No. of Recommendations: 6
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 4
Congrats to Xray for the shout out.

Fuskie
Who found the money to cover the September bills, but may have inadvertently missed a health insurance payment...
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Woo-hoo, Joel, you're a star! Not that that's news to us...


--Booa
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 4
I hope TMF comped Joel a couple of years for that one.

Good job, Joel!

Patzer
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 5
Patzer,

You wrote, I hope TMF comped Joel a couple of years for that one.

Good job, Joel!


Thanks. But hey, I had to entertain myself somehow while I was recouping from surgery... :-)

Actually I asked for a membership for my sister. She's in pretty deep, she's not local (Washington state), and she won't talk about her finances in depth with her big brother.

Dayana is a pleasure to talk to, though she certainly asks probing questions; but I guess that's part of her job. Too bad she lives in Virginia (from her profile). She seems very nice and it would be much more interesting discussing this stuff over coffee or lunch.

Besides, I think women that share my interests are inherently sexy. ;-)

BTW: Today was my first day back to work since the surgery. Unfortunately, the doc said I have to wear this blasted girdle for another 3 weeks.

- Joel
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Greetings, Joel, and congratulations on your great recognition and your great interview with Dayana Yochim. So glad you are getting credit where it is deservedly due - but I think I have always known how excellent your advice has been:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=19115858

Thanks for returning the compliment and let me underscore to everyone that I truly think that the highest praise is due you for your amazing legal takes on matters of credit. Further proof of the value of this forum and I have long had you on my favorite list so I won't miss a single post - on any board you post upon.

xraymd
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
That is a pretty good mention. I like the part towards the end when you talk about getting out debt.

That's one of the few times I have seen Dayana ever have that in her columns. Most of her columns talk about managing debts and scores while you are IN debt, but fail to mention the values of getting out of debt and avoiding future debt. That's what I think that much of this board is about.

The only part that I disagree with is the marriage part. If you don't marry debt, then you are not marrying "for richer or for poorer."

Fred
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
buckmizer,

You wrote, The only part that I disagree with is the marriage part. If you don't marry debt, then you are not marrying "for richer or for poorer."

I'm not sure exactly which part you're referring to; but I'm not sure I agree with your statement in any case. My wife and I were essentially debt-free when we married. We had almost nothing to our names and I knew she'd made a few financial mistakes in her brief history; but neither of us had any debt when we married. As it turned out, that was no indicator...

- Joel
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
This is part of what I was talking about:

"It can be especially helpful because if things go seriously wrong with your spouse's finances, you need to know what rights you have to protect yourself and your assets."

This and the part afterward gave me the impression that if one spouse gets in trouble with debt, then that it was the spouses problem and not the couple's problem.

Fred
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
buckmizer,

In the interview I wrote, "It can be especially helpful because if things go seriously wrong with your spouse's finances, you need to know what rights you have to protect yourself and your assets."

You responded, This and the part afterward gave me the impression that if one spouse gets in trouble with debt, then that it was the spouses problem and not the couple's problem.

Help or assistance from a spouse should be voluntary, not involuntary. That's what I was trying to address.

Whether or not it's the couple's problem or not should usually depend on whether or not you got into trouble together voluntarily. The other case would depend on whether or not the fiscally responsible spouse is willing to bail out the less responsible spouse. At no point should an irresponsible spouse or their creditors be able to force the assistance of an unwilling spouse.

If you are unable to defend your assets, income and your good credit you are completely at the mercy of your spouse and their poor judgment. For most people this may be perfectly acceptable; but I know from experience that it can be a very uncomfortable position to be in.

- Joel
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
If you are unable to defend your assets, income and your good credit you are completely at the mercy of your spouse and their poor judgment. For most people this may be perfectly acceptable; but I know from experience that it can be a very uncomfortable position to be in.

So why should someone even get married if they are only to pre-plan for a divorce?

All of your statements still refer to married people as two separate people as if there was no union at all, but somewhere in there they make a decision to be married to be one. His problems are her problems and vice-versa regardless of when the problems happen.

Fred

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 10
So why should someone even get married if they are only to pre-plan for a divorce?

All of your statements still refer to married people as two separate people as if there was no union at all, but somewhere in there they make a decision to be married to be one. His problems are her problems and vice-versa regardless of when the problems happen.


Disclaimer: My perceptions, like Joel's, are colored by a divorce proceeding. The language I use refers to a spendthrift woman married to a thrifty man, but it is equally possible for the genders to be reversed.

In a perfect world, the husband and wife are on the same page financially and work as a team to best address the financial issues they face. Not everyone lives in a perfect world.

In the real world, sometimes one spouse is less financially responsible than the other. If the two of them recognize this and assign the bulk of the financial responsibilities to the more-repsonsible spouse, there are few problems.

In some cases, such as Joel's marriage and my own marriage, one spouse is not only irresponsible but also refuses to honor verbal agreements with the other spouse. In this case, the responsible spouse has to protect himself/herself. If the marriage lasts long term, the activities the responsible spouse takes to protect assets benefit both spouses. If the marriage ends in divorce, the activities the responsible spouse took to protect assets result in more assets to be split, benefitting both spouses.

