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
GoldenFinch
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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 GoldenFinch » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:32 pm

Every once in awhile I ask my husband, "How much money do you think we have?" He'll guess some wrong number and I'll tell him the real number. He's good at making money and bad at paying attention to it. My plan is to write the passwords on paper, but I haven't done it yet. Probably will get to it in the fall. I do quiz him about where the accounts are and he usually remembers all of them except for the 529s. On a positive note, he knows that Bogleheads is a good resource and he agrees with the "stay the course" philosophy.
Last edited by GoldenFinch on Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

Seattler123
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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 Seattler123 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:53 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?
Something I've started doing recently is at the end of the year (or whenever you are doing taxes, since you'll be referring them anyways), download statements of all existing accounts and save them (or email them to both of us). More important than username/password is account numbers. If you have account numbers, your spouse should easily be able to access the accounts (by contacting customer care) in case of emergency.
This also helps to have a copy of account details in case something goes wrong (if the bank accounts are hacked :shock: )

Cruise
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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 Cruise » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:27 pm

I thank all of you for sharing. I've learned a lot from you.

Here is my method:

A. I give my wife a spreadsheet every once in a while. The sheet has the names of the institutions, the account numbers (the last four digits), and the amounts.

B. I give my wife a separate document, with the contact names and phone numbers for all our accounts. Since 95% of our accounts are held by one institution, all she should need to do is call our relationship manager. No password gooblygook needed.

C. Most of our FF points are held in a single joint credit card account.

D. Since my wife is quite resourceful, she will figure out any of the minor things I've failed to let her know about.

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 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:17 am

I recently updated my instructions to DW so I will share my approach. Probably overkill but I feel comfortable with it.

I'm a little leery of leaving a piece of paper around my home with all of the most important pieces of information of our lives on it. Also, I'm not convinced that bank safe deposit boxes are always the best answer to everything. Try getting your passport out of one on Sunday morning. Legal red tape can stop a loved one from getting in for how long? I prefer more control over my stuff.

My strategy is a "2 factor authentication" ICE plan.

Factor 1. An Instruction Sheet (piece of paper or digital file) with complete details of where crucial information is on my computer, phone, etc. This can be kept by your spouse/partner anywhere they wish for easy access. Should be stored where DW/DH can locate in a panic situation (not thinking straight).

Factor 2: Master password to password manager. This can be written on a piece of paper and stored at an agreed upon location, memorized, or DW/DH can store digitally (as on her/his phone) where only she/he knows where/what it is. I wouldn't worry about having it written down or being found. First, someone has to find it. Then someone has to know what it is (hint: you don't have to label it "my most important password to access all my passwords on my computer which is located over by the cactus"). You can label it "skiing vacation rental agreement #," for example.

As unlikely as it is, if Factor 2 is found, and the thief knows what it is, the thief's last hurdle is the most difficult. Said thief would need access to your computer and/or phone to penetrate the password manager. You have your computer and phone password protected, right?! And you've set it to erase itself after 10 failed tries right? Given that the FBI had to pay an Israeli firm $1.2M+ to crack the 4 digit passcode of the San Bernardino iPhone, I would feel pretty good about some random person not being able to crack my iPhone passcode.

How it works
DW/DH needs access to files. DW/DH knows where instruction sheet is and the passcode to your phone. DW/DH accesses phone and opens password manager with Factor 2 Key (which she/he only knows where to find). Now using Factor 1 Instruction Sheet, DW/DH has access or all log ins, accounts, etc. I have a Safari tab labeled "accounts" with the bookmarks of all of our accounts. She could just scroll through, log into each one, check balances, change password/email delivery, etc. Since DW has access to phone, even if she used a different device to log in, any verification codes sent by sites would be accessible to her.

Bonus Points
iPhone allows for multiple fingerprints for recognition/access. Make one called DW/DH and verify using her/his thumbprint. I haven't implemented this because DW will think, "oh, I have fingerprint access so I don't need to remember passcode." Fingerprint access is more of a convenience than for security. iPhone locks you out from fingerprint access in some cases so you still need the passcode. The same holds true for my password manager (1Password). Theoretically, I can just give DW thumbprint access to it but I don't trust that so she must store or memorize master password for now. New technology may change all this but until then...

