Is it worth it to create joint finances?

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
wood
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by wood » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:37 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:In any circumstance in which you are confident about your ability to fulfill, enforce and revisit/renegotiate contract as needed, in alignment with your own self-interest, why wouldn't you choose to profit from continuing and expanding investment in joint enterprise?
Because people change, and very few actually revisit the terms of the contract later in life, when perhaps it would be due. You are adding circumstances and assumptions to the question of joint finances when making a case for it:) But I guess so am I... I'm only pro-joint-finances if I'm okay with losing what I potentially could lose in a shtf-scenario. It's just that when someone asks if its worth it to create joint finances, my general answer is no because a shtf-scenario will most likely contain one of the following for that person:
1) getting more than they deserved
2) getting less than they deserved
And most likely, you will find men asking this question because their female partner wanted joint finances, and most likely they will find themselves in 2) if shtf:) And you cannot rule out shtf-scenarios when your life is at stake like that.

I see your points though and agree with them in theory, but I still think separate finances is generally the way to go because...reality.

In any case, a deeper discussion about this becomes meaningless unless we specify exactly what the prenup/joint finances means in practice, or specify the situation more.

@saving-10-years: In the examples that comes to my mind, she ran off with either money or kids. In either case, the outcome was unfair. Of course, joint finances was worth it for her.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:09 pm

wood said: my general answer is no because a shtf-scenario will most likely contain one of the following for that person:
1) getting more than they deserved
2) getting less than they deserved
And most likely, you will find men asking this question because their female partner wanted joint finances, and most likely they will find themselves in 2) if shtf:) And you cannot rule out shtf-scenarios when your life is at stake like that.
You are actually supporting my argument. One hallmark of independent adult functioning is to recognize at any point in any game or state-of-contract that where you are at and what you are left with is exactly what you deserve. I will concede that insisting on pre-nup and/or any other means of putting boundary on possible loss at point of initiation or subsequent renegotiation of contract is one method of insuring against risk which may result in achieving (or deserving) the lower possible loss. However, I do not agree that it is the method or practice by which one would achieve greatest expectation (or just desserts) of profit.

A good strategist will always consider the point of view of the "other." So, let's examine the old school garden variety female worst-case scenario fear:

1) Marries at 22 fresh out of college.
2) Works as kindergarten teacher supporting husband through med school for 6 years.
3) Stays home to care for their 3 children for 12 years. Gains 20 lbs. post-partum. Hair is graying early. Youngest child suffers from autism. Teenage daughter is out of control. Husband is too busy to help much with children or day to day management of household and household accounts.
4) Husband dumps her for either 22 year old nurse who looks just like she did when she was 22 OR or a female neurosurgeon who never had kids and doesn't want them. He chooses to live in a one-bedroom luxury apartment with his new partner.

In your opinion, what would constitute a fair financial settlement and division of custody likely to be in the best interest of the children in this case? I am rather selfish and forward-looking, so I might advise a female friend who found herself in this situation to just sell the house, dump the kids on his doorstep, and check herself into a spa for a month, but most women would tend towards getting too mired down in resentment/martyrdom etc. etc. What I am trying to communicate is that when a man is all whiny about not getting what he deserved after a divorce, it is just a variation on the exact same theme of resentment/martyrdom, but usually having to do with him putting in too many hours of drudgery/submission at a job he didn't like, and almost always combined with something along the lines of "...and she didn't even have sex with me for the last 5 years of the marriage!" (Waaaaah. Waaaah. Waaaah.) Like it's her fault that he spent too many years of his life functioning like a zombie under gunpoint.

wood
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by wood » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:11 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
A good strategist will always consider the point of view of the "other." So, let's examine the old school garden variety female worst-case scenario fear:

1) Marries at 22 fresh out of college.
I believe its at this point one should decide whether or not to have joint finances.

