My girlfriend and I have been in a relationship for seven months, and it’s becoming more and more serious. I don’t expect us to get married next year but I like to plan ahead and if things go well, I may get married in two to three years.
Finance is important to me and I know finance should be viewed without emotion, although emotions and money collide. I panic when I read things like the divorce rate 50% and rising.
Both of our parents married in their mid-20s and are still together, but I have seen family friends who are separated and both sides have poor financial conditions. I am concerned about some of my girlfriend’s financial habits. I don’t want to be influenced by what I’m making and hopefully one day what he and I are making.
‘Income continues to grow’
A little background. I am a 27 year old male and I will make $90,000 before bonus this year. As I progress in my career, my income is increasing continuously. I have $100,000 in different investments and no debt. Finances and planning for my future are important to me.
Money is not everything, but it is a tool that helps us navigate life. I have great plans for myself. I want to buy investment properties, grow my investment portfolio, etc. My parents helped out in college, but the loans I had after graduation were quickly repaid. I lived at my parents’ house for 2.5 years after college; I bought a car with very little cash from my means and I saved a good amount. you get the point.
She is 24 years old and recently earned a master’s degree in special education. She will start teaching soon and at the same time will be heading towards a stellar career. We have a lot of common interests and like to spend time together. That’s a dream. i love her! But I’m worried.
He is not financially savvy or financially motivated like me. Like me, most of her education is paid for by her parents, but she has some student loans. She mentioned her student loans and said how after 10 years the government will waive them all, so she only has to make the minimum payment for 10 years and the rest will be done by the government.
This worried me, so I asked him to see him with me and after doing so found that there are many obstacles to getting his loan forgiven after 10 years. I tried to explain some of the constraints. I don’t know if it’s a denial or what, but it worries me that she doesn’t see that her debt won’t be forgiven, especially when she gets married and files jointly.
I’m a little upset that she doesn’t see the big picture. I talked about how he should pay off his student loans as quickly as possible so that he earns as little interest as possible. Plus, she doesn’t have a ton of expenses, so she must pay them off, so she doesn’t have to worry about her debts when things like kids come up. She still doesn’t understand.
live above his mean
She even moved into an expensive apartment above her means, so the idea that she doesn’t understand finances keeps scaring me. I’ve made mistakes myself and I’m still learning, but I feel like I was so much ahead of time when I was 24. That said, he has started saving based on our conversations.
She still drives an old car that is fully paid for and isn’t interested in buying something new anytime soon, so she makes some sound financial decisions. If we get married, I don’t want his financial mistakes to affect my development plan. What are your thoughts?
divorce on the horizon
I am also worried about divorce. I know this is a bad/weird way to think about it, especially at a young age and because both of our family histories are stable. This is a risk. What if I start a small real estate company and buy rental properties and then we get divorced? So instead of growing the business, I have to sell a property or two to give him what he earned.
Or I can sell my homes and start from scratch when I don’t have that much time to pay off my mortgage before retirement. To be clear, I’m not saying she won’t be entitled to anything. She will also be earning money and there will be good gains in her field of work.
Since she is a woman, she has to bear our children, and she is better than me in some things. For example, if we buy a house one day I know she will make that house a real home. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it’s true for our relationship and I understand it’s worth something, but it doesn’t get rid of the risk.
How do I deal with this risk but also make sure it doesn’t affect our relationship?
youth and learning
Student-loan forgiveness is complicated. It’s hard to blame your girlfriend for not understanding the process. She would be one in a million. You did him a favor by looking at his repayment schedule. In recent years, MarketWatch has found nurses, teachers such as your girlfriend, social workers and other public servants to make good on the pardons promised after that 10-year period.
Many of these borrowers only found that they weren’t even eligible for relief – often because of a minor, but because of significant lapses in the process – after years of hard work in the job because they believed the loan. Apology was on the horizon. You and your girlfriend can read this step-by-step guide on Relief. As long as she is following the correct procedures, her annual tax filing should not affect her forgiveness.
She is 24 and you are 27. Three years can be a long time in your 20s. But not everyone operates at the same pace, and has the same constellation of family, financial, and professional factors. There is a line – and not thin, clearly – between expecting a friend or partner to help them manage their finances and expecting them to be (a) someone they are not or (b) who they are. it is us. We all have certain qualities, qualities and things about ourselves that others would like to change!
But what can you do that will be creative? You can see a financial planner together, and talk about your shared beliefs and values and financial goals. Where do you want to be when you’re 30 or 35, and what changes will you both need to make to get there. If you take this trip with her, instead of telling her what she’s doing wrong, it will be a pleasant experience, and will create a smoother blueprint for other decisions you make that affect each other.
As far as your planning to get married and your fear of getting divorced. To take a leaf out of your organizational playbook: Take one oath at a time — and sign contracts. You’ve only been together for seven months. Marriage is a contract, a kind of business contract, so you should get to know each other well before going into matrimonial business together. Like any new venture, there is an element of risk involved.
In business, you have insurance policies. In marriage, you can agree to sign a premarital agreement. For example, you take away what you brought from the marriage, and you can also outline who is responsible for the debts and how your co-owned property should be divided. You admit to having a lot of fears and worries, and that’s okay, but be careful about imposing those worries on others, as it can eventually engulf every aspect of your life.
I’m glad you pointed out his merits. If she is pursuing a career in special education, she must possess many wonderful qualities: compassion, humour, discipline, and emotional strength. If you’re the teacher/preacher, and your girlfriend/wife is always the one who isn’t quite working out, you may need that prenup before the two of you can bargain. Just be careful that your girlfriend doesn’t become a human character for your own concerns.
She may have something of her own that she wants to express and will hopefully give away.
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