How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

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doug1022
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How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by doug1022 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:53 pm

My wife has very limited interest in all the gory details about our financial matters. We discuss things at a very high level, but as soon as we get into any level of detail, she tunes out. That's perfectly ok, as she does more than her fair share for our family.

With that said, one thing I struggle with is how to easily share all of our (ever changing) user IDs and passwords for our financial accounts. I want her to have access to this important, yet extremely sensitive information in case something happens to me, or less morbidly, what if she needs to look up an account balance, or a credit card charge, or a brokerage account number?

Obviously I can keep a spreadsheet for her to access on our home PC, but that could get hacked. I could write out all of our User IDs and Passwords on a piece of paper stored discretely in the house, but we would be at risk in the unlikely event of a burglary... plus passwords are changing all the time and it would be a hassle to keep it current.

Are there any best practices that Bogleheads find effective in this regard? Are there any other options that I am not considering?

Thanks

bluebolt
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by bluebolt » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:00 pm

1Password, LastPass or Keepass are the options that many people use. The first two are commercial and better supported & more usable.

SuperSaver1975
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by SuperSaver1975 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:04 pm

I won't vouch that this is the best idea, but it's what we do: We keep a Word document on the computer with all the usernames and passwords. The file itself is password protected. We tend to re-use similar passwords over the years, where we only change some numbers at the end, so parts of our common passwords are familiar enough to both of us that we don't have to write down the whole passwords, only a short hand that we both understand.

zeppy
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by zeppy » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:14 pm

I, too, keep my usernames and passwords on a Word document. I don't keep the document on my computer, however. I put it on a zip drive and periodically update it.

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Watty
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by Watty » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:23 pm

zeppy wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:14 pm
I, too, keep my usernames and passwords on a Word document. I don't keep the document on my computer, however. I put it on a zip drive and periodically update it.
Just FYI, it may not be a good idea but if you are going to do it anyway they make encrypted flash drives that are password protected that you can keep in a safe place.

doug1022 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:53 pm
Are there any other options that I am not considering?
If these are joint accounts then she should be able to have her own account and password and not use yours.

Be sure to read the terms of service since it will likely not allow you to share your password. If your account gets hacked and it comes out that you shared your password when you have to sign a sworn statement then that could cause problems and they may balk at making you whole.

If you die then she does something like sign into your IRA and makes a transaction then that could be illegal.
doug1022 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:53 pm
I want her to have access to this important, yet extremely sensitive information in case something happens to me, or less morbidly, what if she needs to look up an account balance, or a credit card charge, or a brokerage account number?
I still have paper statements delivered by snail mail that I put in a stack and file away about once a quarter. My wife could just look at those if she needs any information.

Credit cards and other bills also send paper statements.

If you kick the bucket then with a recent statement your wife can just call the 800 number of whoever she needs to deal with and get them to walk her through any questions. I may be dating myself but before the internet it was normal to call up an 800 numbers and have the customer service person do things like sell shares of a mutual fund and mail you a check. They will still do this.


That said I have an encrypted USB drive on that I keep less important passwords on like for frequent flyer accounts and for a few things like credit card log ins I list some clues to remind me what the password is. I do not keep my financial log ins on that USB drive.

zeppy
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by zeppy » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:37 pm

Watty wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:23 pm
That said I have an encrypted USB drive on that I keep less important passwords on like for frequent flyer accounts and for a few things like credit card log ins I list some clues to remind me what the password is. I do not keep my financial log ins on that USB drive.
I didn't know about encrypted USB drives. I will look into getting some - thanks.
I do also keep some financial records on zip drives. I can see that encrypted is safer than non-encrypted but for someone living alone and never sharing a computer or even computer-room space, wouldn't just a plain old zip drive be sufficient?

obgraham
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by obgraham » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:43 pm

You can take this security obsession to the point where it is nearly impossible to get anything done easily.

My passwords are on an excel sheet. A paper copy of said sheet is in a notebook. Mrs. O knows where both those items are, readily available to her when I croak.

If the Russians break into my computer, it'll be a mess. But meanwhile I have a life to live.

