Prenuptial arrangements

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ipdiddly
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by ipdiddly »

throwaway1535 wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:56 pm
ipdiddly wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:02 pm
throwaway1535 wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:34 pm I'm likely going to be getting married as my partner and I have been discussing possibly getting engaged.
....

I'm a boglehead and thus a planner for each contingency. It's very hard for me to jump into marriage without better understanding the rules and then making some plans.
Those two sentences (from different posts) say a lot. If you have to think about getting married, then my advice is marriage is not for you.

I am thankful that, like another poster, my wife and I had nothing when we started out, so we were able to build a future together. There was never a discussion about finances except for the one time we let our credit card debt get a little ahead of us. But that problem was temporary and quickly resolved.
Did you ask your wife to marry you on your first date? I just feel I'm not ready for marriage until I know my girlfriend better, which I don't think is that out of line. But it's pretty disheartening to be told marriage isn't for me. I know some aren't big believers in marriage but I think with potential kids it really does have its benefits. I want to be able to make the best financial decisions for us and make it equitable especially if one or both of us make sacrifices in our careers.
I'm not trying to offend you in any way since I obviously don't know you or your girlfriend. However, if one is head over heels in love, one usually isn't thinking about financial considerations. Marriage takes a leap of faith, not a business contract. There are many long and successful marriages where the two parties sometimes have very different approaches to various things, including finances. Hence the phrase "love conquers all."
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throwaway1535
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by throwaway1535 »

ipdiddly wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:50 pm
throwaway1535 wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:56 pm
ipdiddly wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:02 pm
throwaway1535 wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:34 pm I'm likely going to be getting married as my partner and I have been discussing possibly getting engaged.
....

I'm a boglehead and thus a planner for each contingency. It's very hard for me to jump into marriage without better understanding the rules and then making some plans.
Those two sentences (from different posts) say a lot. If you have to think about getting married, then my advice is marriage is not for you.

I am thankful that, like another poster, my wife and I had nothing when we started out, so we were able to build a future together. There was never a discussion about finances except for the one time we let our credit card debt get a little ahead of us. But that problem was temporary and quickly resolved.
Did you ask your wife to marry you on your first date? I just feel I'm not ready for marriage until I know my girlfriend better, which I don't think is that out of line. But it's pretty disheartening to be told marriage isn't for me. I know some aren't big believers in marriage but I think with potential kids it really does have its benefits. I want to be able to make the best financial decisions for us and make it equitable especially if one or both of us make sacrifices in our careers.
I'm not trying to offend you in any way since I obviously don't know you or your girlfriend. However, if one is head over heels in love, one usually isn't thinking about financial considerations. Marriage takes a leap of faith, not a business contract. There are many long and successful marriages where the two parties sometimes have very different approaches to various things, including finances. Hence the phrase "love conquers all."
I apologize. I just took it a little personally as I've never felt the way I do about my girlfriend and really want to make it work. But I also don't see how anybody can't but be a little cautious after watching close friends go through tough divorces. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint.
oldfatguy
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by oldfatguy »

ipdiddly wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:50 pm ... However, if one is head over heels in love, one usually isn't thinking about financial considerations. Marriage takes a leap of faith, not a business contract. There are many long and successful marriages where the two parties sometimes have very different approaches to various things, including finances. Hence the phrase "love conquers all."
I would offer a different perspective on that. Legal marriage is absolutely a contract, with significant financial implications. "Love" and marriage are two separate things, and should not be conflated.
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by Ramjet »

Duplicate
Last edited by Ramjet on Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ipdiddly
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by ipdiddly »

Ramjet wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:29 am
1) Big picture stuff. Saving is important to me and I wanted to ensure she was onboard with at least an initial savings rate of 20% and putting away half of future raises.
Wow! I guess times are really different today. When we got married the big picture stuff was: "Do we have enough to pay the rent, the car payment and buy groceries?" We weren't discussing how much can we save. It was more like can we make this month's credit card payment.