If joint finances, the typical outcome after 2) 3) and 4) assuming both parties claim both kids and assets in a court case would be that she gets the kids and assets are split pretty much 50/50.
If prenup, both would keep whatever was in their individual bank accounts at the time and assets would be split according to who paid for it. Kids would likely end up with mum if both parties claimed custody.

But.

If joint finances, the guy should be OK with the potential financial loss he is facing in case of a breakup.
If prenup, it might be likely that this couple would make different life/career choices. It is also likely the financial profit from those choices would be smaller than in the joint-finances-case.

The way I understand you is that you would prefer joint finances because it increases "expected total profit" for the couple. I agree with that, but I still think prenup is the way to go because its fair that both went into it knowing what would come out.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:18 pm

wood said: The way I understand you is that you would prefer joint finances because it increases "expected total profit" for the couple. I agree with that, but I still think prenup is the way to go because its fair that both went into it knowing what would come out.
Maybe I would prefer joint finances because it would increase "expected total profit" for me-lol. Anyways, my current status is something between 1 and 2 time loser, so...grain of salt. My parting ultimatum to my first husband (with whom I did share joint equity and parenting, but not much else) was "Either we start having sex, dates and working together on projects on a regular basis, or I am out of here." My second "marriage" had plentiful sex, dates and project-sharing. However, the fact that we didn't share joint equity, and most of the projects we worked on together added value to his much bigger asset base (renovations of his rental property, assistance with huge lawsuit, etc. etc ), meant that in order to keep things fair, he would occasionally give me lump sums of money, above and beyond "keeping" me. Even though I didn't have a quibble with the essential fairness of this in terms of tit-for-tat, it eventually drove me right over the edge to the point that I was practically demanding that he sell his house and live in a camper with me. So, that's why I'm a little bit afraid that the young guys on this forum who save up so much money so early, and so desperately want to protect it, might have problems with their relationships.

poleo
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by poleo » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:09 pm

Mainly @wood, but also generally:

My point earlier was that separate finances are definitely a very good idea if one has low skill in finding a life partner/doing well the things Wannabe is voicing.

If, on the other hand, one is good at finding a partner/organizing one's love affairs/having one's shit together, then this is largely overestimating risk. In a shtf-scenario, shit hits the fan. Trying to plan for that ...well, good luck with your "because reality".

I'm not trying to make a point out of an implication that someone is bad at something, stupid or whatever. All I think is that selection of mate/partner/whatever, and subsequently type of "contract", is a skill - something one can be more or less good at. Thus far, trying to develop this skill and the results of this process has been working well for me, which I presume is why I think this way.

belgiandude
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by belgiandude » Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:55 pm

This is subjective and should be seen from situation to situation. We are in our mid-thirties, DINKS (and will always be childfree), spend and earn about the same, and have no need to share finances. We each contribute about the same amount to our shared expenses account and we do have a joint financial plan.

Our marriage contract basically states that assets and income are individual, but that we do need to take care of the other when s/he is without income (during marriage). If there is a divorce, you take your own assets and that is it. This is one of the standard three contracts within Belgium (others being everything shared (uncommon), everything after marriage shared - default).

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Fish
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by Fish » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:10 pm

+1 to what poleo said above. If you don't possess a sense of agency over your relationship destiny then it is practical to separate finances or avoid marriage.

Another way of reducing the consequences is to diversify into other forms of human capital, e.g. social, technical and physical (health). A truly wealthy person does not fear a potential financial divide by 2 (or even multiply by 0). I would have to think that it should be reassuring that things like social connections, skills/knowledge/experience and years of life cannot be so easily taken.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:37 am

