no easy way of giving them to her. I don't want to e-mail them to her, and it didn't sit right with me to just write them all down in a notebook and god forbid it gets stolen. I also realized it's my personal e-mail that is used for all of the two step verification, and for better or worse that's "mine" and not something I plan on giving access to her...sort of the same way I wouldn't read her journal/go through her e-mails/log into her Facebook account.

So how do you all who handle all of the minutia of your household finances keep your spouse up to date with online points of access? What system do you use?
Well, how do *you* keep track of your logins and passwords? Surely you don't just memorize them all, and please tell me you're not using one password for all accounts. Just give her access to all of that? We use LastPass to share all of our logins. My wife isn't particularly interested in our finances, but she can log into any of our accounts. A corollary benefit is that since we have online access to all of our accounts, if she ever needed to figure out what accounts we actually have on her own (and I think she knows), she can just open the LastPass vault and see every website we have a saved login for. After awhile, she'd be able to get through all the financial ones.
So I've used apple laptops for the last 15 years or so so everything is saved in Apple's keychain. Wife only wants to use windows so no easy way to share.

Actually, after reading everything, what we settled on was I typed everything up into a password protected excel file, uploaded to google drive, then shared with her. She can then view it from her google account after entering a master password.

I also came to the conclusion that it's stupid not to give her access to my email--then once again realized she wouldn't be able to access it because of 2-factor Authentification. I guess if I go, she'll have unfettered access to my cell phone and that won't be an issue.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by aqan » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:02 am

TomatoTomahto wrote: Every year or so I give her a State Of Our Investments talk. She mostly doesn't care, but tries to act interested. For a while. Then we watch Netflix.
lol.. glad I'm not alone.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Frisco Kid » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:05 am

All passwords and account information is handwritten on a piece of paper stored in our safe deposit box at our local bank.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by carolinaman » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:15 am

I maintain a Word document listing all of our financial, health and other important accounts. I also have an investment file with all investments, balances, etc. I also have an Excel spreadsheet with all ids and passwords for everything from email, health, consumer, financial, etc. The spreadsheet is encrypted but I do keep a paper copy that my wife can access. She does not like to use computers for anything other than playing games, so my daughter or son will have to help her if I die first.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by rakornacki1 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:18 am

Fidelity also offers their version of safe, secure, encrypted document storage, Fidsafe.
While I am not a big user, you can access it at www.fidsafe.com.
Good luck & great profits!

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by MikeG62 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:19 am

I use LastPass for all login info. I have showed DW how to access it. Also, have the master password on a piece of paper in our safe in case she can't remember it.

She is totally uninvolved (by her own choice) in any financial matters (be it investing or bill paying). At least with LP, she can access the accounts and begin to get up to speed. The bigger issue would be ongoing management of our investments. This one would be tough. We talk about it from time to time, but the conversation does not get very far. I'm hoping over time (hopefully many decades in retirement) that she will get more up to speed and comfortable with how to manage things by watching and learning. If not, there are our two adult daughters and then companies like Vanguard who would be happy to jump in and assist with the asset management.

I have prepared a few white papers to assist her should something happen to me (a what things to do first, as well as an IPS and WPS). I hope these things would make the process easier for her.
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dcabler
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by dcabler » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:30 am

Wife is uninvolved, by choice, in most things financial. So....
A few times a year, I go over our investments and where we are.
We do the taxes together.
I have a complete financial policy statement that she has reviewed and we keep in the safety deposit box. It includes account numbers and contact info as well.
All passwords are kept on a protected USB drive on a spreadsheet which is also password protected. A paper copy sits in our safety deposit box.

DetroitRick
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by DetroitRick » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:38 am

We both regularly access Quicken, which includes all necessary history as well as bill reminders. So my wife always knows exactly how things get spent and where income is derived. Account info is in an encrypted spreadsheet and a password manager. I print and retain about 2 years of paper bills and credit card statements, all neatly filed, as informational backups for wife (plus electronic copies much longer on my pc with offline backups). Paying bills and knowing accounts wouldn't be a huge issue in my absence, but managing investments and withdrawals would be for my wife. Now tax planning, a critical part of finances for us, would be a total disaster. But she knows to seek professional help there.

mhalley
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by mhalley » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:33 am

Once a year I hire some "specialists" to help me give my yearly financial summary to my wife. It goes something like this :
(Somewhat graphic)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0BXbgwS8pDo

Nearly A Moose
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Nearly A Moose » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:38 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Nearly A Moose wrote:
Jags4186 wrote:Like many of you we have tons of accounts. And for the many of you who also participate in new account bonus chasing, you know what I mean by "tons" of accounts. My wife and I go over monthly all of our money and everything is tied into mint.com so we have up to the second views of our accounts.

