I am 63 years old and my man is 65. We have been together for six years. He operates independently with significant real estate ownership. We are both retired.
One of his two sons takes over the job using a well-designed transition plan. I also have two adult sons who are fine. I have no debts and own a house, plus I receive a $ 90,000 annual pension. I also have a Roth IRA and shares worth less than $ 250,000.
Here’s my question: If we’re getting married, is there any kind of reference reading that you can recommend on how to share the costs fairly? Of course, we would have a prenuptial agreement, because I have no right to his property. I was not involved in his efforts to build and manage this business, so it obviously belongs to his family.
We currently live in his house, and in the winter in Florida. All I offer you are groceries and cable. We don’t own anything together other than a Florida bank account for utilities and maintenance costs.
I want to pay, but he won’t allow it often. He occasionally makes stingy comments that I don’t have the money to pay for something big, like building in Florida.
In the end, he has his, and I have mine. How do we do our things without pretending to be a gold digger?
– Not after the money
Listen to your boyfriend the next time he utters one of his objections. Is he really talking about the big purchase he wants to make? Because it sounds like he’s targeting you. Specifically, is he talking about what he wants to do or is he telling you what you can’t do?
If you told your boyfriend everything you told me, it should be obvious that you are not asking for his money. You don’t even need it. You are a financially independent woman. You may have less assets than him, but you also have $ 90,000 a year pension income, which is guaranteed for life. You get that money no matter what happens stock market or real estate values.
Before you decide how to share the costs, let me ask you: Do you really want to marry someone who makes you feel like a gold digger?
You rarely fall in love with someone who has the same net worth and income as you. Just as one person is likely to be taller, fatter, or funnier, one person is likely to be richer.
Cost sharing when one person has more money it is not rocket science. Each of you can fund your joint account based on the percentage of revenue you contribute. So, if his income is three times higher than yours, you would pay 25% of your combined expenses because you enter 25% of the income.
But the fact that it refuses to allow you to pay more than cable and groceries is a big red flag. If you tell him you want to pay, and he won’t hear about it, he won’t hear you. It may seem like generosity, but I worry he reveals his deep conviction that you are not his equal.
It may be tempting to ignore your boyfriend’s remarks if he utters them only occasionally. But don’t drop it the next time he says something rude about your finances. This can be as simple as asking “What do you mean by that?” or “Why would you say that?” to provoke discussion.
If your boyfriend makes such comments while discussing the real goal – for example, if new construction in Florida is something he really wants, not just hypothetically – you can talk about logistics how to accomplish that. A big purchase could be a little trickier than sharing the cost, because he probably has a lot more money to invest than you. But if this is the real goal, there are many solutions. Maybe he could pay in cash and just put his name on the deed. Or you could take out a mortgage and split the costs each month according to your income.
But if he’s just thinking about things he can’t do with you, you need to rethink this relationship. You don’t restrain your boyfriend in anything. Don’t let him convince you otherwise.
I think you made it clear to your boyfriend that you weren’t asking for his money. He’s the one who has a problem if he still doesn’t understand. If he wants to advance someone with equal wealth and a lot of money, he will have a very limited choice of potential partners to choose from. But that is his prerogative. In that case, they may just have to enjoy that Florida construction.
Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Send your ticklish money questions to AskPenny@thepennyhoarder.com.
This was originally posted on Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website that empowers millions of readers across the country to make smart decisions with their money through effective and inspiring tips and resources on how to make, save and manage money.