From "Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships." (highly recommend)
Despite their usefulness, contracts are legal documents that are based to some degree on an adversarial as opposed to a collaborative model...
Composing a statement of purpose together can be far more valuable than signing a contract. It can help to reinforce the sense that your relationship is collaborative and co-created. Be clear, and try to be specific about your intentions and aspirations. Instead of thinking of this as a negotiation, think of it as an exchange of ideas, hopes and desires for the future, while keeping in mind that you are seeking common ground, areas where your sense of purpose is shared or congruent. Remember that your purposes may change over time, and you can craft and re-craft your understandings to suit your circumstances, so think of it as a work in progress, something that can be modified and amended.
What I was attempting to communicate earlier was that it has been my experience, whether in personal relationships or business relationships, that to the extent you share clear purpose, sharing joint functioning is rarely a problem. You both want to take a trip to Japan, so one of you chips in cash and the other chips in travel-hack skill and social connections with whom you can couch surf. Yay! You both want to have a baby, so one of you breast-feeds in the middle of the night and the other one buys and changes diapers. Yay! So, the question becomes why would you want to enter into marriage with somebody with whom you do not share a great deal of shared purpose?

James_0011
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by James_0011 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:12 am

@7wannabe5,

I wouldn't consider "travel hacking skills and social connections" a contribution, if I wanted to go to Japan with someone they either split the bill with me or they don't go. It sounds to me like your talking about one person paying for everything and the other parasitizing off of them. Hence joint finances are important.

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Fish
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by Fish » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:06 am

@James_0011 I suppose that's one way to look at it. Value is definitely psychological and if you don't see @7w5's examples as equal contributions between the paying and non-paying partner, maybe you are a type of person who is better off with separate accounts. And it would require a partner who feels the same way about money, otherwise resentment builds because each person's contribution is not being appreciated by the other.

Those more appreciative of non-financial forms of value might be the types who do better with joint accounts.

steveo73
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by steveo73 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:36 pm

I'm married and our finances are just one pool. I don't see how you can really do it any other way. Maybe if you didn't have kids but I also have 3 kids.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:08 pm

James_0011 said: I wouldn't consider "travel hacking skills and social connections" a contribution, if I wanted to go to Japan with someone they either split the bill with me or they don't go. It sounds to me like your talking about one person paying for everything and the other parasitizing off of them. Hence joint finances are important.
Maybe that was a weak example. Let's consider the general equation. How much would you consider fair compensation for agreeing to share house-space with a grouchy old man as opposed to simply enjoying the pleasure of your own amiable company? (I should note for the record that it has been my experience that most grouchy old men would prefer that I take some measure of this compensation in the form of entertainment provided or gifts rather than being a stickler in my hard demands for sexual performance or manual labor. They say things like "Stop that and go to sleep. I need to finish these work e-mails and then I will maybe take you to see "La La Land" after your nap." and "F*ck your everybody should know how to do everything philosophy. You can't afford my rate for digging fence posts." Why I continue to choose to associate with such individuals is a matter perhaps better reserved for session of therapy, but not unrelated to the tension developed by the writers of the Looney Tunes in the characterizations of Bugs Bunny vs. Daffy Duck and/or Yosemite Sam.)

wood
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by wood » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:37 am

steveo73 wrote:I'm married and our finances are just one pool. I don't see how you can really do it any other way. Maybe if you didn't have kids but I also have 3 kids.
Quite simple:
1. Estimate/budget expenses for kids
2. Create a joint account
3. Both contribute to that account
Do the same for other shared expenses like food and household items.

This is not considered joint finances, just to be clear:) This is sharing some costs. You still keep assets/debt separate if you want separate finances. Your savings are yours. Stressing this point makes me wonder whether everyone is talking about the same thing when we say "joint finances"?

@7Wannabe5 in your examples you set one party to contribute the financial part of the deal, while the other contributes manpower/entertainment/body fluids/whatever. But what if both contribute equal amounts in all categories? Wouldn't that be considered fair and pretty much joint?

One major reason I'm advocating separate finances is that finances in a marriage/partnership can, just like a family relationship, be completely subject to override by rules and regulations in spite of personal contracts. Many things can be set up and later cancelled, deals in the form of "you scratch my back, I scratch yours", but joining finances, ie in my country: marrying without a prenup, is a permanent decision that can fuck you over just because someone else did something none of you expected they do. Its a low-risk-high-damage thing but separating finances provides insurance. There is a difference between the value you (7Wannabe5) put on "travel hacking skills" on the value a court judge would put on it. Again, I'm talking about joint finances in the form of assets/debt/everything, not just costsharing something you did together.