Summary
With passcode access to phone, master password to password manager, and a written set of instructions (no passwords, account info, etc on it), you can create a fairly robust and complete ICE access path to important info for your DW/DH.

MrsBDG
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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 MrsBDG » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:39 pm

We have so many passwords required with so many different rules and often are required to update them, I have a business basic, a personal basic, and a shopping basic.
In a saved email I list each website and the changes to the basic password, once a year I print them out and then hand write the basic password for the three different types on top
That allows me to always have it at my fingertips, yet I have the three basic format memorized, but DH would see them on the printout, it's about 12 pages!

For example:
business basic + cap + %

RiverCityBogler
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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 RiverCityBogler » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:21 am

Like many others here, my spouse is only minimally interested in our financial matters. We do discuss balances, etc., every quarter or so, but any further talk of strategy or more advanced topics just bores her silly.

She knows that she'll need access to all of that information in the event of my demise, so I set her up on LastPass (password manager of choice). It includes an Emergency Access feature that will grant access to a user of your choosing if your account is not accessed in a (user-determined) period of time. We also packed the LastPass vault with other data, as recommended here:
https://blog.lastpass.com/2016/04/prepa ... ords.html/

As for those advocating physical storage in a safe or other security device: I can vouch for the confusion and inconvenience this causes in the event that someone other than your intended survivor has to access the data. My brother passed away unexpectedly several years ago. He was single, and the siblings (there are 3 of us) flew to his home to try to make sense of several decades' worth of hard-copy account statements, ledgers, checkbooks, etc. It was a royal pain - and the distance involved (500-1,500 miles for each of us) was unmanageable.

Must better/safer/cleaner to keep it all in digital form, and be able to turn it over to someone else with a link and an email...or a secure login as with LastPass Emergency Access.

P.S. I'm also looking at FidSafe as a complement/backup to the LastPass system. It seems to do exactly what's needed, but no more.

feh
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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 feh » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:40 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:34 pm

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?
I've written documents detailing:
- how our portfolio is constructed and why
- list of accounts and their purpose-
- tax considerations
- where our money goes (detailed budget)
- investing strategy

My wife knows the password to my email account. I have no problem with this. We share a lastpass account for accessing all web sites.

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gasdoc
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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 gasdoc » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:48 pm

1) All passwords in a "little black book," that she knows where to find.
2) All important paper work (accounts and wills, etc.) in a safe that she knows where to find.

gasdoc

gd
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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 gd » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:45 am

My spouse has neither interest nor aptitude for our financial matters. I have all passwords in KeePass, periodically going over how it works and sometimes forcing her to do some online transactions for practice. I have several too-long writeups of accounts and financial planning. I am in a decade-long campaign to simplify our affairs, sacrificing optimal investment results to do so. No secrets, lots of non-joint accounts due to unusual life circumstances, but with as much dual access as practical. I nag as much as I can without seriously harming our relationship to keep my conscience clean, and get on with life. It will not be pretty if I die long before her.

bling
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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 bling » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:08 am

like many others, i use lastpass, and set up emergency access so if anything happens to me, my spouse will get all of my passwords.

for other things like documents, PDFs, etc., we just have a shared google drive folder.

SQRT
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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 SQRT » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:21 am

All our accounts are joint but separate and she understands them all. Very simple couple of checking accounts, couple of savings accounts, and a couple of investment accounts. All at one bank on one page.

She reviews CC activity every morning while I manage our investments and main liquidity accounts. I discuss every trade with her beforehand. All accounts can be viewed by both of us. We look at them every morning.

We are lucky as both of us are CPA’s and have an excellent understanding of all things financial.

She funds her personal expenses through her own pension and div income. I don’t bother with that stuff other than to manage her portfolio and div stream.
Last edited by SQRT on Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

lostdog
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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 lostdog » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:22 am

I keep it simple for my wife. A credit union and Vanguard. That's it.

jebmke
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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 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:30 am

gd wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:45 am
I am in a decade-long campaign to simplify our affairs, sacrificing optimal investment results to do so. No secrets, lots of non-joint accounts due to unusual life circumstances, but with as much dual access as practical. I nag as much as I can without seriously harming our relationship to keep my conscience clean, and get on with life. It will not be pretty if I die long before her.
I am on a long process of simplification as well. Not just in case I'm gone but also to make my life easier. I find that I have less interest in managing a lot of the details.