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Watty
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by Watty » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:46 pm

zeppy wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:37 pm
Watty wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:23 pm
That said I have an encrypted USB drive on that I keep less important passwords on like for frequent flyer accounts and for a few things like credit card log ins I list some clues to remind me what the password is. I do not keep my financial log ins on that USB drive.
I didn't know about encrypted USB drives. I will look into getting some - thanks.
I do also keep some financial records on zip drives. I can see that encrypted is safer than non-encrypted but for someone living alone and never sharing a computer or even computer-room space, wouldn't just a plain old zip drive be sufficient?
Not if someone breaks into the house. It would also eliminate any question that someone like a house guest might have found it. Having the encrypted drive would also help show that you tried to protect your passwords if your account is ever hacked.

mhalley
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by mhalley » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:55 pm

I like KEEpass as it is not stored in the cloud. Told my wife the master password and where the files are located on the iPad and pc, plus listed with detailed instructions in the “death note”.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by Mike Scott » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:01 pm

paper

tibbitts
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by tibbitts » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:10 pm

zeppy wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:37 pm
Watty wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:23 pm
That said I have an encrypted USB drive on that I keep less important passwords on like for frequent flyer accounts and for a few things like credit card log ins I list some clues to remind me what the password is. I do not keep my financial log ins on that USB drive.
I didn't know about encrypted USB drives. I will look into getting some - thanks.
I do also keep some financial records on zip drives. I can see that encrypted is safer than non-encrypted but for someone living alone and never sharing a computer or even computer-room space, wouldn't just a plain old zip drive be sufficient?
Zip drive? There does come a time when finding a physically compatible device to read your media can become an issue.

Encrypted is only safer if multiple people can decrypt the files - you definitely don't want to be the only person who knows how to decrypt your data. Generally encryption isn't to protect your data from people you know well (well enough to share a computer or space with you), it's to protect your data from people you don't - who steal your computer, etc.

I use Lastpass partly because the person I share my passwords with uses that. YOu don't want to make things too complicated by forcing other people to adapt to your preferred password storage mechanism if they already are comfortable with one of their own.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by fourwheelcycle » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:49 pm

bluebolt wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:00 pm
1Password, LastPass or Keepass are the options that many people use. The first two are commercial and better supported & more usable.
I use 1Password and I love it. Unfortunately, my wife has no interest in learning to use new software just for her passwords. She writes the five or six passwords she uses regularly on index cards that she keeps in her desk. Fortunately, she has no interest in accessing any of her financial accounts except our BoA account, which she logs into each month to pay our bills.

She has given me full agent authorization for all of her other financial accounts, like Vanguard, that offer it, and she gets on the phone to provide authorization for reps to speak with me when I need to access her employer-based retirement accounts, etc., that don't allow delegation of authorization.

I realize this means she will have a learning curve if/when I am no longer around or able to manage our finances. The fact is, although she can learn to manage our financial accounts, she will need help with the learning curve. To provide this help I have added a section to the letter of instructions I maintain for our two adult children in the event we ever die or both end up in intensive care at the same time. The letter tells them how to access our important financial and estate planning documents and the new section requests them to assist their mother if I happen to go first - physically or mentally.

lotusflower
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by lotusflower » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:16 pm

Keepass on Dropbox. Totally free though this is such an important thing to get right that paying a service (Lastpass, 1Password) is also a great idea. DW and I both keep all of our passwords there though I do 80% of the financial stuff. We have been on this system for over 10 years and it has been working out great.

I think the cloud is much better than any kind of local hardware (encrypted USB drive solution). I guess the USB is "more secure" in some respect but there are a whole bunch of risks (fire, flood, theft, forgetfulness) once you define security as overall resistance to any data retrieval failure, no local hardware solution can compete with cloud storage as long as you have a password unknown to the storage provider (they would have no way of knowing your Keepass vault's password.

Another service I'm quite fond of is https://www.clipperz.is. We use that among siblings that to manage the affairs of an elderly relative.

It's also a great idea to add your full account numbers, CVC codes, the answers you used for security questions (I use nonsense answers and don't try to remember them, just type them in Keepass as I generate them.) Those who say Excel is easier have never tried Keepass. Keepass's search is also great, just a few letters of the name or URL and the record comes right up.