No one gets married with the intention of getting a divorce. Sometimes someone gets married and is shocked to find that his spouse conducts herself in ways he thought NOBODY did. This happened to me, and I believe it happened to Joel as well. When this happens, the first thing the responsible spouse tries is to educate the irresponsible spouse. If that doesn't work, the responsible spouse tries to gain control of the finances to limit the damage done by the irresponsible spouse. At this step, action should be taken to separate finances regardless of whether the intention is divorce or to protect assets for the benefit of the spendthrift spouse.

Yes, what Joel wrote may sound like planning for divorce to people who have never actually had to face divorce. As someone who has been there and done that, I see it a bit differently. Certain steps that may sound like some as preparation for divorce are equally valid as contingency planning for the benefit of the spendthrift spouse in the event that the thrifty spouse pre-deceases her. Been there, done that, and would still be trying to do it if the marriage had not ended for non-financial reasons.

Patzer
whose ex-wife got more money in the settlement than she would have ever accumulated into one spot on her own, regardless of her income level
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 5
I'm finding this discussion on spousal spending habits very interesting.

I am single, but I ended my last serious relationship in part due to my then-SO's financial stupidity. It may sound harsh, but the fact is, I have taken great care to get my financial house in order and I was unwilling to let someone come in and trash it. Not only that - I saw the future. I was always going to be the 'mean' one when it came to money. It's no fun being made out to be the bad guy, when really all you're trying to do is be the responsible guy.

Fi
-looking for fiscal responsibility in a partner
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 21
So why should someone even get married if they are only to pre-plan for a divorce?

All of your statements still refer to married people as two separate people as if there was no union at all, but somewhere in there they make a decision to be married to be one. His problems are her problems and vice-versa regardless of when the problems happen.


Greetings, Fred, I am not quite sure how to make a fair comparison but I'll try. I definitely believe in having a good understanding of the sources of potential future conflict in even the most solid of relationships because when they occur, there needs to have been forethought about how to work them out.

Here's a forinstance: my fiance is not good with money. He is willing to make payments on time but not particularly willing to budget, nor consider how much interest carrying a balance costs him. He has not ever (till he met me) given thought about how to save for retirement, or even to save for a planned purchase. This is not a skill he has been willing, or maybe even able, to develop on his own, and he has no role model in his past to have pointed the way. His father, a successful copyright attorney, and his grandfather, a wildly successful entertainment attorney, were both effectively clueless when it came to knowing how to handle their incomes and to distribute it properly towards debt repayment, sensible apportionment for expenditures and saving for retirement.

But what IS my fiance good at? So very, very many things. He has a keen sense of time and is very punctual (unlike me, who is habitually 5-10 minutes late on my very best day). He is our household's chief cook and bottlewasher (no joke, he is the one with the domestic skills and mans the kitchen and the garden - if we had to eat what I were to cook, we'd be starving). He is loving and supportive and gently humorous and marvelously inventive and intuitive. I am, and have been, endlessly fascinated by how he thinks and by our wonderful conversations. We laugh together frequently and love to rejoin one another at the end of the day to be together and share our adventures. He is truly my dearest, best friend and the 6 years we have been together so far have been the happiest years of my life.

Now, I am the one who is good at handling money and I can tell you that life has been smooth for both of us with me handling mine, AND handling his. I pay the bills and I stream his income to where it is going to provide the most benefit - he has paid off more than half the debt load he had when I met him, at significantly lower interest rates and he now has savings for the future in the form of a Roth and a 401(k). Note that I said that I handle HIS money and MY money, not OUR money. And I am saying this very specifically because I have long since realized that I don't want any of his prior money management results to have an impact on the hard work I have put in over the years to have developed an excellent credit record. More to the point, HE would not want me to be injured as the result of his prior activities, either. He has given me carte blanche to manage his money and accepts the regular updates I provide him. He gives input anytime he wishes but mainly he is happy that I have taken over what for him has been an ongoing burden in a way that is bringing both of us a benefit.

I liken it to loving someone who has a neurological disorder that causes inadvertent flinging of one's limbs (read about hemiballismus - this actually exists). Isn't it better for that person's partner to take steps to prevent being regularly poked in the eye, rather than take the approach that since the loved one is afflicted then eye pokes are an inevitable consequence? How much better and smoother life is for my fiance to do the cooking and for me to manage our finances. We are prevented from poking each other in the eye by our individual shortcomings. Yet even though I don't cook and he doesn't bank, WE ARE ONE and have found a way to keep each other even more safe from each other's frailties than we would otherwise be were we forced to follow a prescription that said we had to perfectly share all resources.