Keep in mind that except for joint accounts and accounts in your spouses name only, access to your accounts will generally disappear at the time of your death. So having passwords to accounts that are in your name only are of limited value. Both of us can see all the accounts (e.g. her individual accounts are linked to my log-in ID and vice-versa) but neither of us can currently transact in the other's account. I am considering implementing Vanguard's agency authorization to cross-authorize access to each other's accounts but those agency authorizations expire at death.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

mptfan
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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 mptfan » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:53 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:34 pm
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.
You refuse to give your wife access to your email account? Interesting. Do you have access to hers?

Jags4186
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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 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:53 am

mptfan wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:53 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:34 pm
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.
You refuse to give your wife access to your email account? Interesting. Do you have access to hers?
I don't "refuse" to give her anything. She just doesn't have access to it. If she really wanted to go in, she could simply ask to go in. I don't have access to her e-mail either without asking.

I would also assume most spouses don't have access to the other's facebook, twitter, instagram, linkedin etc. etc., but perhaps I'm wrong on that as well.

I guess what I should really do is create a new joint e-mail account and change all of our financial accounts to that e-mail address.

shell921
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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 shell921 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:04 am

watchnerd wrote:
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.
My late husband created a computer file and he printed out a hard copy. This was called
"The Mortality File". This helped me so much when he died suddenly 4 1/2 years ago.

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teen persuasion
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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 teen persuasion » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:10 am

Someone on here (can't recall who) suggested creating a joint/family email for all financial logins. Then both spouses can see/access all account emails while each maintaining their personal emails. As much as I hate adding another email to check, I'm strongly considering this approach.

At my small employer (very small) we began to see the benefits of having a building email address in addition to our individual email addresses, for continuity when an employee left, or in our case, the director passed away. So I'm the one who monitors that email as well as my own, though we all have access to it. Our social media is tied to it, our website, all sorts of subscriptions and services, notices from Central, etc.

feh
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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 feh » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:12 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:53 am
I guess what I should really do is create a new joint e-mail account and change all of our financial accounts to that e-mail address.
This is what we have done. It's simply an address that gets forwarded to both of our personal email addresses.

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munemaker
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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 munemaker » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:30 pm

This podcast from Dough Roller has a really good idea of maintaining a blue binder of financial stuff your spouse needs to know in the event of your incapacitation or demise.

https://www.doughroller.net/podcast/dr- ... al-binder/

exoilman
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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 exoilman » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:44 pm

Reference

goodlifer
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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 goodlifer » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:14 pm

For the people that use LastPass, Fastpass and the like, aren't you afraid of it getting hacked? That is what keeps me from using one.

I write everything on paper, but in a way that is senseless to someone if stolen. My husband just isn't interested in finance and doesn't seem to think he needs to pay bills or write down his ATM withdrawls, so I do everything. At least he knows the name of his retirement savings, so it will be written as retirement1, then either part of the password or the the whole password but not the institution. I have so many passwords and change them frequently, so I have to keep the close at hand and written in pencil.

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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 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:12 pm

I made a comment last year on this thread where I wrote that my wife does not use a computer or smart phone.....not even a cell phone :annoyed. I have written every thing about our investments and other financial things and I review it all regularly. She knows where everything is, when automatic withdrawals to and from checking are transacted, when bills are due and where everything is and knows how to get to them....if she can get to them. So, I had her do one more thing.
I had her do that one thing last month to make it much easier for her to get to our Vanguard accounts (hers, mine and joint) if I became unable to do anything. She has never contacted Vanguard, never...... I finally convinced her to call Vanguard (while I was on the phone with her) to have a Vanguard agent reassure her (and me) that she can get to our accounts by telephone and make transactions all by telephone, and will not have to use a computer. That, finally, is set up. She has her voice recognition applied (At Vanguard my voice is my password.). She knows how to take care of Vanguard assets when I die...(The agent explained to her how to do it. I knew, of course, but she now does as directed by the agent.) It took decades to get her to make that call. I feel much better.
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.