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tadamsmar
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by tadamsmar » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:34 pm

With that said, one thing I struggle with is how to easily share all of our (ever changing) user IDs and passwords for our financial accounts. I want her to have access to this important, yet extremely sensitive information in case something happens to me, or less morbidly, what if she needs to look up an account balance, or a credit card charge, or a brokerage account number?
You don't need to share your Vanguard account login credentials for those purposes. You can set up Agent Authorization to allow your wife access to your account. If all she needs to do is look at the account balances, then you can grant her information only access. My wife and I both have full authorization for each other's accounts.

If you die, then no one should be doing transactions on your account. Your spouse should contact Vanguard and go through the process of transferring the accounts to the heirs. It is my understanding that all POAs and Agent Authorizations are void after you die.

If you share your Vanguard password with anyone, then Vanguard considers all their transactions on your account to be authorized by you. And, password sharing could complicate the investigation of online fraud:

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/help/S ... ontent.jsp

My bank supports separate logins for joint accounts and encourages the use of separate logins.

In general, I would not be too hasty to share your login credentials until you understand the pitfalls and alternatives in each case.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by tibbitts » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:47 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:34 pm
With that said, one thing I struggle with is how to easily share all of our (ever changing) user IDs and passwords for our financial accounts. I want her to have access to this important, yet extremely sensitive information in case something happens to me, or less morbidly, what if she needs to look up an account balance, or a credit card charge, or a brokerage account number?
You don't need to share your Vanguard account login credentials for those purposes. You can set up Agent Authorization to allow your wife access to your account. If all she needs to do is look at the account balances, then you can grant her information only access. My wife and I both have full authorization for each other's accounts.

If you die, then no one should be doing transactions on your account. Your spouse should contact Vanguard and go through the process of transferring the accounts to the heirs. It is my understanding that all POAs and Agent Authorizations are void after you die.

If you share your Vanguard password with anyone, then Vanguard considers all their transactions on your account to be authorized by you. And, password sharing could complicate the investigation of online fraud:

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/help/S ... ontent.jsp

My bank supports separate logins for joint accounts and encourages the use of separate logins.

In general, I would not be too hasty to share your login credentials until you understand the pitfalls and alternatives in each case.
I have no legal expertise, but my interpretation of VG's statement is that they won't cover losses resulting from activity done by someone with whom you share your password, not that the act of sharing with a person unrelated to unauthorized transactions that have occurred on your account absolves Vanguard of any responsibility.

The more interesting statement is about storing passwords on your computer, which some password management software does. I'm not sure that storing an encrypted password, without also storing the means for decrypting it, would constitute storing the password.

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tadamsmar
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by tadamsmar » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:07 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:47 pm
tadamsmar wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:34 pm
With that said, one thing I struggle with is how to easily share all of our (ever changing) user IDs and passwords for our financial accounts. I want her to have access to this important, yet extremely sensitive information in case something happens to me, or less morbidly, what if she needs to look up an account balance, or a credit card charge, or a brokerage account number?
You don't need to share your Vanguard account login credentials for those purposes. You can set up Agent Authorization to allow your wife access to your account. If all she needs to do is look at the account balances, then you can grant her information only access. My wife and I both have full authorization for each other's accounts.

If you die, then no one should be doing transactions on your account. Your spouse should contact Vanguard and go through the process of transferring the accounts to the heirs. It is my understanding that all POAs and Agent Authorizations are void after you die.

If you share your Vanguard password with anyone, then Vanguard considers all their transactions on your account to be authorized by you. And, password sharing could complicate the investigation of online fraud:

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/help/S ... ontent.jsp

My bank supports separate logins for joint accounts and encourages the use of separate logins.

In general, I would not be too hasty to share your login credentials until you understand the pitfalls and alternatives in each case.
I have no legal expertise, but my interpretation of VG's statement is that they won't cover losses resulting from activity done by someone with whom you share your password, not that the act of sharing with a person unrelated to unauthorized transactions that have occurred on your account absolves Vanguard of any responsibility.
I agree with that and I never said otherwise. I just meant that I think sharing your password would add complications to the investigation, nothing more than that. The issue of "unrelated" will take some additional due diligence on Vanguard's part I think. Also, there are Boglehead posters who say they are going to lie about password sharing in an investigation, complications like that one :-). Lie to the police I suppose.
The more interesting statement is about storing passwords on your computer, which some password management software does. I'm not sure that storing an encrypted password, without also storing the means for decrypting it, would constitute storing the password.
I agree that it does not exactly give one the warm fuzzies about password management software.