My general attitude is that if, before proposing, you are creating a checklist with two columns labeled "pro" and "con", then I'm not sure you are starting out in the right place. But to each, his own. Or, whatever rocks your boat. Apparently, BHers approach the question of marriage a bit differently than others.
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by Ramjet »

ipdiddly wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:54 am
Ramjet wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:29 am
1) Big picture stuff. Saving is important to me and I wanted to ensure she was onboard with at least an initial savings rate of 20% and putting away half of future raises.
Wow! I guess times are really different today. When we got married the big picture stuff was: "Do we have enough to pay the rent, the car payment and buy groceries?" We weren't discussing how much can we save. It was more like can we make this month's credit card payment.

My general attitude is that if, before proposing, you are creating a checklist with two columns labeled "pro" and "con", then I'm not sure you are starting out in the right place. But to each, his own. Or, whatever rocks your boat. Apparently, BHers approach the question of marriage a bit differently than others.
What's the number one reason people get divorced? Hint hint... :moneybag

There wasn't much of a list for me. Do I love the person, see myself spending my life with her, will she be a good mother, are our spending habits and savings compatible..
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ipdiddly
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by ipdiddly »

Ramjet wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:14 am
What's the number one reason people get divorced? Hint hint... :moneybag
I strongly suspect that most divorces have numerous other serious underlying incompatibilities. There's a long laundry list: alcohol, drugs, gambling, abuse to name of few. And many simply get to the point where they just can't stand the site of the other person. I am skeptical that one spouse wanting to save 20% and the other spouse wanting to buy a sports car is the primary cause of divorce. There are certainly other underlying factors. I am not suggesting that financial incompatibility is not an issue. I just don't think it is the primary issue except in extreme cases.
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by Ramjet »

ipdiddly wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:29 am
Ramjet wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:14 am
What's the number one reason people get divorced? Hint hint... :moneybag
I strongly suspect that most divorces have numerous other serious underlying incompatibilities. There's a long laundry list: alcohol, drugs, gambling, abuse to name of few. And many simply get to the point where they just can't stand the site of the other person. I am skeptical that one spouse wanting to save 20% and the other spouse wanting to buy a sports car is the primary cause of divorce. There are certainly other underlying factors. I am not suggesting that financial incompatibility is not an issue. I just don't think it is the primary issue except in extreme cases.
Any recommendation to the OP besides "...marriage is not for you"?

*edited*
Last edited by Ramjet on Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Firemenot
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by Firemenot »

mrspock wrote: Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:08 pm Honestly... and I’m the biggest prenup guy in the world. For 600k/300k I’m not sure I’d bother. You are in the “mutually assured destruction” financial territory in that range, and alimony (especially if she quits her job to raise kids), child support and other difficult to prenup marriage risks dwarf the 300k difference.

I’d focus more on becoming a team to the common goal of FI, and making sure you understand the game plan when/if you have kids (is anyone quitting their job? Nanny?). If she plans to stay home, the prenup is even more pointless, at that point you are likely (per the law of most states) assuming responsibility for her financial well being for the rest of your life — married or not. The life long costs from that will make the $300k look quaint.
Plus one on this take.
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by vas »

oldfatguy wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 8:19 am I would offer a different perspective on that. Legal marriage is absolutely a contract, with significant financial implications.
Not only is it a contract, but it has sweeping ramifications. I suspect that if people actually had a consolidated version of the contract terms, and took the time to read them, there would be far fewer marriages. If the parties are not in sync financially, or if one of them makes bad or illegal financial decisions, the other pays a steep price. Most people have paltry assets so it doesn't matter that much but its different once you have a couple nickels to rub together. If you have any hesitation whatsoever, any nagging doubt, don't do it.
There is nothing you can't prove if your outlook is sufficiently limited
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by Marseille07 »

ipdiddly wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:29 am I strongly suspect that most divorces have numerous other serious underlying incompatibilities. There's a long laundry list: alcohol, drugs, gambling, abuse to name of few.
Some people really believe that Boglehead-style investing is gambling. I had to shake my head on that one.
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ipdiddly
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by ipdiddly »

Here is a sample "pro-con" list taking finances into consideration:

Con - he's old, boring, drinks too much and has bad breath.
Pro - he's a millionaire.

We have a winner! Go for it.

Edit: I apologize in advance for my bad attempt at humor. I understand humor is antithetical to the BH philosophy.
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by H-Town »

ipdiddly wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:07 am Here is a sample "pro-con" list taking finances into consideration:

Con - he's old, boring, drinks too much and has bad breath.
Pro - he's a millionaire.

