The love and money mix


Dear Dian,

I’m retired with a very nice pension and have fallen in love with a man who doesn’t have any savings at all.  He lives on a reverse mortgage.  He tells me he would never touch my finances, but what if we marry and he has health issues and I need to pay for him?  Please advise.

Concerned Cathy

Dear Concerned,
Oh my dear, one thing that living a longish life has taught me is that love and money mix like oil and water. That’s not to say I’m not a fan of love. Or money. But it is to say that love and money are two entirely different subjects that charge our emotions in totally different ways. One can put you on a beyond belief high while the other on a ride beyond belief.

The reason  love and money don’t mix is pretty much the same as why oil and water don’t. While the latter are both liquids, they have different masses and densities.  Love and money have different masses and densities, too

I’m going to make an assumption here and guess that this is a relatively new relationship and that you’re still in the  infatuation phase of it. If that’s the case, this zingy I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening-to-me phase typically lasts six to 18 months. Don’t forget that.

Whether you are 16 or 66, it’s the get-to-know you period when the more time you spend together the more you will learn about one another and see how each manages their life. It’s also the  time in which you’ll  pretty much decide whether or not you like the person, as well as, feel love for them.

Plus, it’s the time when you will see first-hand how each of you handles money.

From your email it’s clear that the object of your current affections has little bread and  that isn’t pleasing to you. How he funds his life or how much money he does or does not have is a subject that needs to addressed head on if the two of you are to have a long-lasting relationship.

And don’t forget, while you have issues about his money world, he probably has  some regarding yours.

In an online story,  Dr. Sonya Britt, director of personal financial planning at Kansas State University, stated that the top predictors of divorce are arguments over money. “It’s not children, sex, in-laws or anything else. It’s money — for both men and women.”

So don’t chuck your money concerns under the rug and pretend they aren’t important. Or that things will work out on their own. They won’t.  As un-Cupid-like as this may sound, feelings of love may come and go, but money remains a constant each of us needs throughout our entire lives.

If you decide that you like your guy enough to want to spend the rest of your life with, the two of you need to spend a whole lot of time together talking about money. Talks that need to include how each of you feel about money; how much each of you has; decisions about wills, trusts and how much the kids are going to get; where  you will live; who is going to pay the monthly bills, will they be shared or not; who pays the vet bills; what’s going to happen when your kids or parents needs financial help; how will what you brought to the marriage be dealt with; and what about inheritances, etc. etc. etc.

When it comes to money talks, the subjects can be endless and touchy. Nonetheless, all have to be addressed.

Hope you have those talks. Sharing a life with someone can be a terrifically wonderful thing. Living alone can be too.


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