Heck, it turns out that it is not uncommon for your passwords end up paged out to your disk as plain text whether you have a password manager or not. It's not a bug, it's a feature! For this reason, it tends to be much easier to crack passwords if the cracker has access to your hard drive. (Note that your Vanguard password may be on your disk as plain text, but it is not identified as a password.)

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celia
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by celia » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:22 pm

doug1022 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:53 pm
. . .one thing I struggle with is how to easily share all of our (ever changing) user IDs and passwords for our financial accounts.
Don’t share IDs and Passwords. NEVER!. :oops:
If you want your financial institutions to keep your accounts safe, you must do your part in not sharing usernames or passwords. How will your custodian know if it is you, your wife, or a royal Nigerian prince accessing your account? It also looks fishy to them if someone accesses your account the day after you die! How did Doug1022 do that???
Are there any best practices that Bogleheads find effective in this regard? Are there any other options that I am not considering?
The correct way to do what you want is for your wife to get her own username and password. She should already have access to all the accounts on which she is an owner or co-owner. Then print out and mail in a (Vanguard) Agent Authorization Form so she can access your accounts. She should also fill one out giving you authorization to access HER accounts, too.

The form will have a slightly different name at other custodians.

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JoMoney
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by JoMoney » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:29 pm

Here's an idea I like:
Keep a numbered spreadsheet with all the online account names/numbers... no passwords just a list of accounts...

Keep a offline written note on a numbered sheet with just passwords (no details other than the number which should correspond to the number on the account name listed on the spreadsheet.

For added security keep the password document locked up and/or in a sealed envelope that will be evident if it was tampered/opened/stolen.

Maybe pad the document with miscelaneous fake passwords on extra lines that aren't actually used for anything, or might be used in the future...
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:39 pm

We just use our Captain Midnight Secret Decoder rings.

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tadamsmar
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by tadamsmar » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:11 pm

Looks like Vanguard is now calling Agent Authorization "POA":

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/litful ... bCat2=GRET

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by tibbitts » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:13 pm

celia wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:22 pm
doug1022 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:53 pm
. . .one thing I struggle with is how to easily share all of our (ever changing) user IDs and passwords for our financial accounts.
Don’t share IDs and Passwords. NEVER!. :oops:
If you want your financial institutions to keep your accounts safe, you must do your part in not sharing usernames or passwords. How will your custodian know if it is you, your wife, or a royal Nigerian prince accessing your account? It also looks fishy to them if someone accesses your account the day after you die! How did Doug1022 do that???
Are there any best practices that Bogleheads find effective in this regard? Are there any other options that I am not considering?
The correct way to do what you want is for your wife to get her own username and password. She should already have access to all the accounts on which she is an owner or co-owner. Then print out and mail in a (Vanguard) Agent Authorization Form so she can access your accounts. She should also fill one out giving you authorization to access HER accounts, too.

The form will have a slightly different name at other custodians.
In the case of Vanguard yes, but I'm not sure every institution has a similar mechanism, and it would be a lot of work to meet the requirements for every account (credit card, bank, brokerage, etc.) you have.

mrb09
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by mrb09 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:47 pm

We use a 1Password family plan which allows a shared password vault. For financial institutions we use separate accounts with joint permissions (like Fidelity and Ally), but we also keep our own account passwords in the shared vault in case of emergency ("break glass"). For accounts like Netflix, we just share the account and don't worry about it.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by IHateCasinos » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:39 am

goto the canva.com site( they got hacked about a month ago), and signup to 1 password for families from there. the deal is brilliant and is 12 months of free usage!!

then you can deceide afterwards if you like it. if you dont migrating your passwords out is easy. and you will know why you should use an password manager.
you could just sign up and not use it if you want!! get it while its still available.