We have a winner! Go for it.

Edit: I apologize in advance for my bad attempt at humor. I understand humor is antithetical to the BH philosophy.
It takes two to tangle. So you gonna have to entertain the perspective from the other side as well :mrgreen:
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by hnd »

obviously we are getting a small slice of whats happening. but i'll throw my 2 cents in.

this isn't a lawyer thing, this is a counselor thing. get good premarital counseling. either at a church or elsewhere. There is a test they usually give you that can flag all of this stuff and other stuff and then give you the ability to process all of that prior to signing on the dotted line.

I attempted to talk to my gf about this stuff (mind you we didn't have much as we got married after college but there were still life plans we both had) and she was like why are you talking about this stuff, i need a bit more of a commitment or a higher level of seriousness before we have these types of discussions. Also I know my wife would not be having a good time if i evaluated our potential marriage like i'm evaluating a company to buy into. so be careful of that.

all those things mentioned are solvable.

-One prefers paying off the house while the other values more investments. - Split the difference
-One is more of a 30% of income saver while the other is closer to 15%. - once again split the difference
-One is turned off by the idea of early retirement while the other isn't. - you have no idea where you'll be when it comes that time. what is meant by retirement? FI and just working for funnsies? or sit in Adirondack chairs and beach walks the rest of our life? one of my dad's best friend retired at 52 and his wife will retire at 65 and they've made it work great. he still "works" but doesn't rely on it.
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by H-Town »

hnd wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:21 am all those things mentioned are solvable.

-One prefers paying off the house while the other values more investments. - Split the difference
-One is more of a 30% of income saver while the other is closer to 15%. - once again split the difference
-One is turned off by the idea of early retirement while the other isn't. - you have no idea where you'll be when it comes that time. what is meant by retirement? FI and just working for funnsies? or sit in Adirondack chairs and beach walks the rest of our life? one of my dad's best friend retired at 52 and his wife will retire at 65 and they've made it work great. he still "works" but doesn't rely on it.
+1. Glad to hear the voice of reason.

It's our go-to solution when we make joint decisions in our marriage. Split 50/50. Eventually we get to the same goal, just a difference in pace and velocity due to compromises we make for each other.
Luckywon
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by Luckywon »

ipdiddly wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:07 am Here is a sample "pro-con" list taking finances into consideration:

Con - he's old...
I don't know...Have you heard about the 80 yo billionaire who lied about his age to snag a young beautiful bride? He said he was 90. :beer
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Cobra Commander
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by Cobra Commander »

Marseille07 wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 11:01 am
Lee_WSP wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:51 am In cases where one spouse wants to retain the separateness of an asset post marriage, you'd typically, or wisely, make a post nuptial agreement.
When prenups get thrown out all the time, I don't see postnups realistic. Separate assets must be separate from the get go and remain separate. With that said, I think it's OK to withdraw from your separate assets to purchase something together, with an understanding that you'll keep the remaining balance of your separate assets in case of D-word. If you're simply making withdrawals, I do not believe the assets would get commingled.
I am curious what is your source for this statement? I have seen this a few times on this forum and I think it is misinformed. From a data perspective, over half of the states have adopted a form of the Uniform Premarital Agreements Act which codifies the validity of these agreements by statute and the trend in this regard is towards greater, not less, recognition of these types of agreements (even among states that do not expressly formally codify these types of agreement by statute). Obviously this is going to vary somewhat by state and I have not done a 50 state survey as to whether there are any states in particular that take a position that these types of agreements are against public policy but as a general rule I disagree that they are "thrown out all the time."
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by Marseille07 »

Cobra Commander wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:55 am I am curious what is your source for this statement? I have seen this a few times on this forum and I think it is misinformed. From a data perspective, over half of the states have adopted a form of the Uniform Premarital Agreements Act which codifies the validity of these agreements by statute and the trend in this regard is towards greater, not less, recognition of these types of agreements (even among states that do not expressly formally codify these types of agreement by statute). Obviously this is going to vary somewhat by state and I have not done a 50 state survey as to whether there are any states in particular that take a position that these types of agreements are against public policy but as a general rule I disagree that they are "thrown out all the time."
It might be misinformed. I'd love to see the stats myself, I've searched casually but didn't find much.
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by Lee_WSP »