Maybe being able to choose the right spouse is a skill, and some think they have a good skill in it. Problem is they won't know until its too late:p

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Ego
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by Ego » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:10 am

wood wrote: One major reason I'm advocating separate finances is that finances in a marriage/partnership can, just like a family relationship, be completely subject to override by rules and regulations in spite of personal contracts. ......

Maybe being able to choose the right spouse is a skill, and some think they have a good skill in it. Problem is they won't know until its too late:p
One of the functions of dating is as a process of sorting people into one of three categories.

1) Those who you know to be unreliable.
2) Those who may or may not be reliable.
3) Those who you would trust implicitly.

Enter a relationship as a 3 yourself and look for partners who show characteristics of 2 or 3.

Spend enough time with them and have enough experiences together so that you can determine their category.
Absolutely positively do not marry a 1 or 2.
Absolutely positively remain a 3 throughout.

If you do those things you have eliminate most of the risk. If you demand a prenup or separate finances you are entering as a 2 with a 2.

Separate finances could potentially evolve as a logical solution to some logistics problem among a couple of 3s who remain 3s throughout.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:49 am

wood said: @7Wannabe5 in your examples you set one party to contribute the financial part of the deal, while the other contributes manpower/entertainment/body fluids/whatever. But what if both contribute equal amounts in all categories? Wouldn't that be considered fair and pretty much joint?
I think any relationship contract two free adult people continue to maintain is by definition fair and joint. I do not think that "fair and joint" requires "equivalent." I also believe due to basic economic theory that if two individuals bring exactly the same contributions to the table then there is no benefit to be derived from trade or inter-dependency. Since it is not the case that a relationship in which no benefit to be derived from trade will have reason to continue, it must be the case that although what is being brought to the table appears to be equivalent, there is actually some other level of trade/contract that is covert. Engagement in covert contract, which could also be described as unspoken expectations for future benefit, is one of the primary destructive forces within relationships. If you imagine a couple who are exact twins in terms of market value of what they bring to the table besides gender designation, then it is obviously the female who is getting ripped off in a closed (monogamous/forever) relationship because her sexual value alone is worth much more on the open market. This is why although polyamorous couples are happier on average than monogamous couples, the females in polyamorous relationships are even happier than the males in polyamorous relationships. This is true even though it is usually the male who suggests open relationship. In simplest most ideal terms, polyamory allows the female the benefit of stable reliable pair-bond partner and the benefit of courting behavior from additional swains, whereas the polyamorous male still has to bear the expense of courting behavior on the open market. Therefore, it makes no kind of economic sense for a female who does not currently require a great deal of support in child-rearing to accept an egalitarian contract from a male. This might not be apparent to you youngsters, but those of us old enough to interact with Baby Boomer generation men who were S-P-O-I-L-E-D by having stay-at-home mothers in their youth and a "free love" environment in their adolescence, have a wider, better-informed perspective on such matters.

batbatmanne
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by batbatmanne » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:17 am

Ego wrote: 1) Those who you know to be unreliable.
2) Those who may or may not be reliable.
3) Those who you would trust implicitly.

Enter a relationship as a 3 yourself and look for partners who show characteristics of 2 or 3.

Spend enough time with them and have enough experiences together so that you can determine their category.
Absolutely positively do not marry a 1 or 2.
Absolutely positively remain a 3 throughout.

If you do those things you have eliminate most of the risk. If you demand a prenup or separate finances you are entering as a 2 with a 2.