M

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by CFM300 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:23 am

celia wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:22 pm
Don’t share IDs and Passwords. NEVER!. :oops:
LastPass allows me to share login credentials with other LastPass users. I can choose whether the person I'm sharing with can actually see my credentials, or whether they can just use them.
celia wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:22 pm
The correct way to do what you want is for your wife to get her own username and password.
My wife can't get a username and password to my HSA account. Or my business checking account. Or my Social Security account. Or my web host admin panel. Etc.

msk
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by msk » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:32 am

All are aware of the Recycle Bin? As you type out all those Excel or Word files, edit them, etc. before encrypting them to the Cloud or storing them in your safe or your freezer, are you fully in control of all the trails and copies you have left in your Recycle Bins? E.g. cloud storage normally keeps all your edit histories in case you do the not so rare mistake of deleting valuable folders by accident... I think a handwritten password list updated frequently is much more secure than any of these computer systems, but it is indeed a bigger nuisance than a spreadsheet :annoyed Then of course, you could die in a house fire tonight together with your spouse and that handwritten sheet, and...

simmias
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by simmias » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:33 am

lotusflower wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:16 pm
Keepass on Dropbox. Totally free though this is such an important thing to get right that paying a service (Lastpass, 1Password) is also a great idea. DW and I both keep all of our passwords there though I do 80% of the financial stuff. We have been on this system for over 10 years and it has been working out great.

I think the cloud is much better than any kind of local hardware (encrypted USB drive solution). I guess the USB is "more secure" in some respect but there are a whole bunch of risks (fire, flood, theft, forgetfulness) once you define security as overall resistance to any data retrieval failure, no local hardware solution can compete with cloud storage as long as you have a password unknown to the storage provider (they would have no way of knowing your Keepass vault's password.

Another service I'm quite fond of is https://www.clipperz.is. We use that among siblings that to manage the affairs of an elderly relative.

It's also a great idea to add your full account numbers, CVC codes, the answers you used for security questions (I use nonsense answers and don't try to remember them, just type them in Keepass as I generate them.) Those who say Excel is easier have never tried Keepass. Keepass's search is also great, just a few letters of the name or URL and the record comes right up.
Make sure you're using a keyfile in addition to the password if you're storing the file in the cloud. You keep the keyfile locally on each device that can access Keepass, and nobody can open it without it. Your keyfile can be anything, and Keepass can even help you create one. Just make sure you have a backup of the keyfile somewhere at all times, since you really can't get into Keepass wihout it once it's set up.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by 3-20Characters » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:00 am

bluebolt wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:00 pm
1Password, LastPass or Keepass are the options that many people use. The first two are commercial and better supported & more usable.
+1

This has been discussed to death. Do a search. The many advantages of a good password manager are not apparent to people who’ve never used one. For example, I just opened a new bank account to get a bonus. In addition to the password, the site required that I use 5 separate and unique secret questions/answers. I used a different 6-digit number for each answer and stored the info in the notes for that login instead of answering something like “green” for my first car’s color. No way anybody is going to guess these answers—or would I remember them if I needed them.

I use the notes in my password manager for anything remotely sensitive—from bank account and routing numbers to driver’s licenses, etc. Those who think your password manager will be hacked any second don’t understand how password managers store data or allow access. Perhaps the risk is not zero but I’ll take my chances with 1Password over a word or excel file any day.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:15 am

OP: I've been the household "money manager" for all of our 41 years of married life, so I sympathize.

I do a combination of zeppy's and bluebolt's methods. We have a LibreOffice document with all our financial information (usernames, passwords, account numbers, contact information, miscellaneous information) on a USB flash drive stored in our safe. She knows where that is in case she ever needs it.

For more immediate access, we have passwords used frequently (credit card accounts, monthly bills, checking account) stored in a KeePass2 database that is on a shared NAS drive on our home network that we both can access from our respective PCs. My wife has a "cheat sheet" showing her how to open that database on her PC in case she ever should need to do financial tasks, and her browser has a set of bookmarks for sites such as banks, credit cards, investment accounts, etc. That way, she only needs to know one password (the one for the shared database).

As a side note, for her benefit I also built a LibreOffice ("PowerPoint"-type) set of slides giving a 10,000-foot view of our finances, showing bank accounts, investments, credit cards, and the normal month-to-month cash flow, which is also stored on the shared drive. That document contains no account numbers or passwords, it's just a broad description of our financial picture. She knows how to find that if she ever should need to refer to it.
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: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by student » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:15 am

Watty wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:23 pm
Be sure to read the terms of service since it will likely not allow you to share your password. If your account gets hacked and it comes out that you shared your password when you have to sign a sworn statement then that could cause problems and they may balk at making you whole.

