Money. If I had to venture a very uneducated guess, I would say that money was the cause of most relationship issues. People have different ideas on money: how much is enough, how should it be spent, how much should be spent. It’s also a somewhat delicate matter to talk about. Some people view it as a status symbol, other as a tool of power. This is why it can wreak havoc in a relationship.
My Husband and I are actually pretty good at the discussing money thing. We are both a little to the economic (cheap) side and we don’t go for showy things. Our apartment could be considered less than modest, and the contents of our home are bought for practicality purposes. We occasionally splurge, but for the most part, we are in total agreement on how our money is divvied out. This is never a source of an argument.
We also have a formula as to how much money we save and how much we spend. We came up with this number together, and we’re both ok with that. Our rainy day money is kept in a low interest yet relatively safe fund, because we both think that money should be liquid in case we need it.
But then there is retirement money, the money really put away for the future. Now, while we agree as to the percentage amount put away every month, I don’t help my husband invest those funds, now does he help me invest mine. We take responsibility for our own accounts.
My husband would like to change the way we do this.
He wants me to figure out how to invest his money.
I don’t actually know if I want to do this.
Background: I was a bond analyst back in the day. I had all sorts of licenses, and had passed all sorts of tests. I have vague ideas about how to handle money. But honestly, I used to read all sorts of newspapers and articles about investments. I used to be way more involved with current events. While I still read these things, they are no longer the cornerstone of my life: I simply don’t care enough to do much research.
Here’s the thing: my husband and I use a financial planner. We meet a few times a year, he discusses what his firm sees as the strategies that one should think about, and we decide how to invest our retirement funds. My husband and I are in the exact same meeting. We hear the same exact things. Yet….
My investments end up making more my husband.
How does this happen? Is it skill? Or is it luck? See, I don’t actually know. Maybe, after years of working in finance, I have some sort of knack as to what’s happening. But that’s a really big maybe. I think I have a little bit of smarts, but a whole bunch of luck.
Do I really want to be responsible for investing what can be considered “his” money? Technically, we consider it “our” money, so why am I so hesitant to take control of his portfolio?
Why does life get so complicated over seemingly simple things?
Rationally, I know this is a “good” problem. I know it’s a good thing to have money to invest for retirement. But, I also know how money issues can bring trouble into a seemingly strong foundation. I know how money tears people apart. What if I invest his money and the money underperforms? I can’t duplicate what’s in my portfolio: allocating funds the exact same way is just poor planning, sort of a too may eggs in one basket sort of scenario. Can I come up with two planning strategies that will make good use of our money?
So I’m hesitating. I’m not known for being a hesitate sort of gal: I’m an action girl. But I am just not sure what to do….So in characteristic fashion, I’m overthinking. But in uncharacteristic fashion, I’m not coming up with an action plan. So in this moment in time, you see me like a deer caught in the headlights: I don’t know what to do…
And I know I will come up with a decision (eventually)…but for now….yuck.