This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
I’m not sure how other people run their finances, but I couldn’t tell you within $500 how much money my wife has in her bank account. I’m almost positive that she has no idea how much I have either (or even the number of accounts I have right now). This isn’t a new thing for us, when we started living together we just never merged our finances and haven’t really had a reason to do so since. Once our house is paid off however, we may actually have to blend our accounts, in order to take advantage of tax credits mainly.
I have a defined benefit pension plan that leaves me with minimal (I think last year it was $600) RRSP availability, while my wife has no pension plan and has never utilized her RRSP. She has a significant amount of investment room that we can take advantage of when our house has been paid off and we’re moving into the “asset-accumulation” stage of our retirement plan (which I guess could include our house, but we don’t really classify it as anything but debt).
Currently, our finances are split up so that we have the same amount of spending money at the end of the month after the bills are paid and our aggressive mortgage payment has been made (that sounds kind of dangerous…aggressive mortgage payment). There was never really a reason to combine our finances – I’m guessing if we had a child or some other major shared expense we may make our accounts joint accounts, but we don’t really have anything that “forced” us to share money.
My wife really has no interest in managing any of our money or investments, she will most likely just want some kind of balance telling her how many more years she has to go to work for and will be fine with that. When I say our finances will be combined, it will more than likely mean I have control over investment accounts in both of our names which will contain money from both of us.
This is still something different for us – by the time we pay off our house in (hopefully) a couple of years we will have been together for almost a decade. In the past the only time our money really co-mingled was when I paid off a significant chunk of her consumer debt she had brought into our relationship.
Do you and your significant other mix your finances, or is everything kept separate? How soon into a relationship would you blend your finances (does a decade seem like a long time)?