If you die then she does something like sign into your IRA and makes a transaction then that could be illegal.
+1. Some institutions allow you to grant access to other users officially. For Fidelity, see https://www.fidelity.com/learning-cente ... tion-video for instructions.
Last edited by student on Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by Silk McCue » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:48 am

I have used an IOS (Apple app) called MSecure for a few years. It runs on my devices and that of my wife. Whenever an account/login in added or a password or other information changed it automatically updates on all devices. You can have groups setup for MrSilk, MrsSilk, etc that would only show those listings in order to reduce items displayed at any one time or just scroll through all. We all store DL Information, TSA Pre numbers and anything else that needs to be recalled that is of a sensitive nature. This tool is invaluable. I expect the other products folks have discussed would do the same. It is a seamless solution where we both know to go whenever an account/item is updated or added.

Cheers

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by onourway » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:27 am

My wife steadfastly refuses to learn how to use our password manager as well (much to her detriment - she, like most people, spends way more time trying to figure out or resetting passwords than she’d ever spend learning to use the manager), however I figure if I go before she does, she’ll have ample motivation to figure out how to use the Password Safe where all of our important data is secured. No interest in trying to maintain updated paper copies over the next few decades, and a Safe is far, far easier to manage over the long term than a list in Excel, Word, etc. Not to mention orders of magnitude more secure.

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F150HD
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by F150HD » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:39 am

doug1022 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:53 pm
...With that said, one thing I struggle with is how to easily share all of our (ever changing) user IDs and passwords for our financial accounts...
Not sure who here uses this but.... https://www.fidsafe.com/how-it-works/

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by MikeG62 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:48 am

I use LastPass. Although she has not needed to log into it, my DW has the master password for LastPass.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:45 am

onourway wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:27 am
My wife steadfastly refuses to learn how to use our password manager as well (much to her detriment - she, like most people, spends way more time trying to figure out or resetting passwords than she’d ever spend learning to use the manager), however I figure if I go before she does, she’ll have ample motivation to figure out how to use the Password Safe where all of our important data is secured. No interest in trying to maintain updated paper copies over the next few decades, and a Safe is far, far easier to manage over the long term than a list in Excel, Word, etc. Not to mention orders of magnitude more secure.
Same here. DW tries to remember all of her passwords. She does that by using similar, but slightly different, passwords for all sites she accesses. I have decided to abandon that long-fought battlefield as none of her sites can inflict terrible damage upon me, ie. separate finances with only one joint financial account--a checking account which rarely has > $3000 in it.

I do store all of her user names, passwords, secret answers, etc in my KeePass database. Every 6 weeks or so I have to access KeePass to retrieve a PW that she has forgotten. I expect to have to do that more frequently as she ages. She knows where I have left the master password for my KeePass (for after my death) and knows enough to be able to fumble around to retrieve what she is looking for. In the meantime, she simply has to wait for my availability to retrieve anything she has forgotten. Or to learn how to use a password manager herself :annoyed

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by lotusflower » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:04 am

simmias wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:33 am
lotusflower wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:16 pm
Keepass on Dropbox. Totally free though this is such an important thing to get right that paying a service (Lastpass, 1Password) is also a great idea. DW and I both keep all of our passwords there though I do 80% of the financial stuff. We have been on this system for over 10 years and it has been working out great.
Make sure you're using a keyfile in addition to the password if you're storing the file in the cloud. You keep the keyfile locally on each device that can access Keepass, and nobody can open it without it. Your keyfile can be anything, and Keepass can even help you create one. Just make sure you have a backup of the keyfile somewhere at all times, since you really can't get into Keepass wihout it once it's set up.
I used to do this, but after reflecting on it, I decided there were more ways a keyfile could screw things up so I rekeyed the Keepass vault to get rid of it. If I'm away from home and my laptop or my USB drive is stolen, I want to get a new laptop and get my passwords. If DW and I both pass, I want our executor to have a reasonable chance be able to get into the files.

Even if you somehow got my Keepass password, you would also need my Dropbox password, which would be difficult, unless you had me at gunpoint and then you would also have the keyfile as well.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by tadamsmar » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:16 pm

lotusflower wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:04 am
If DW and I both pass, I want our executor to have a reasonable chance be able to get into the files.
I am pretty sure that there is nothing legit that an executor can do with any of your passwords to financial accounts.

I wonder if any of one's passwords are actually necessary for the executor to have?

