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Expat wanderer

Romance and Money Matters

I found this article in today’s New York Times Business. So here is my question to you – is it different in Kuwait than in the USA? I remember when we wanted a joint checking account here ( Adventures in Banking), one man looked at my husband in disbelief and said “Why? Just give her some money!” We never did get a joint account; it isn’t possible, but I was given a PAO on the account. It seemed bizarre to me, but it makes perfect sense if couples keep their moneys separately.

What do you think? Does this article apply to marriage in Kuwait?

The Key to Wedded Bliss? Money Matters

By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD
Published: September 10, 2008
IF you ask married people why their marriage works, they are probably not going to say it’s because they found their financial soul mate.

But if they are lucky, they have. Marrying a person who shares your attitudes about money might just be the smartest financial decision you will ever make. In fact, when it comes to finances, your marriage is likely to be your most valuable asset — or your largest liability.

Marrying for love is a relatively recent phenomenon. For centuries, marriages were arranged affairs, aligning families for economic or political purposes or simply pooling the resources of those scraping by.

Today, while most of us marry for romantic reasons, marriage at its core is still a financial union. So much of what we want — or don’t want — out of life boils down to dollars and cents, whether it’s how hard we choose to work, how much we consume or how much we save. For some people, it’s working 80-hour weeks to finance a third home and country club membership; for others, it means cutting back on office hours to spend more time with the family.

“A lot of the debates people have about money are code for how we want to live our lives,” said Betsey Stevenson, assistant professor of business and public policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, who researches the economics of marriage and divorce. “A lot of the choices we make in how we want to live our lives involve how we spend our money.”

Making those choices as a team is one of the most important ways to preserve your marital assets, and your union, experts say. But it’s that much easier when you already share similar outlooks on money matters — or when you can, at the very least, find some middle ground.

The economies achieved by pairing up are fairly obvious. However, the costs of divorce can be financially devastating, especially when children are involved. And, not surprisingly, money manages to force a wide wedge between many couples.

“Most people think people break up over sex issues and children issues — and those are issues — but money is a huge factor in breaking up marriages,” said Susan Reach Winters, a divorce lawyer in Short Hills, N.J.

Not everyone is married to a financial twin, and that’s not necessarily a problem. There are several ways that you and your significant other can become more compatible, and ultimately more prosperous, when it comes to money.

These guidelines are compiled from the successfully married and from experts on psychology, divorce and finance:

TALK AND SHARE GOALS Before walking down the aisle, couples should have a talk about their financial health and goals. They should ask each other tough questions: Do we want children? When? Who will care for them? Will they go to public or private school? What kind of life do we want? When will we retire?

This is a fascinating article – read the rest of it HERE.

September 11, 2008 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Marriage, Mating Behavior, Relationships, Social Issues, Technical Issue | 4 Comments

   

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