Not only does my fiance not wish to be involved with his finances, he does not even WANT access to mine. It's a huge relief to him that I am able to handle things and we trust one another enough to know that this is a safe and functional arrangement. I have had prior experience earlier in my life with being involved with someone I did not feel I could fiscally trust and I know the difference here. So it works well for us to share the duties according to what maximizes the use of our best talents - and what also maximizes our joint happiness. He knows how to access accounts in case anything happens to me. But they are MY accounts, not JOINT accounts only because it makes the most sense for them to remain separate. This in no way makes us any less one and I deeply believe that it is critical not to confuse unity of soul with joint or separate finances.

xraymd
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
When I met my present wife, soon after her divorce from her now-ex husband, she had a 544 fico score. Almost exactly seven years later, now that the bankruptcy and tax liens and collections and late payments have all finally dropped off her bureau, her credit score is right around 800. Her ex-husband cannot even get a checking account. He has to prepay his cell phone. He has even stiffed his boy, my 15-year old stepson, for $200. Can you say dirtbag? Some people can manage money, and some refuse to do so. (and just to be clear, her ex makes about twice what she makes-it ain't what you make, its what you keep)

My wife sure didn't plan on that when she married the guy right out of college. At that time, he looked like a pretty good guy with a strong future and a good career in front of him.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 5
buckmizer,

You wrote, So why should someone even get married if they are only to pre-plan for a divorce?

All of your statements still refer to married people as two separate people as if there was no union at all, but somewhere in there they make a decision to be married to be one. His problems are her problems and vice-versa regardless of when the problems happen.


First, let me say that I can't recommend Patzer's reply ( http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=21249764 ) strongly enough. It's very well said. And it was very polite. Let me apologize in advance about my own response; it's not quite so nice...

---

I'd never suspected you were naive. Or are you just trying to agitate a response or some kind of debate from me?

Of course two people are separate people -- even after marriage. Do you really believe that metaphysical mumbo jumbo? Sure, in most things a married couple needs to act as a harmonious unit. But to believe naively that all your interests are suddenly aligned just because you've said a set of marriage vows is naive in the extreme.

From a financial standpoint, marriage is little different from a Partnership. Partnerships are financially dangerous; so is marriage. You may choose to trust your partner(s) blindly; but I say that's foolish, even in marriage.

Marriage is a give and take. (Also like a Partnership.) A spendthrift partner is really only interested in selfish taking, whether they realize what they're doing or not. If you don't do some basic things to defend yourself and your marriage against your disparate interests, your marriage is probably doomed anyway. Either that or your just plain lucky ... or you are the spendthrift in the union.

- Joel
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
So why should someone even get married if they are only to pre-plan for a divorce?

Wouldn't a similar question be: Why ask for a pre-nup if a marriage is supposed to be a union or partnership? Yet many people recommend pre-nups for many different circimstances. Is a pre-nup always a pre-plan for a divorce, or can it exist just-in-case?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
<<So why should someone even get married if they are only to pre-plan for a divorce?

>>>


Marriage has been abolished for decades. If anyone can obtain a divorce at any time for any reason or no reason at all, I suggest that there is no marriage.

What we call marriage is really an unstable and temporary condition between the periods of social stability of divorce.



Seattle Pioneer
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
Marriage has been abolished for decades. If anyone can obtain a divorce at any time for any reason or no reason at all, I suggest that there is no marriage.

What we call marriage is really an unstable and temporary condition between the periods of social stability of divorce.



Seattle Pioneer


Oh, Seattle, you're such a hopeless romantic. ;-)


--Booa
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Is a pre-nup always a pre-plan for a divorce,

IMO, yes.

To me, a pre-nup is saying, "I love you, and will love you and dedicate my life to you, but . . ."

Joel,

My ideals are not based on naivet'e. They are based on optimism and a very serious view of marriage, and I am actually offended that you think that my comments were aimed at baiting you (check my posting history, if I want to get nasty then I do).

I am familiar with Panzer's situation and sympathize with it, as I would with anyone in his situation, but I stick to my guns and say that the planning that you advise only invites divorce. Yes, marriages can go bad.

A marriage faces many trials. In addition to finances there can be drug abuse, alcohol abuse, infidelity, thoughtlessness, selfishness, etc. How do you plan for those? Do you mention those in a contract? Do you keep that behavior separate? Why single out finances?

Marriage is based on whole trust, and your advice tells a couple that you can go into a marriage with only partial trust--and that is wrong. You would tell a couple with financial issues to get married but protect themselves. I would advise that same couple to not get married unless they are ready to become one. It's a fundamental difference of perspective.

Fred
who married a woman, not a butterfly ballot.




Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Marriage is based on whole trust, and your advice tells a couple that you can go into a marriage with only partial trust--and that is wrong. You would tell a couple with financial issues to get married but protect themselves. I would advise that same couple to not get married unless they are ready to become one. It's a fundamental difference of perspective.

Here's where I disagree with. I suspect that whatever you mean by a "whole trust" is something not within the possibilities of my psychological makeup. I don't think the fact that I'm a little jaded from my human experience means I should forgo the comforts of marriage if I should find a compatible enough person.

I never understood that "trust game" where you're supposed to let yourself fall and the other person is supposed to catch you. If I trip and your reflex is to catch me, that's one thing. But if I "let myself fall" whether literally, financially, or however -- the appropriate response in my opinion is to step aside. Landing hard is the best way to learn that "letting yourself fall" is a poor choice to make.
Print the post Back To Top