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by FIREchief » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:25 pm

doug1022 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:53 pm
Are there any best practices that Bogleheads find effective in this regard? Are there any other options that I am not considering?
I strongly believe that when it comes to bank and brokerage accounts, the only "best practice" is 100% compliance with the custodian's rules. I've never heard of a custodian that would approve of sharing passwords in any way with other individuals. Our individual passwords are only recorded in our memories and two factor authentication is the rule.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by snailderby » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:29 pm

1Password, Keepass, Dashlane, or LastPass. See https://www.wired.com/story/best-password-managers/.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by lotusflower » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:53 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:16 pm
lotusflower wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:04 am
If DW and I both pass, I want our executor to have a reasonable chance be able to get into the files.
I am pretty sure that there is nothing legit that an executor can do with any of your passwords to financial accounts.

I wonder if any of one's passwords are actually necessary for the executor to have?
While that is basically true about financial accounts there are plenty of passwords that I want people to have. I have some Veracrypt encrypted disks that have family photos, those will basically be lost without Keepass. Maybe they don't need to be in an encrypted disk, but at the moment they are. Also going through the password list will help the executor to know which accounts exist and are involved with the estate, in case my letters of instruction are not perfect (guess what, they aren't).

Obviously many executors do the job with no access to passwords, so probably not "necessary" but I'm convinced that having my password vault be accessible to my heirs will be an overall win.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by Elric » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:00 pm

3-20Characters wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:00 am
bluebolt wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:00 pm
1Password, LastPass or Keepass are the options that many people use. The first two are commercial and better supported & more usable.
+1

This has been discussed to death. Do a search. The many advantages of a good password manager are not apparent to people who’ve never used one. For example, I just opened a new bank account to get a bonus. In addition to the password, the site required that I use 5 separate and unique secret questions/answers. I used a different 6-digit number for each answer and stored the info in the notes for that login instead of answering something like “green” for my first car’s color. No way anybody is going to guess these answers—or would I remember them if I needed them.

I use the notes in my password manager for anything remotely sensitive—from bank account and routing numbers to driver’s licenses, etc. Those who think your password manager will be hacked any second don’t understand how password managers store data or allow access. Perhaps the risk is not zero but I’ll take my chances with 1Password over a word or excel file any day.
+2. We've used Lastpass for years, but their leading competitors would be fine also. Can choose what to share, let's you use randomized passwords with more convenience than typing in poorly composed or repeated passwords, and as poster stated, can securely store other notes as well. And it works on your smartphone as well.
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by jeblers » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:07 pm

I have been using LastPass for years, they have a few great features for sharing account info with your spouse:
  • You can share login information with other LastPass users on a case by case basis
  • You can set it up so that if you suddenly passed away or were incapacitated that an authorized user can gain control over your whole account after a waiting period.

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tadamsmar
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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by tadamsmar » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:26 pm

lotusflower wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:53 pm
tadamsmar wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:16 pm
lotusflower wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:04 am
If DW and I both pass, I want our executor to have a reasonable chance be able to get into the files.
I am pretty sure that there is nothing legit that an executor can do with any of your passwords to financial accounts.

I wonder if any of one's passwords are actually necessary for the executor to have?
While that is basically true about financial accounts there are plenty of passwords that I want people to have. I have some Veracrypt encrypted disks that have family photos, those will basically be lost without Keepass. Maybe they don't need to be in an encrypted disk, but at the moment they are. Also going through the password list will help the executor to know which accounts exist and are involved with the estate, in case my letters of instruction are not perfect (guess what, they aren't).

Obviously many executors do the job with no access to passwords, so probably not "necessary" but I'm convinced that having my password vault be accessible to my heirs will be an overall win.
Seems it would be necessary to give the executor the password for encrypted personal items if you want the executor (an agent of the court) to manage those items as part of your estate.
Last edited by tadamsmar on Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by Kaizen Soze » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:59 pm

I use 1Password and it works well.

Also, create a rule to remember the password based on the website. Example: Add the first 3 letters of the website to the end of the password. So if your root password is P4ssw0rd, your Boglehead password would be P4ssw0rdbog. Your Gmail password would be P4ssw0rdgma.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by Swimmer » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:56 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:11 pm
Looks like Vanguard is now calling Agent Authorization "POA":

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/litful ... bCat2=GRET

I went on to check ours since we recently appointed Agents. It looks like for our brokerage accounts, they use the term “Agent,” while for the 529s, they use “Power of Attorney.”