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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 toofache32 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:29 pm

Sheepdog wrote:
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.
I do the same thing and keep it locked in the gun safe right next to her cute little pink .38 handgun.

jalbert
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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 jalbert » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:34 pm

Saving$ wrote:
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...
Keep the passwords in password safes but spouse needs separate logins for all of the accounts. Consolidation of accounts is probably worth alot more in terms of effect management of the assets than the new account bonuses.
Index fund investor since 1987.

toofache32
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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 toofache32 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:36 pm

bayview wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:38 pm
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.
I am the same way! This drives me nuts although it shouldn't! We know each others email passwords because sometimes we need to for certain transactions with vendors. Below is her phone screenshot with 33 voicemails and 250 text messages unread. I guess I should just be happy she reads my texts. She doesn't know how to do most functions on her iphone. Which is why I changed my contact name to "The Commander" for any of you Handmaid's Tale fans.

http://tinypic.com/r/2iky0rb/9

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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 letsgobobby » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:40 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
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?
She does not even want to know. I guess her trust knows no bounds. I do have both a Google spreadsheet and a word document which summarizes all our accounts in the event I die before her and I send her them annually. Then about six months later she usually says, Is there a spreadsheet or a list of all our accounts, in case something happens to you?

:|

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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 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:49 pm

goodlifer wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:14 pm
For the people that use LastPass, Fastpass and the like, aren't you afraid of it getting hacked? That is what keeps me from using one.

I write everything on paper, but in a way that is senseless to someone if stolen. My husband just isn't interested in finance and doesn't seem to think he needs to pay bills or write down his ATM withdrawls, so I do everything. At least he knows the name of his retirement savings, so it will be written as retirement1, then either part of the password or the the whole password but not the institution. I have so many passwords and change them frequently, so I have to keep the close at hand and written in pencil.
If you write things down in a way that is senseless to someone if stolen it will also be senseless to anyone else. And possibly senseless to you tomorrow. I say that having in the past encrypted files and forgotten the encryption key, which undoubtedly made a great deal of sense at the time I encrypted the files.

I use the free version of Lastpass and yes I worry a little about it being hacked (well, someone getting my master password), but worry about lots of other problems that it prevents even more.

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LiveSimple
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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 LiveSimple » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:51 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:22 pm
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.
Somewhere I read keep mother’s maiden name as “WhiteAsparagus” or something like that, no need to be the real maiden name. Easy to remember but hard to guess by others.

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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 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:03 am

goodlifer wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:14 pm
For the people that use LastPass, Fastpass and the like, aren't you afraid of it getting hacked? That is what keeps me from using one.
I don’t really worry too much about it. I find it the best of the available options in my mind (used to write them down in a book I kept in my home office - not very wise). Once you start using a passoword manager you get more and more comfortable and it would be near impossible to turn back (I think I’ve now get over 150 sites in my password manager).

If you are really worried, you could implement two factor authentication on your more sensitive accounts (i.e., financial accounts). I firmly believe if LastPass were hacked my account would not be one of the first ones exposed before the hack became public knowledge and I had an opportunity to take action.
Jags4186 wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:34 pm

...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.
You really use your e-mail for two-factor authentication? I use my phone for that as I view it as more secure and less hackable than e-mail.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

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Tamarind
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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 Tamarind » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:29 am

Wife is also a Boglehead and wouldn't have any problem taking over. But I do most of the daily and yearly maintenance work (ie adjusting withholding or telling her if a change in allocation of new 401k contributions is needed) because I enjoy minutia more.

We have a shared Personal Capital account with all the accounts shown. Login through our one "joint" email account. She should be able to get most info there.

More importantly, we checked all our beneficiaries to make sure that all she'd need to do is wait for my retirement accounts to ToD. Everything else is joint.

mptfan
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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 mptfan » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:39 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:53 am
mptfan wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:53 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:34 pm
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.
You refuse to give your wife access to your email account? Interesting. Do you have access to hers?
I don't "refuse" to give her anything. She just doesn't have access to it. If she really wanted to go in, she could simply ask to go in. I don't have access to her e-mail either without asking.
That's very interesting to me that your wife does not have the password to your email or social media accounts, it would seem that if she did, your problem would be solved. If she asked for your email password, would you refuse to give it to her?