On top of all of this I usually shop around yearly for better car insurance, renter's insurance, life insurance, etc. rates and frequently switch companies. Usually this is done with a conversation that goes "hey just an FYI I'm doing X and it's going to save us $Y". That's the end of it.

But yesterday my wife asked me for all of the username and passwords for all of the accounts incase something happened to me. I realized I have no easy way of giving them to her. I don't want to e-mail them to her, and it didn't sit right with me to just write them all down in a notebook and god forbid it gets stolen. I also realized it's my personal e-mail that is used for all of the two step verification, and for better or worse that's "mine" and not something I plan on giving access to her...sort of the same way I wouldn't read her journal/go through her e-mails/log into her Facebook account.

So how do you all who handle all of the minutia of your household finances keep your spouse up to date with online points of access? What system do you use?
Well, how do *you* keep track of your logins and passwords? Surely you don't just memorize them all, and please tell me you're not using one password for all accounts. Just give her access to all of that? We use LastPass to share all of our logins. My wife isn't particularly interested in our finances, but she can log into any of our accounts. A corollary benefit is that since we have online access to all of our accounts, if she ever needed to figure out what accounts we actually have on her own (and I think she knows), she can just open the LastPass vault and see every website we have a saved login for. After awhile, she'd be able to get through all the financial ones.
So I've used apple laptops for the last 15 years or so so everything is saved in Apple's keychain. Wife only wants to use windows so no easy way to share.

Actually, after reading everything, what we settled on was I typed everything up into a password protected excel file, uploaded to google drive, then shared with her. She can then view it from her google account after entering a master password.

I also came to the conclusion that it's stupid not to give her access to my email--then once again realized she wouldn't be able to access it because of 2-factor Authentification. I guess if I go, she'll have unfettered access to my cell phone and that won't be an issue.
Just make sure that file stays current. I tried that once, but given how frequently you get prompted to change passwords, it started to fall out of date. I don't know all the background details about the different encryption technologies and what uses online versus local storage, but given Apple's love of all things iCloud, if you're comfortable using keychain, you might also find you're comfortable with LastPass. And there's no reason you'd need to make LastPass your primary password manager, just let it run in the background and collect your password updates so spouse can access on her PC while you primarily rely on Keychain.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by vtMaps » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:46 am

Several folks have mentioned their use of a safe deposit box as a way to safeguard information for a surviving spouse. Be aware that in many/most/all? states, a safe deposit box is sealed after the death of an owner and is not accessible to a surviving co-owner.

If you want to leave something for your spouse, he/she should have their own safe deposit box in their name only.

--vtMaps
The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. --James Branch Cabell

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WoodSpinner
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by WoodSpinner » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:54 am

Jags4186 wrote:But yesterday my wife asked me for all of the username and passwords for all of the accounts incase something happened to me. I realized I have no easy way of giving them to her. I don't want to e-mail them to her, and it didn't sit right with me to just write them all down in a notebook and god forbid it gets stolen. I also realized it's my personal e-mail that is used for all of the two step verification, and for better or worse that's "mine" and not something I plan on giving access to her...sort of the same way I wouldn't read her journal/go through her e-mails/log into her Facebook account.

So how do you all who handle all of the minutia of your household finances keep your spouse up to date with online points of access? What system do you use?
Here is how we do it ...
  • - Passwords are kept in eWallet and synched to both of our phones.
    - This includes access to my email account for 2 factor authentication
    - We use Quicken for bill paying (twice a month) and my DW handles the chores at least twice a year
    - There is a detailed set of instructions in the safe Just in case I get hit by a truck
    - We have setup specific PoA authorizations on each account using the Institutions forms
    - I put together a detailed Retirement Policy Statement and Investment Policy Statementwhich DW proofread and commented on.
    - DW and DD put up my incessant discussions on Financial issues and at least some of it sticks.
No guarantees but it seems to help. Biggest issue is DW isn't so good about recording her password changes :confused .

