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Tags: money | issues | couple | fight | marriage

4 Money Issues Couples Must Never Fight Over

4 Money Issues Couples Must Never Fight Over
(Dollar Photo Club)

By    |   Thursday, 24 August 2017 03:18 PM EDT

Spouses normally harbor different opinions on a variety of subjects.

The two maroon shirts I occasionally wear – and love – are regarded by my wife as particularly ugly. As she’s kind enough to humor me on this matter, it’s only fitting I don’t openly criticize the TV melodrama she chooses to view at 9 o’clock every Thursday night.

Although we seldom bicker, at times our respective differences, particularly on the matter of money, are clearly stated. This is as it should be, for income and expenditures are at the heart of any partnership, family as well as business.

With that said, I believe there are four basic issues on which both spouses must be in firm accord.

  • If I should die before I wake. As a first consideration, every family provider must arrange financially for his or her survivors in the event of untimely death, meaning the spouse and all minor offspring. A common way to accomplish this is with life insurance. This is where controversy arises, for there’s an industry devoted to selling products that minimize death benefits while maximizing profits for its marketers. Regardless of sales pitches, you want an inexpensive and unadorned 20- or 30-year level benefit term policy, of sufficient face value (normally no less than ten times the insured’s annual income), from an insurer with an A.M.Best rating of A+ or A++. Once the company is chosen and the policy’s face amount is determined, neither spouse should question the wisdom of the periodic premium outlay.
  • The minimum payment is a road to disaster. No single implement has lead to greater misery for more families than the credit card. Over the past couple of generations it has been promoted so to financially destroy the unsophisticated user. It’s my belief a credit card is merely a convenience when neither cash nor check is available. Purchases should only be made when the account balance is paid in full each month before any interest is charged. Both spouses must conduct their lives by this rule. If either cannot do so, all credit cards should be destroyed with members of the family adjusting their lives accordingly.
  • All hail the horseless carriage. With the exception of hearth and home, the motor vehicle constitutes the typical American’s single most important fixation. No other product is more forcefully marketed, and far too many people succumb to its allure, forfeiting a substantial portion of disposable income. I’ll put it bluntly: No one should drive a leased or financed vehicle. You should acquire your transportation 100% cash, even if it means you drive a 1984 Toyota Corolla. Each spouse must enthusiastically embrace this concept. At a later date, when your fortune is deservedly secure, you may feel free to sport brand new matching Rolls Royces – but again, devoid of any financing.
  • Education doesn’t make you smart – merely educated. Too many dollars spent on tuition and ancillary expenses are wasted. The educational establishment has convinced the nation that a university must appear prestigious and be costly. The result: Untold numbers of college graduates and their parents are in hock big time, some never to emerge from debt. It’s a waste. I advocate college-on-the-cheap, with the freshman and sophomore years spent at a community college, commuting from home, and the junior and senior years at a reasonably priced local state university. For a bright and diligent student, the education received is as good as four years at Harvard. Both spouses should be in accord on this principle. The finest gift a parent can give an offspring is an assurance the child will never need to support an indigent parent.

I’ll sum things up: Personal satisfaction and financial contentment are not dependent upon the amount of income earned, but rather the way it’s used. The marketing of services and products is now the most pervasive industry in the world. The social and psychological pressures brought to bear on customers are more than many persons can resist. If you hope to prosper, avoid the impulse to purchase unwisely. As pleasing as childish illusions may be, they invariably lead to disappointment. Keep this in mind as you conduct your financial affairs.

A professional investor for nearly five decades, Al Jacobs holds a degree in civil engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Real Estate Certificate from the University of California and a Certified Property Manager designation (CPM) from the Institute of Real Estate Management. His written works can be found in the book "Roadway to Prosperity: A Practical Guide to Wealth Accumulation" and also in several newspapers near his hometown of Monarch Beach in Orange County, Calif. Jacobs writes a weekly column for his website.

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There are four basic issues that would put families in better financial shape if both spouses could be in accord on them
money, issues, couple, fight, marriage
Thursday, 24 August 2017 03:18 PM
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