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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 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:51 am

mptfan wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:39 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:53 am
mptfan wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:53 am
Jags4186 wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:34 pm
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.
You refuse to give your wife access to your email account? Interesting. Do you have access to hers?
I don't "refuse" to give her anything. She just doesn't have access to it. If she really wanted to go in, she could simply ask to go in. I don't have access to her e-mail either without asking.
That's very interesting to me that your wife does not have the password to your email or social media accounts, it would seem that if she did, your problem would be solved. If she asked for your email password, would you refuse to give it to her?
It wouldn’t be solved because my email has 2 factor authetification. i already solved the problem since you brought up a 1 year old pot but thanks for your interest.

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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 dratkinson » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:57 pm

All my information is kept as paper in a locking file cabinet. But I did worry that I might need access to something if I were every away from home for an extended time. What to do?

Remote access solution. (1) I wrote all needed information into a text file. (2) Then I used a utility intended to create an encrypted drive on a PC HD (Cryptainer) to create an encrypted/self-extracting executable file (ESEEF). (3) The ESEEF is stored as an attachment to a draft email and updated whenever my information changes. (4) I send the draft email to myself to access the ESEEF. (I've tested this and it works. Will want to securely delete the extracted text file afterwards if you are on a remote PC, so learn the process/commands to do this.)

Local access. I also leave a copy of the ESEEF in a local PC folder, and run it whenever I need to lookup something. It's a little faster than digging through my file cabinet. And every time I do this is a demonstration that the process works.
d.r.a, not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

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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 ImaBeginner » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:02 pm

Buy a cheap usb drive. Store a file on that answering all the “if I die/become disabled” questions. Password protect the file and drive.
Store in safe.

If I burn up in a fire that destroys my safe and the drive, I guess she will have to do it the slow way of sifting email, and something may be lost. The trust lawyer is probably helpful at that point too.

She also has met our private banker at our primary bank, who is probably able to help her figure most of it out, and is able to cover the near term needs.

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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 Cunobelinus » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:07 am

aqan wrote:
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.
Once or twice a year, she'll ask a question about finances. I pause to think about how to reply, then inhale, and it's at that moment that she usually gives me an exasperated sigh. I usually have about 2-3 minutes of her attention before she cuts me off with "I'm sorry I asked."

In all reality, logins are stored in Apple Keychain and LastPass. I have a spreadsheet that I update once or twice a year with all of the account balances so that I can more-or-less keep track of how I'm doing. She'd just have to look at that spreadsheet to see what accounts are open.

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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 Cruise » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:28 am

DW handles bill payments using money from her income, our SS, and a small pension. If needed because of a hige purchase, I’ll transfer funds from our investment account’s cash position. I periodically brief DW on our Big Picture, and have left paper and electronic lists of whom to contact for financial and legal matters. Since she has the resources to maintain herself until she Is composed enough to make the calls, I see no reason to worry about her having password access to internet sites. Help for her is is a phone a call away.

I’ve also sent the list of key contacts to trusted family members, in case something happens to both of us.

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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 warner25 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:49 am

Cunobelinus wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:07 am
aqan wrote:
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.
Once or twice a year, she'll ask a question about finances. I pause to think about how to reply, then inhale, and it's at that moment that she usually gives me an exasperated sigh. I usually have about 2-3 minutes of her attention before she cuts me off with "I'm sorry I asked."
Haha, these are precisely my experiences too. I've learned over the years that I'm not good at explaining things, and I can never be too concise. Displaying the spreadsheet only makes it worse. I've recently distilled my "if I die" instructions down to a one-page list of accounts/assets, phone numbers to call to start certain processes in motion (e.g. getting life insurance and survivor's benefits, and moving things under the wing of Vanguard's Personal Advisory Service), and some reassurance that she can spend up to XYZ annually and be just fine. We also long ago sacrificed optimization for simplicity, like just putting as much as possible into Vanguard's Balanced Index Fund, including our taxable account.
Last edited by warner25 on Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:10 am, 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 oldcomputerguy » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:01 am

GoldenFinch wrote:
Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:32 pm
My plan is to write the passwords on paper, but I haven't done it yet. Probably will get to it in the fall. I do quiz him about where the accounts are and he usually remembers all of them except for the 529s.
Do not, repeat, do not depend on quizzing him. If something happens to you, I promise you, the last thing on his mind for some time will be remembering passwords. If you have all this in your head, you need to document it for his sake.

