My beautiful wife and I are both 64. We were married late in life, and thus keep our assets separate. My wife is an amazing investor. She retired from a career as a teacher, and did not make much money, but has amassed $1.5 million through aggressive investing and dollar-cost averaging.
I, on the other hand, acquired $1.5 million, through contrarian investing, diversifying in U.S., euros and precious metals, and real estate. At the moment, I have 50% of my assets in cash and 50% in a mix of bonds and contrarian assets. My wife continues to play the 80% aggressive market strategy.
“‘If you ever see a penny with tears in its eyes, my wife probably was probably squeezing it at some point.‘”
At the moment, I am the sole breadwinner so I am paying for 90% of our existence, which is OK for me. I want my wife to continue to build her mountain upon which to retire. Plus, we moved to Europe so she could take care of her ailing mother while I continue to work.
She manages our daily expenses and my wife is really cheap, which I adore. If you ever see a penny with tears in its eyes, my wife probably was probably squeezing it at some point. We live on $2,500 a month, which includes renting here and a 100% paid-off condo in the U.S. Travel is our biggest and only extravagant expense.
The problem: My wife rakes in $150,000 a year in dividends, and the interest is growing. I pull in a meager $20,000 in dividends in good years. When we retire, my wife feels we should split expenses. I am wondering if this is fair considering I have been the base financial asset in case the market tanks.
I feel we should pool our resources, and live off that. When the market tanks — oh, and it will, BIG time — we can then dig into our (mostly mine) assets.
What do you think?
An Adoring Husband
This is a pandemic puppy of a problem. I’ll explain why.
All things being equal — or as close to being equal as possible — it’s fair for you to reevaluate your respective contributions in retirement. Put down your assets, investment income, IRA/401(k) distributions and Social Security on paper in two separate columns, and then list out your joint rent, taxes, insurance, utilities and other bills in a separate column. The answer will reveal itself.
Take a long, hard look at your financial strategy — your wife being 80% in stocks is very risky given your respective ages — and enlist the help of a CPA or financial adviser for a third, independent voice. …….