Marseille07 wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:05 am
Cobra Commander wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:55 am I am curious what is your source for this statement? I have seen this a few times on this forum and I think it is misinformed. From a data perspective, over half of the states have adopted a form of the Uniform Premarital Agreements Act which codifies the validity of these agreements by statute and the trend in this regard is towards greater, not less, recognition of these types of agreements (even among states that do not expressly formally codify these types of agreement by statute). Obviously this is going to vary somewhat by state and I have not done a 50 state survey as to whether there are any states in particular that take a position that these types of agreements are against public policy but as a general rule I disagree that they are "thrown out all the time."
It might be misinformed. I'd love to see the stats myself, I've searched casually but didn't find much.
There are no statistics as it's a legal question whether a particular agreement will pass muster.

But think of it this way. Just like personal injury cases, the vast majority of divorce proceedings settle.

The only time you'll ever hear about a prenuptial agreement is when someone reports that some friend got theirs invalidated. But when you dig into it, that story is more like so and so found some twenty something to marry, then forced her to sign some big document without aid of counsel and without full disclosure of finances and the document basically leaves her a pauper and on government benefits if she divorces because she's been a trophy wife this whole time.

You'll be hard pressed to find a prenuptial thrown out when both parties had actual independent counsel advising them. Just read through the enforceability notes in the uniform act. You can even pull up most of the cases mentioned to see just how unfair these agreements which make it all the way up to the appeals courts are.

https://www.uniformlaws.org/HigherLogic ... ceDialog=0
SheReadsHere719
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by SheReadsHere719 »

sls239 wrote: Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:06 pm I think putting it into perspective will help you have better discussions. I see a few ways to put it into perspective.

1) The amount of money you each have right now should be pretty comforting, you've both done a good job. Neither of you, no matter what happens is likely to end up homeless or in want of food. Frankly, from here on out, it is mostly about extras.

2) Having kids is probably the most financially risky thing a woman does in her entire life (if she does it). And your post - well it does not address that at all even though you say you would like to have kids.

+1 to both of these

hnd wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:21 am all those things mentioned are solvable.

-One prefers paying off the house while the other values more investments. - Split the difference
-One is more of a 30% of income saver while the other is closer to 15%. - once again split the difference
-One is turned off by the idea of early retirement while the other isn't. - you have no idea where you'll be when it comes that time. what is meant by retirement? FI and just working for funnsies? or sit in Adirondack chairs and beach walks the rest of our life? one of my dad's best friend retired at 52 and his wife will retire at 65 and they've made it work great. he still "works" but doesn't rely on it.
+1 to this as well. OP’s post resonated with me as I am in a similar situation; fiancé is a bigger fan of individual stocks whereas I am a Boglehead, but we are both high income earners and diligent savers with similar financial outlooks. I am also contemplating a prenup and will likely do so but agree it’s more a forcing function to have these conversations ahead of marriage.

None of these strikes me as dealbreakers, but I agree with sls239 that you’ll want to spend the most time on conversations about kids. They dramatically and irrevocably alter your financial picture, and the two of you will want to be on the same page ahead of time.
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by hnd »

SheReadsHere719 wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:18 pm
hnd wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:21 am all those things mentioned are solvable.

-One prefers paying off the house while the other values more investments. - Split the difference
-One is more of a 30% of income saver while the other is closer to 15%. - once again split the difference
-One is turned off by the idea of early retirement while the other isn't. - you have no idea where you'll be when it comes that time. what is meant by retirement? FI and just working for funnsies? or sit in Adirondack chairs and beach walks the rest of our life? one of my dad's best friend retired at 52 and his wife will retire at 65 and they've made it work great. he still "works" but doesn't rely on it.
+1 to this as well. OP’s post resonated with me as I am in a similar situation; fiancé is a bigger fan of individual stocks whereas I am a Boglehead, but we are both high income earners and diligent savers with similar financial outlooks. I am also contemplating a prenup and will likely do so but agree it’s more a forcing function to have these conversations ahead of marriage.

