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Planning a financial future

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My fiance is here for the week. We are taking the kids to the state fair at the end of the week – kind of a mini-family vacay. But we are spending the first half of the week really starting to dig in to what life together, in the same household will look like. He is still living in Philadelphia, but we are thinking he will move here to Georgia either the end of the year or first quarter next year. So it’s time to tackle the nuts and bolts.

Blending our lives

This blending is very, very new to both of us. The most we have shared thus far has been a credit card which we have used for our almost monthly travel to see each other over the past year. We’ve got a lot to work out. And we want to be pre-emptive knowing that finances are one of the most common reason for relationships to fail and we both want this to be our forever.

I think the one good thing is that the kids are no longer young. Gymnast will graduate from high school this year. And while I will continue to have some financial obligations in regards to the kids, it’s won’t be the driving force behind my financial decisions any longer. I think that would make blending a lot more complicated. (His one son is grown.)

Between my work and our detailed talks, we’ve spent a lot of time exploring the mountains, the falls and the lakes with the dogs. We’ve eaten lots of homemade picnics on the deck, cooked great meals together and really starting to get into what we believe will become routine once he moves here. I love that the area we live at really does offer a plethora of free and low cost entertainment options year round, especially with the outdoors. And having the dogs, really does motivate us to get out.

The nuts and bolts

We are very much in line with our goals as far as not taking on any more debt and making travel a priority as time and finances allow. We both have a very clear view of each other’s financial obligations. And he knows that I am still looking at a couple more years to being debt free, aside from the mortgage. (He has no debt.) And our plan is to split the living expenses…mortgage, utilities, etc. He’s is inclined to have me handle all finances. And that works for me, but I am anxious for him to be very involved as far as decisions and oversight.

Our plan is to have separate and shared accounts. We will keep our personal income in our own accounts. And then use a “average” of monthly living expenses to both contribute on a regular basis for those expenses to a shared account. This has worked well for the twins in their shared living environment and most everything is automated so they do not have to think about it.

Extra expenses will be handled on a case by case basis.

I would love the BAD community’s expertise from their own experiences in blending a family/couple later in life when there are assets and such involved.


6 Comments

  • Reply Klm |

    I think keeping expenses separate and then having a “shared” account that you contribute to makes sense in general. But also consider how you will plan if you or he can’t make that contribution? Will you cover each other? For how long? What if he can’t afford a trip you want to take? Or he wants to buy a car you think is too expensive? It’s worth thinking about how to handle these situations. Finally, you might consider a consult with a real estate attorney regarding him living in “your” house but paying toward the mortgage. Make sure that your state doesn’t have laws or whatever that could give him standing to claim part ownership down the line.

    • Reply Klm |

      Please also consider what happened if you pre-decease him (sorry to be morbid). Does the house go to your kids? To him? To the kids but he can live there for X years? To the kids, but they have to buy him out? Do you have life insurance? Who becomes the beneficiary? I know you have a big heart, but these are serious considerations and you should try to make sure that your wishes are known and recorded.

      • Reply Hope |

        Yes, I have started to think about that as well. We haven’t discussed it yet. But seeing everything my mom/parents are going through now, I am all too aware of all the preparations and decisions I want to have made and documented in advance.

  • Reply Reen |

    Have you given consideration to how you will handled title assets (cars, the house that is in YOUR name)? Once you marry, martial property is assumed in certain instances (I am not well versed in GA law except I know it is not a community property state). These are things you should discuss and be selfish about protecting your interests. Marriage is great, but it is also a LEGALLY binding contract in so many financial ways, even if that is not a couple’s desire or intention.

  • Reply Anonymous |

    Have you considered living separately (together) for at least a short time? you’ve been long distance for quite awhile, maybe having your own places would be good while he gets acclimated to your state. Some other questions to consider which I assume you’ve already discussed are where he will work (since you’ve mentioned you live in a tiny town) – will he be able to find something easily?

    • Reply Hope |

      He’s been spending a week every month here for most of the year. When we first began dating, we planned for him to get his own place and we would grow from there. But now 5 years in, we both feel that is not necessary for our relationship and would be a waste of resources. Because I still have a child at home, he would constantly be here anyways. And yes, on his visits, he has scouted work and we don’t anticipate any issue with him becoming employed here.

So, what do you think ?