I have every scrap of financial information (account names, account numbers, usernames, passwords, account purposes, snail mail addresses, phone numbers, branch locations) written in a LibreOffice document, stored on a USB memory stick, and kept in our safe. There is also a printed copy in the safe. Both copies show date of the last changes. In addition, I built a simple LibreOffice Impress presentation (Powerpoint to the Windows guys) giving a 10,000-foot overview of everything, including daily and monthly expenses and how they normally are paid, and stored it on my wife’s computer. If I get hit by a bus, all she has to remember is that this stuff is stored where she can get to it.

(By the way, I included the location and combination to the safe in a letter given to our niece who is also our executor, advising her of the existence of the password document, in case of “common disaster”.)
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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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 GoldenFinch » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:15 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:01 am
GoldenFinch wrote:
Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:32 pm
My plan is to write the passwords on paper, but I haven't done it yet. Probably will get to it in the fall. I do quiz him about where the accounts are and he usually remembers all of them except for the 529s.
Do not, repeat, do not depend on quizzing him. If something happens to you, I promise you, the last thing on his mind for some time will be remembering passwords. If you have all this in your head, you need to document it for his sake.

I have every scrap of financial information (account names, account numbers, usernames, passwords, account purposes, snail mail addresses, phone numbers, branch locations) written in a LibreOffice document, stored on a USB memory stick, and kept in our safe. There is also a printed copy in the safe. Both copies show date of the last changes. In addition, I built a simple LibreOffice Impress presentation (Powerpoint to the Windows guys) giving a 10,000-foot overview of everything, including daily and monthly expenses and how they normally are paid, and stored it on my wife’s computer. If I get hit by a bus, all she has to remember is that this stuff is stored where she can get to it.

(By the way, I included the location and combination to the safe in a letter given to our niece who is also our executor, advising her of the existence of the password document, in case of “common disaster”.)
I wrote that post over a year ago and still haven’t written anything down! Thanks for the reminder. I will stop procrastinating and write everything down today.

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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 17, 2018 6:46 am

GoldenFinch wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:15 am

I wrote that post over a year ago and still haven’t written anything down! Thanks for the reminder. I will stop procrastinating and write everything down today.
Good.. May we ask you tomorrow how you did?
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.

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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 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:53 am

warner25 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:49 am
Cunobelinus wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:07 am
aqan wrote:
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.
Once or twice a year, she'll ask a question about finances. I pause to think about how to reply, then inhale, and it's at that moment that she usually gives me an exasperated sigh. I usually have about 2-3 minutes of her attention before she cuts me off with "I'm sorry I asked."
Haha, these are precisely my experiences too. I've learned over the years that I'm not good at explaining things, and I can never be too concise. Displaying the spreadsheet only makes it worse. I've recently distilled my "if I die" instructions down to a one-page list of accounts/assets, phone numbers to call to start certain processes in motion (e.g. getting life insurance and survivor's benefits, and moving things under the wing of Vanguard's Personal Advisory Service), and some reassurance that she can spend up to XYZ annually and be just fine. We also long ago sacrificed optimization for simplicity, like just putting as much as possible into Vanguard's Balanced Index Fund, including our taxable account.
Same position as both of you.

What I have done is prepare a word document with detailed instructions (or I should say what I'd recommend my DW do) in the event I predecease her. I have had her read it (more than once) and had her then ask me questions where she was not clear on any points. I think this helped to a degree. I should probably have her read it once a year or once every other year to really solidify the points in her mind.

In terms of discussing number with her, this past year I added a number of graphics (mostly bar/pie charts) to my excel file (simple data pulls from the detailed data (blizzard of numbers) sheets/tabs). I printed those graphs (in color) and reviewed them with my DW. I found this quite helpful in keeping her attention.