Separate finances could potentially evolve as a logical solution to some logistics problem among a couple of 3s who remain 3s throughout.
Maybe this is where I get hung up. I believe that my partner is a 3 and that I act as a 3 towards her. But the rational part of my brain knows that the highest that I can reliably assess anybody is as a 2. With the rate of divorce in my culture, the idea of trusting that my relationship could never fall apart over a number of decades, just because it's mine and I know better than everybody else, seems overconfident. I don't organize anything else in my life by ignoring the possible downsides. On the contrary, I take care to organize the rest of my life based on what could go wrong, so as to minimize how badly it will go if it does (antifragile style). I have a hard time seeing why this should be the exception.

In fact, I can think of ways that it can be seen as positive. One situation that I never want to be in is to have either me or my partner not happy with our relationship, but staying or acting differently than we might otherwise, just because one of us has developed a material dependence on the other. Consequently, growing together in a way that gives both of us the skills and means to live well independently further ensures that we will not end up in such a situation. In this case I think a fair prenup/postnup that is regularly updated to fit our needs can be seen as reinforcing the free choice to continue the relationship.

JasonR
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by JasonR » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:20 am

Yes it's worth it if you both deem it so. Derp. How is this a question?
Sit down with your partner, do the math, and figure it out.

This issue happens once a year and the pattern is always the same. When it comes to relationships and donating everyone on this forum turns into Silas Marner. Or is it J. Alfred Prufrock? No, it's Gollum. It's such a defensive and fearful mindset. What if she takes 50% of my gold??!?! I don't know...take hers first?

I don't understand why I'm the first to mention this. I would have thought with all the 140+ IQs and hyper-rational INTJs everyone else would have solved this issue long before me. I talk with my hands so I'm not good at critical thinking, but give me a shot:

<sociopath>
If we're all jaded, misanthropic, atheists who scoff at institutions and social contracts...why aren't we using that to our advantage? Separate finances just leaves you where you are, whereas joint can make you better off if/when divorce strikes. Date hundreds of partners. Filter them like Ayn Rand is watching (she is) and then marry the richest and most naive (foreign med student from poor country who has high-demand sub-specialty, traditional values, and spent childhood living in squalor is a good combo). Commingle assets and other things. Make yourself anti-fragile to divorce if you're so paranoid about some spouse ravaging your comparatively minuscule hoard. Make sure their stash is bigger so you get the benefit of living in the 1% while you're together and then you get a nice check on the way out the door. Have skills, be handsome, the rest sorts itself out. If they dump you, you get half of their money and come out better for it. If you stay together you live like a champ. Why do it any other way?
</sociopath>

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Ego
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by Ego » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:45 am

batbatmanne wrote:I don't organize anything else in my life by ignoring the possible downsides. On the contrary, I take care to organize the rest of my life based on what could go wrong, so as to minimize how badly it will go if it does (antifragile style). I have a hard time seeing why this should be the exception.
Laying the groundwork in case of failure can precipitate that failure. The trapeze artist who operates without a safety net is infinitely more cautious than the one who has no worries because they know the net is there to catch them and is consequently more likely to fall.

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8509#p134889

James_0011
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by James_0011 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:02 pm

Ego wrote:
batbatmanne wrote:I don't organize anything else in my life by ignoring the possible downsides. On the contrary, I take care to organize the rest of my life based on what could go wrong, so as to minimize how badly it will go if it does (antifragile style). I have a hard time seeing why this should be the exception.
Laying the groundwork in case of failure can precipitate that failure. The trapeze artist who operates without a safety net is infinitely more cautious than the one who has no worries because they know the net is there to catch them and is consequently more likely to fall.

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8509#p134889
Do you ride your bike without a helmet?
Drive your car without a seatbelt?
Skydive without a backup shoot?

James_0011
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by James_0011 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:12 pm

JasonR wrote:Yes it's worth it if you both deem it so. Derp. How is this a question?
Sit down with your partner, do the math, and figure it out.

This issue happens once a year and the pattern is always the same. When it comes to relationships and donating everyone on this forum turns into Silas Marner. Or is it J. Alfred Prufrock? No, it's Gollum. It's such a defensive and fearful mindset. What if she takes 50% of my gold??!?! I don't know...take hers first?

