Linda and her husband, both 64 years old, are approaching retirement, but their financial situation is far from ideal. Linda earns $115,000 per year, while her husband brings in $45,000. They still owe $180,000 on their home, but Linda’s husband is not interested in paying off the mortgage. Furthermore, he is also not open to downsizing their home. Linda is at a loss for how to get him on board with their financial plans.
Linda has $175,000 in her 401(k) and owns two rental properties. She has recently paid off two cars and only has $12,000 left to pay on her first property. The second property was purchased for her daughter-in-law, who had cancer, so she could live nearby and receive care. Linda still owes $62,000 on that property. On the other hand, her husband has no retirement savings and has no interest in helping with the rental properties. Despite this, they split groceries and bills equally.
Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey and his co-host Dr. John Delony were at a loss for words when Linda shared her situation on a recent episode of The Ramsey Show. Ramsey described their situation as “painful” and noted that the couple seems disconnected. He advised Linda to seek marriage counseling, but she revealed that her husband is not open to that idea.
Research from Ramsey Solutions shows that 41% of couples with consumer debt argue about money, making it the most common cause of arguments. On the other hand, among couples who have a great marriage, 87% say they set long-term financial goals together.
Delony pointed out that Linda and her husband have separate bank accounts and only share an account for household expenses and a savings account for major expenses. He compared their situation to that of roommates rather than a married couple. He encouraged Linda to consider whether she wants to continue living this way for another 30 years or take a stand and tell her husband that she can no longer be his financial support.
Ramsey warned that if Linda chooses to make peace with the situation, she may have to sell her rental properties to pay off their home since they don’t have enough savings to do so. He also noted that when they retire, her husband will rely on her retirement savings since he has none of his own.
Ramsey emphasized the importance of being on the same page about money, as well as other important aspects of life, before entering into a lifelong commitment. He suggested that couples seek marriage counseling early on if there are financial issues. Delony compared Linda’s situation to a form of infidelity, where her husband is essentially “cheating” on her financially.
In conclusion, Linda and her husband are facing significant financial challenges in their marriage. With different financial priorities and a lack of communication, their retirement plans are at risk. Seeking marriage counseling and finding common ground on money matters are crucial steps for couples to avoid such situations.