I had a former CEO boss who liked charts and graphs when reviewing/discussing numbers. He found them much more effective in certain cases than spreadsheets of numbers. So I leaned on that experience in developing the graphics for the annual review with my wife.

For the first time ever, DW actually asked a number of second/third order questions as I walked her through the graphics. So much more effective than any other previous discussion of finances we have ever had. Also opened her eyes to where the money was going and how much she was using herself in a way she had never appreciated before. Even allowed us to get into a discussion of our SWR, which is something I had never had success discussing with her before.

Truly a case of a picture being worth a thousand words (or in this case numbers).
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

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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 warner25 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:18 am

MikeG62 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:53 am
...this past year I added a number of graphics (mostly bar/pie charts) to my excel file (simple data pulls from the detailed data (blizzard of numbers) sheets/tabs). I printed those graphs (in color) and reviewed them with my DW. I found this quite helpful in keeping her attention.
I would love to see, in a generic way, what you displayed in those graphics. My own attempts have not been helpful.

shell921
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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 shell921 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:31 am

warner25 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:49 am
Cunobelinus wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:07 am
aqan wrote:
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.
Once or twice a year, she'll ask a question about finances. I pause to think about how to reply, then inhale, and it's at that moment that she usually gives me an exasperated sigh. I usually have about 2-3 minutes of her attention before she cuts me off with "I'm sorry I asked."
Haha, these are precisely my experiences too. I've learned over the years that I'm not good at explaining things, and I can never be too concise. Displaying the spreadsheet only makes it worse. I've recently distilled my "if I die" instructions down to a one-page list of accounts/assets, phone numbers to call to start certain processes in motion (e.g. getting life insurance and survivor's benefits, and moving things under the wing of Vanguard's Personal Advisory Service), and some reassurance that she can spend up to XYZ annually and be just fine. We also long ago sacrificed optimization for simplicity, like just putting as much as possible into Vanguard's Balanced Index Fund, including our taxable account.
For years before my husband died, he tried to explain our finances and how he tracked everything by showing me spreadsheets.
I could not understand and all this made me feel stupid and uneasy. In 2014, my beloved husband and partner of 40 years died suddenly and, fortunately for me, he had prepared exactly what is described here- a one page list of instructions that included accounts and phone numbers and steps to take.

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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 GoldenFinch » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:04 am

Sheepdog wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:46 am
GoldenFinch wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:15 am

I wrote that post over a year ago and still haven’t written anything down! Thanks for the reminder. I will stop procrastinating and write everything down today.
Good.. May we ask you tomorrow how you did?
Done!

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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 nymeria.stark » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:04 am

watchnerd wrote:
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.
We do that, too. There's a clearly outlined one-page document outlining what to do in the event that my husband dies. Plus, my husband gives me a spreadsheet every few months that indicates the state of our assets, and an updated list of all of our bills--amount, what it's for, where it goes. I have my own login to all of our accounts.

We write the logins down on paper--the only way they'll get stolen is if someone breaks into the house. They'd need to get through the cop next door, the deadbolt, the alarm system, and the dog and then figure out where we've hidden everything (it's not obvious). I imagine they'd go for the TV and easily accessible electronics first. :D

For those of you saying your spouse tries to act interested, but isn't, or doesn't have the attention span...it's hard to understand what's going on when you're not sitting with the numbers on a regular basis. Speaking from the other side of this, I trust my husband deeply, but because I don't deal with everything on a daily or weekly basis, it's hard for me personally to have financial discussions without feeling like a complete idiot (I'm not, I don't think) or incredibly anxious. Obviously not an incentive to delve more deeply into these things. It's not an attention span thing, it's self-preservation.
Just a girl, standing in front of her finances, asking them to make more sense.

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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 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:30 am

warner25 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:18 am
MikeG62 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:53 am
...this past year I added a number of graphics (mostly bar/pie charts) to my excel file (simple data pulls from the detailed data (blizzard of numbers) sheets/tabs). I printed those graphs (in color) and reviewed them with my DW. I found this quite helpful in keeping her attention.
I would love to see, in a generic way, what you displayed in those graphics. My own attempts have not been helpful.
Warner25, here is a description of the charts I developed for use this past year. I will see how much effort it would be for me to anonymize the info in the actual charts I have. If fairly easy, I will see if I can send images of each to you by way of PM.