If an Agent or POA needs to transact, all they’d need to do is phone. Online isn’t the only way to transact so passwords, although convenient, aren’t mandatory. I think we tend to think that the only way to do business is online. Does that make sense or am I missing something?

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by RetiredAL » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:42 pm

Kaizen Soze wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:59 pm
I use 1Password and it works well.

Also, create a rule to remember the password based on the website. Example: Add the first 3 letters of the website to the end of the password. So if your root password is P4ssw0rd, your Boglehead password would be P4ssw0rdbog. Your Gmail password would be P4ssw0rdgma.
Geez, at least position offset the three letter suffix.

bog >> cPt Right shift 1, left shift 1 cap'd, up shift 1

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by tibbitts » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:11 pm

Elric wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:00 pm
3-20Characters wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:00 am
bluebolt wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:00 pm
1Password, LastPass or Keepass are the options that many people use. The first two are commercial and better supported & more usable.
+1

This has been discussed to death. Do a search. The many advantages of a good password manager are not apparent to people who’ve never used one. For example, I just opened a new bank account to get a bonus. In addition to the password, the site required that I use 5 separate and unique secret questions/answers. I used a different 6-digit number for each answer and stored the info in the notes for that login instead of answering something like “green” for my first car’s color. No way anybody is going to guess these answers—or would I remember them if I needed them.

I use the notes in my password manager for anything remotely sensitive—from bank account and routing numbers to driver’s licenses, etc. Those who think your password manager will be hacked any second don’t understand how password managers store data or allow access. Perhaps the risk is not zero but I’ll take my chances with 1Password over a word or excel file any day.
+2. We've used Lastpass for years, but their leading competitors would be fine also. Can choose what to share, let's you use randomized passwords with more convenience than typing in poorly composed or repeated passwords, and as poster stated, can securely store other notes as well. And it works on your smartphone as well.
Maybe I'm not trying hard enough but I haven't found Lastpass - the free version, at least - to be as useful on my Android phone as on my laptops. Also I believe the free version now limits you to a single stored document, whereas it used to allow... well, more than I wanted to store.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by tibbitts » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:11 pm

Swimmer wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:56 pm
tadamsmar wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:11 pm
Looks like Vanguard is now calling Agent Authorization "POA":

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/litful ... bCat2=GRET

I went on to check ours since we recently appointed Agents. It looks like for our brokerage accounts, they use the term “Agent,” while for the 529s, they use “Power of Attorney.”

If an Agent or POA needs to transact, all they’d need to do is phone. Online isn’t the only way to transact so passwords, although convenient, aren’t mandatory. I think we tend to think that the only way to do business is online. Does that make sense or am I missing something?
How will they be identified by phone?

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by 02nz » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:15 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:10 pm
Zip drive? There does come a time when finding a physically compatible device to read your media can become an issue.
I was thinking the same thing, but I assume people actually meant USB drives. Surely no one is still using magnetic disks with 100 MB capacity and have a (comparatively) high failure rate.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by tadamsmar » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:17 pm

Swimmer wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:56 pm
tadamsmar wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:11 pm
Looks like Vanguard is now calling Agent Authorization "POA":

https://personal.vanguard.com/us/litful ... bCat2=GRET

I went on to check ours since we recently appointed Agents. It looks like for our brokerage accounts, they use the term “Agent,” while for the 529s, they use “Power of Attorney.”
I think you are right, they use the term POA on the front page, but when you proceed down the links they start using the term Agent.

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Re: How to Safely Share User IDs / Passwords with Spouse

Post by celia » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:19 pm

CFM300 wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:23 am
My wife can't get a username and password to my HSA account. Or my business checking account. Or my Social Security account. Or my web host admin panel. Etc.
I don't see why not. Suppose you were a celebrity, a CEO, frequent over-seas traveler or anyone who prefers to have a money manager take care of the "little things". That's what Power of Attorney forms are for. But in the case of investment firms, each firm seems to have it's own form. I have taken action on relatives' credit cards, employee benefits, Social Security account, etc after they had cognitive decline, using a power of attorney form. For investments, I used the company's forms.

You don't have to have a reason to give someone else a power of attorney to act on your behalf and you can be selective in only granting them access to certain accounts. You also have the option of withdrawing the power in the future.

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