None of these strikes me as dealbreakers, but I agree with sls239 that you’ll want to spend the most time on conversations about kids. They dramatically and irrevocably alter your financial picture, and the two of you will want to be on the same page ahead of time.
for me the only kid conversation is are we going to have them or not. the number of kids is also something that isn't that big of a deal imo. i wanted 3, my wife only wanted 2. we have 5.
cbs2002
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by cbs2002 »

Agree on savings first, then worry about where the savings goes.

FWIW my experience:

I entered our marriage with negative NW, spouse had low six figures and already had a mortgage on a residence. My commitment was to pay off my debt, start paying part of the mortgage and work hard. Man was I lucky. Comparatively you are in a much easier position.

Now we have spent 20 years together and each have had long periods of out-earning the other by a lot, so our respective investments have evened out and grown a lot. However, we combined finances when we got married so saying "respective" feels like a figure of speech at this point.

Trust is a big part. I feel I earned my spouses financial trust over the early years by doing a part I had committed to.

I'd be lying if I said we had all our goals for house, kids education and retirement clear and mutual on the day we got married. However, we kept coming back to those discussions and maybe more importantly, our savings commitment was always transparent and we stuck to it. Each of us has compromised on goals in ways that feel a bit painful for the other - that is an important part of being married.

If my spouse had said "we have to pay off the mortgage first for me to feel comfortable" I probably would have said OK.

So +1 to everyone who says get as clear on goals as possible, and both give in here and there. If you can agree on a savings plan - meaning you agree on how much total to put toward investments, mortgage principal and education, even if you don't agree on exact % for each right now - that would be a huge step toward knowing things will work out OK.
Luckywon
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by Luckywon »

Lee_WSP wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:24 pm
Marseille07 wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:05 am
Cobra Commander wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:55 am I am curious what is your source for this statement? I have seen this a few times on this forum and I think it is misinformed. From a data perspective, over half of the states have adopted a form of the Uniform Premarital Agreements Act which codifies the validity of these agreements by statute and the trend in this regard is towards greater, not less, recognition of these types of agreements (even among states that do not expressly formally codify these types of agreement by statute). Obviously this is going to vary somewhat by state and I have not done a 50 state survey as to whether there are any states in particular that take a position that these types of agreements are against public policy but as a general rule I disagree that they are "thrown out all the time."
It might be misinformed. I'd love to see the stats myself, I've searched casually but didn't find much.
There are no statistics as it's a legal question whether a particular agreement will pass muster.

But think of it this way. Just like personal injury cases, the vast majority of divorce proceedings settle.

The only time you'll ever hear about a prenuptial agreement is when someone reports that some friend got theirs invalidated. But when you dig into it, that story is more like so and so found some twenty something to marry, then forced her to sign some big document without aid of counsel and without full disclosure of finances and the document basically leaves her a pauper and on government benefits if she divorces because she's been a trophy wife this whole time.

You'll be hard pressed to find a prenuptial thrown out when both parties had actual independent counsel advising them. Just read through the enforceability notes in the uniform act. You can even pull up most of the cases mentioned to see just how unfair these agreements which make it all the way up to the appeals courts are.

https://www.uniformlaws.org/HigherLogic ... ceDialog=0
We have a prenup and spoke with many attorneys during the process. They were unanimous in saying that a properly executed prenup in California is extremely difficult to challenge. The standard is that it be "unconscionable" or deficient in some statutory requirement. They said the cases that do get challenged are very unusual and tend to involve extremely large estates or agreements with very severe imbalances that a good attorney would advise against in the first place.

Not to say everyone should get a prenup, but my opinion is that not getting a prenup because one thinks it could be challenged makes about as much sense as not having a will because it could be challenged.
jt90505
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Re: Prenuptial arrangements

Post by jt90505 »

The best advice I can give is to ignore any relationship advice I offer. If you choose to read further...

You are both the same age, have similar assets and income, and both are savers. There is a difference in whether to save a lot or even more than a lot.
Presumably you both are in agreement on children; kids are expensive and having them will likely resolve any differences regarding early retirement. My opinion is you are overthinking this. I know that if we tried, at the beginning, to hash out things at the granularity you are describing we would not have celebrated over 35 anniversaries.

Regarding the pre-nup, given that you are in very similar financial situations, is a pre-nup really worth the trauma?

With all that said, you and your partner need to figure out what works for the two of you. What has worked for us, and what we think, is irrelevant.
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