Good Luck :beer

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by littlebird » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:11 am

My spouse is no long in any condition to act on any knowledge he may still have. I am in the on-going process of documenting all personal and financial information for my daughter, who is now my attorney-in-fact (holder of my POA) and my co-trustee in my spouse's and my revocable trust ( he is no longer a trustee).

I keep my financial life as simple as I consider reasonable; I no longer succumb to CD or MM deals, except from the 2 b&m banks I use, or conceivably, from Schwab or Vanguard. I use only paper statements; I keep a loose-leaf book in my "Death & Disability" paper file where all our Trust, Wills, Medical Powers and other relevant documents are kept. In this book are separate pages for all aspects of the issues my daughter will have to handle for our inevitable deaths (in whichever order) and my possible disability, from what to do with the cat, how to transfer the car and how she can pay credit card bills, to, of course, where our assets are located. She has an identical book at her home across the country for those things she can manage from there. I update as needed.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by ND Fan 1 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:32 am

This is a really good topic and I hope my wife doesn't have to deal with any of this for like 50 years. I tried to keep things simple, but now find myself chasing bank bonuses, credit card bonuses and just last week my first brokerage bonus and this site was my gateway drug to all of this :). I have come to the realization that if I die, my wife would have a terrible time with our finances, her focus is on raising our 3 young children, so she leaves the finances to me. I do try and talk to her quarterly, or at least explain the master spreadsheet to her.

I have been working on our master spreadsheet the last few weeks. I have added websites for all accounts, phone #s, type of account, beneficiaries, and short hand for our user name and password, that she should be able to figure out. I may look in LastPass after seeing it mentioned here a few times. The sheet is now broken into tabs for retirement, college, bank accounts, credit card accounts, taxable accounts, life insurance, auto/home, and life insurance. Everything is set up with autopay, so that should cover her for a couple of months.

My next step is to come up with a "to-do" list if I die especially how to deal with the significant life insurance payout. Things like, which accounts to close, which to keep, how to file claims, and how to sift through all the data on the spreadsheet. I do like having the idea of having her do a few bill pays, login to accounts, what to look for, or how to set up auto pay, etc...

Just typing this stuff, makes me realize the difficulty my wife would go through if I passed suddenly, that along with everything else, would be terrible. Really need to get a handle on this stuff. I think I have all the pertinent data there, but now its about accessibility and usability.

DetroitRick
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by DetroitRick » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:38 pm

mhalley wrote:Once a year I hire some "specialists" to help me give my yearly financial summary to my wife. It goes something like this :
(Somewhat graphic)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0BXbgwS8pDo
Hilarious. I was sure you were going to post the dental scene from Marathon Man. But your link is great. I can relate. :sharebeer

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Gamma Ray
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Gamma Ray » Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:18 pm

I was just thinking about this the other day.
My wife has no idea where our money is, for the most part since I moved it around and ended up mostly on Ally, she knows about our Citibank since she has debit card, rest, she doesn't know the account numbers or particulars.

I was thinking about writing down all account numbers and bank names and putting into our safe at home, this way if something happens to me, she knows all the account numbers at least, and since she is either a cosigner or beneficiary on all accounts, she can just call them and give the account number.

I don't believe in keeping everything in paper individually. In case of a break-in, I don't want to have every single account with how much in them etc at home. I also keep an encrypted file that is in a TrueCrypt container, which gets synced to Dropbox every time I make changes so I don't have to worry about losing the data in case something goes bad. I don't keep most of my financial accounts in LastPass, but everything else is in Lastpass. Keepass (offline) is not a bad idea.

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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by fourwheelcycle » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:21 pm

I use 1Password for Mac and Windows, the licensed version. I have it set up so it syncs across all of my Macs and my wife's PCs over our home wifi network. The encrypted database never leaves our house to sync over Dropbox, iCloud or Agilebits' servers.

If you are not as paranoid as me about relying on state of the art encrypted info syncing through Agilebits' servers, their 1Password.com product is highly developed and easy to use. It always syncs perfectly from any computer or mobile device, at home or on the road.

Either version of 1Password can be set up so your wife can have her own encrypted vault (database) with her own master password. If most of your banking, investment and credit cards are set up as joint accounts your wife can set up her own separate log ins, using her own mobile phone or email for text or email authorization codes.

If you have separate financial accounts you probably should not be logging in to her accounts anyway, and you should certainly let her have those authorization codes sent to her text or email rather than to yours.

