As my relationship gets a bit more serious with my boyfriend, we're having some serious money talks. (Well, that's if you count sharing monthly grocery bills as "serious"!)
Single Mom Seeking: Although we're very far from thinking about opening a joint account, the latest Gosselin family news made me cringe: Jon emptied $180,000 from his joint account with his estranged wife Kate (although he later returned it).
This has me very curious -- and cautious -- about having joint accounts. Are you among the couples that have one?
I set out to do a bit of research, which included Tweeting Suze Orman, who advised me (right away!) in 140 characters:
"Only keep your joint expenses in there -- and deposit the same percentage, not the same amounts. Keep everything else separate."
All right, could someone please clarify what the above means?
I turned to financial advisor "Eddy" del Rio, who has worked for Citigroup and Bank of America and manages a portfolio of clients in Florida. Eddy tells me that having a joint account is a great way for "you and your partner to have an open book on your finances. That way, there is no secret within your new family."
Moreover, he adds that: "You are responsible for your part of the household budget, which you can run from your account. He can manage his portion through his account."
But what if one of you is carrying over debt from, say, college or a credit card?
"I highly recommend you speak to your attorney," says Eddy, adding that "if either of you have debt issues, and for some reason cannot pay, the assets in the account are protected 50/50. A creditor cannot claim the full balance in the account."
"The magic ticket in all of this is communication," Eddy adds (isn't it always?).
So, do you and your hubby have a joint account? If not, why not?
|Rachel Sarah, a.k.a. "Single Mom Seeking" blogs at SingleMomSeeking.com and co-founded SingleMommyHood.com, the first-ever website to offer "a whole new way to think about life."|