I don't understand why I'm the first to mention this. I would have thought with all the 140+ IQs and hyper-rational INTJs everyone else would have solved this issue long before me. I talk with my hands so I'm not good at critical thinking, but give me a shot:

<sociopath>
If we're all jaded, misanthropic, atheists who scoff at institutions and social contracts...why aren't we using that to our advantage? Separate finances just leaves you where you are, whereas joint can make you better off if/when divorce strikes. Date hundreds of partners. Filter them like Ayn Rand is watching (she is) and then marry the richest and most naive (foreign med student from poor country who has high-demand sub-specialty, traditional values, and spent childhood living in squalor is a good combo). Commingle assets and other things. Make yourself anti-fragile to divorce if you're so paranoid about some spouse ravaging your comparatively minuscule hoard. Make sure their stash is bigger so you get the benefit of living in the 1% while you're together and then you get a nice check on the way out the door. Have skills, be handsome, the rest sorts itself out. If they dump you, you get half of their money and come out better for it. If you stay together you live like a champ. Why do it any other way?
</sociopath>
Your scenario implies intentionally doing someone harm, keeping separate finances doesn't internally harm anyone- it just protects yourself from harm.

JasonR
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by JasonR » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:42 pm

James_0011 wrote:Your scenario implies intentionally doing someone harm
You don't have to divorce them at all if that's what you mean by harming.
Feel free to fall in love and be happy. In fact, do that.
You're just protecting yourself from harm, should they tire of you.

And yes, he's against bike helmets because it makes you take more risks.
It was an old thread. With studies and such.

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Ego
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by Ego » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:07 pm

Risk benefit analysis. My point is that starting out with separate finances (or a prenup) has inherent risks as well as benefits. The risks are higher than the benefits.

JasonR
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by JasonR » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:17 pm

You're right. The person shouldn't be naive.
They should be a rational actor who willingly enters the contract.
Then you should be good when things go bad.

wood
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by wood » Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:17 pm

Ego wrote:One of the functions of dating is as a process of sorting people into one of three categories.

1) Those who you know to be unreliable.
2) Those who may or may not be reliable.
3) Those who you would trust implicitly.

Enter a relationship as a 3 yourself and look for partners who show characteristics of 2 or 3.
I can count on one hand the number of humans I would trust 100%, and even fewer would I share bed with. Many come in at 99.X% though.

Again, you might think you found a 3) until they prove you wrong.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Is it worth it to create joint finances?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:24 pm

JasonR said: No, it's Gollum. It's such a defensive and fearful mindset.
It's also sort of self-defeating. Analogous to how another human might complain "He only likes me because I have big breasts." and then on another occasion take offense if somebody says that small breasts are cuter.

Do you want to be admired or respected or valued for your financial skillz or not? One of my best friends in high school was quite intelligent, kind-hearted, and very attractive, but never showed much talent for frugality (understatement.) Her father owned a chain of roller-skating rinks and her BF from the age of 14 was a devastatingly attractive bad boy speed skater. Whenever he cheated on her (again), she would console herself by driving her red Trans Am to the beauty parlor and paying somebody to wash her hair. She idiotically chose to marry him, had two sons (also grew up to be devastatingly handsome), and divorced by the time she was in her mid 20s. Luckily, she also managed to acquire a Master's Degree in Nursing Administration from a top university (I know for a fact she only got decent grades in AP Chem by flirting with the instructor.) Anyways, in spite of her very bad experience, she still had a sick need for the man-candy, so she ended up robbing the cradle and marrying a very cute, buff 22 year old guy when she was 28. He turned out to be a sweetheart, very handy, and a natural whiz with financial matters. When I met her for lunch, after not being in touch for many years, she told me "I can't believe it. I just handed the finances over to him, and now I have so much money!!!" Gollum or Hero? It's up to you.

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