As far as keeping track of all our finances, my wife pays all the monthly bills, mostly from our Bank of America account, and I do the taxes and manage all of our savings, mostly at Vanguard. I maintain a master (encrypted) spreadsheet of all our investments. I offer to go over it with my wife, but she is not interested. Mostly I just tell her the bottom line every year or so and that is all she really cares about. The spreadsheet is backed-up in multiple locations, but I do keep one printed copy in our family safe so our adult children could access it if we ever die together in a plane crash, etc. It would be safer to keep it in a bank safety deposit box, but that got too bothersome and we no longer have one.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:21 pm

Reading posts about people storing passwords on spreadsheets and word files gives me the heebie jeebies. Get a good password manager. Either free or cheap so no excuse not to. And going from apple's keychain to a spreadsheet on google drive seems like giant leap back for mankind. I wouldn't do this if you paid me.

pasadena
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by pasadena » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:21 pm

I don't have a spouse, but I set it all up so my sister can access everything if anything happens to me.

All my account info (login info, but also account numbers and bank details, my 401(k), all my insurances, even the cats' chip numbers.) are in 1password. I like it because I can use it on both Mac and Windows. My sister knows where to find it and the master password.

I also made sure I set up all my accounts with Transfer on Death, again in my sister's name. Finally, I wrote a small description of everything she might need, how to deal with it, where to find important papers like my car's title, and who to contact.

It's all on my computer, on an account I created for her. She did the same for me on hers after she divorced.

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Uncle Pennybags
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by Uncle Pennybags » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:12 pm

AntsOnTheMarch wrote:Reading posts about people storing passwords on spreadsheets and word files gives me the heebie jeebies. Get a good password manager. Either free or cheap so no excuse not to. And going from apple's keychain to a spreadsheet on google drive seems like giant leap back for mankind. I wouldn't do this if you paid me.
How do you store the answers to the login questions on a password manager?

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mrc
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by mrc » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:21 pm

Uncle Pennybags wrote:How do you store the answers to the login questions on a password manager?

I use 1Password. There are user-defined fields for things like security questions. They don't self-fill, but I wouldn't do that anyway.
Last edited by mrc on Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:22 pm

Uncle Pennybags wrote:
AntsOnTheMarch wrote:Reading posts about people storing passwords on spreadsheets and word files gives me the heebie jeebies. Get a good password manager. Either free or cheap so no excuse not to. And going from apple's keychain to a spreadsheet on google drive seems like giant leap back for mankind. I wouldn't do this if you paid me.
How do you store the answers to the login questions on a password manager?
My password manager, and I assume most others, have a protected Notes area where you can store this information. The best thing is that you don't need to "tell the truth," for example, you can answer mother's maiden name as asdfg14148, as long as you can recreate the answer.
Zero Net Carbon by 2019.

SrGrumpy
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by SrGrumpy » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:26 pm

ND Fan 1 wrote:This is a really good topic and I hope my wife doesn't have to deal with any of this for like 50 years. I tried to keep things simple, but now find myself chasing bank bonuses, credit card bonuses and just last week my first brokerage bonus and this site was my gateway drug to all of this. I have come to the realization that if I die, my wife would have a terrible time with our finances
You and me, both. I write financial account info on a piece of paper and give them to her, but I add/cancel so many accounts that it gets outdated quickly. She doesn't want to know anything about my bonus chasing anyway. Said piece of paper also has names and contacts of our electricians, plumbers, neighbors, mechanic, family members, insurance agent, etc.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: For those of you who handle all the finances, how do you keep your spouse "in the know"

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:13 pm

Uncle Pennybags wrote:
AntsOnTheMarch wrote:Reading posts about people storing passwords on spreadsheets and word files gives me the heebie jeebies. Get a good password manager. Either free or cheap so no excuse not to. And going from apple's keychain to a spreadsheet on google drive seems like giant leap back for mankind. I wouldn't do this if you paid me.
How do you store the answers to the login questions on a password manager?
As has been already answered (I'll just add a bit more info), there are various options. On the free and excellent version of 1Password I use, each login has a text field where you can type to your heart's content (security question stuff, whatever). There are also secure notes you can create indpendent of logins (you can store your grandma's secret recipe here until you're ready to launch the next cookie empire here). :wink:

I have used a custom database and password protected spreadsheets to store passwords long ago (before internet security became such a dicey proposition). It wasn't a good idea back in the day and it's a worse idea now, imho.

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