1. Annual % Withdrawal Rate by year (Bar charts) with columns for SWR% guideline (4%), our Target WD Rate, and our Actual WD Rate (computed using both our beginning and ending portfolio values)

2. Annual $ Withdrawal Amount by year (Bar charts) with columns showing amount we would withdraw if following the SWR guideline, our Target Spend amount (using our Target WD Rate) and our Actual Spend amount.

3. Spending for the year (Pie Chart) by category of Spend – this one really hit home with my DW!

4. Spending by Category and delta budget by month (Bar Chart) - this one is intended to highlight the budget variances.

5. Travel & Entertainment Spend for the year (Pie Charts) – one by Category of Spend (airfare, hotel, meals, car service/taxi/uber/lyft/rental and other spend) and the second by Trip

6. Portfolio Value at the end of each year (one in Line Graph and the other in Bar Chart format) - going back as far as you have it (mine goes back to 1996)

7. Annual portfolio investment % gain/loss (Line Graph) and $ gain/loss (Bar Chart) - again going back as far as you have it.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

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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 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:35 am

shell921 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:31 am

For years before my husband died, he tried to explain our finances and how he tracked everything by showing me spreadsheets.
I could not understand and all this made me feel stupid and uneasy. In 2014, my beloved husband and partner of 40 years died suddenly and, fortunately for me, he had prepared exactly what is described here- a one page list of instructions that included accounts and phone numbers and steps to take.
Shell921, very sorry for your loss.

I am relieved to hear that you found the one page list of instructions helpful. It encourages me that my DW might have the same experience.

Did your DH ever review the one-pager with you while he was alive?

Also, what did you end up doing for investment management? And was this different from what your DH was doing prior?

Any advice we could share with dear spouses from your "first hand" experience here?

Thanks in advance for your important perspective.
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

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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 17, 2018 1:31 pm

GoldenFinch wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:04 am
Sheepdog wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:46 am
GoldenFinch wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:15 am

I wrote that post over a year ago and still haven’t written anything down! Thanks for the reminder. I will stop procrastinating and write everything down today.
Good.. May we ask you tomorrow how you did?
Done!
Congratulations
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.

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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 GoldenFinch » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:33 pm

Sheepdog wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:31 pm
GoldenFinch wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:04 am
Sheepdog wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:46 am
GoldenFinch wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:15 am

I wrote that post over a year ago and still haven’t written anything down! Thanks for the reminder. I will stop procrastinating and write everything down today.
Good.. May we ask you tomorrow how you did?
Done!
Congratulations
Thank you for the social pressure. :sharebeer

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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 praxis » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:03 pm

Over almost 30 years of regularly reviewing our finances, DW has become more interested in investment decisions. It used to help her go to sleep when I talked about it. Now she stays awake and asks good questions. She has always been impressed with how much our accounts increase from our long term (BH shaped) strategies, so this interest has gradually grown.

Almost all our bills are on autodraft from checking, but some from credit cards. We used to save all our paper statements and review them at tax time at a minimum. Now that all is on e statements, last week we both logged on and changed our passwords on our 3 credit cards and investment accounts and banks and reviewed our statements and promised each other to check our charges going forward. We'll see if that holds.

I have all of our IRAs, trad. and ROTH, invested in bond funds. Our taxable accounts (all in stock index funds) are joint WROS and we are each primary beneficiaries of each other's IRAs. I review this all with her at least annually.

The best part of her (our) education comes every year when she does our taxes completely on Turbo Tax. We have both learned much from this exercise. Ours is slightly complex paying taxes in 3 states and completing several Schedules. About 15 years ago we began to submit our returns to a tax CPA for review and advice. We usually save money doing this and feel more confident we are not missing anything. She gets sincere compliments from our accountant for her work.

Several years ago as we packed for an overseas trip, she asked me to leave instructions for our two grown sons in case we don't return. This led to refreshed wills, an updated written list of accounts and passwords and brief instructions all in duplicate. One in our fire safe and one in my (highly coveted by one son) guitar case.

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