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英语新闻:结婚后你该不该存私房钱?

2015-03-11    来源:财富中文网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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英语新闻:结婚后你该不该存私房钱?

英语新闻:

Should a married woman have a slush fund…a stash of cash that her spouse doesn’t have access to and maybe doesn’t even know about? That’s the sort of question I would expect to raise eyebrows, if not big red flags. Which is why I was bowled over when Jeff Landers, author of Divorce: Think Financially, Not Emotionally, answered with an emphatic yes. In fact, he believes that doing so can be “empowering in a way that actually strengthens your marriage.”

Evidently many women — and even more men, for that matter — feel the same way. According to a recent study conducted by Princeton Research Associates for CreditCards.com, 7.2 million Americans (4.4 million men and 2.8 million women to be precise) have a bank account or credit card that their spouse or live-in partner doesn’t know about.

For the record, I’m a big fan of separate money. I’ve written extensively about the fact that I think both parties in a marriage, or other long-term relationship, should maintain a degree of financial autonomy. My reasons are two-fold. First, I don’t think that just because you marry (or love) someone you automatically start sharing the same exact list of wants and needs. Each person should be able to spend a certain amount of money without asking the other for permission, as long as it doesn’t impact the health of the family’s finances. (How much is that certain amount? More on that in a minute.) Second, every individual should have some sense of how to manage his or her own money. Having money in your own account or own name helps foster that. Once you have a stake in the game, you’re more likely to participate.



But secret money? With that, I have an issue. Lili Vasileff, a certified financial planner specializing in divorce, agrees. “The idea of a secret puts up a flag,” she says. “The idea of something being secret is that you’re fearful of being discovered…the more this idea of secrecy starts to creep in, the more you’re driving a wedge through your marriage.” Even Landers cops to the fact that if you’re caught, the secret stash you created to strengthen your marriage (by enabling you to stop squabbling over money) could backfire. “If your spouse finds out, that in and of itself could cause a marital problem.”
So what to do?

Separate but open. If you’ve been married for a while and this is something new, raise the topic of having some of your own money, but insist you want the same for your spouse in the form of yours-mine-and-ours accounts. Then, walk before you run, slowly funding each account in tandem. If you’re in a newer relationship and you’re considering merging some assets but keeping others separate, talk through it honestly. Recognize that if you co-mingle assets down the road, they will likely become marital, so you need to tread carefully. Then, see an attorney. This is what a pre-nup is for.

How much is enough? Of course this depends upon your financial situation. You have to fund your household first, then focus on savings (both for short-term emergencies in a liquid account, and long-term goals like retirement in your IRAs and 401(k)s). At that point you can start moving money into your individual accounts. Landers, whose perspective is no doubt colored by the fact that he spends his time working solely with women, who are going through difficult divorces, suggests making sure there’s enough in your stash to engage an attorney should you need to. That’s anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000, depending on where you live.

Draw a line in the sand. If you are going to try to maintain autonomy and merged assets simultaneously, one strategy that helps is to come up with a number – it could be $100 or $500. Again, it depends on your financial situation – that you agree not to cross (i.e. spend) without discussing it first.

Hiding assets in a divorce is a no-no. Finally, this goes without saying, but should you ever decide to split, you’re going to need to come clean. Says Vasileff: “It has to be disclosed at some point early on in the divorce process — to that person’s own attorney and to the other side. It’s not as if you can keep it hidden forever. And if you try, you run the risk of fraud. Whether you’re talking about a silly $100, $1000, or tens of thousands, it’s not worth running the risk.”

slush fund: n. 贿赂基金
emphatic:adj. 着重的; 强调的; 显著的
drive a wedge:挑拨...的关系
squabble: vi. (为小事而)争论,吵嘴
solely: adv. 唯一地; 仅仅; 独一无二地
attorney:n. 代理人; 律师
fraud:n. 欺诈; 骗子; 伪劣品

(财富中文网)


已婚女士是否应该有一个丈夫无法使用,甚至根本不知情的“小金库”?这种问题我认为有点危险,颇引人侧目。因此,在听到《离婚:应从财务而非感情角度考虑》一书作者杰夫•兰德斯对此果断给出肯定答复时,我大吃一惊。事实上,他认为设立小金库“在某种程度上是积极的,可以巩固婚姻。”

很显然,许多女性对此感同身受,甚至这种观点在男性中可能更流行。据普林斯顿调查研究协会近期为CreditCards.com进行的一项研究显示,720万美国人(男性440万人,女性280万人)拥有配偶或同居伴侣不知情的银行账户或信用卡。

首先,我要郑重声明,我是经济独立的坚定支持者。我曾在许多文章中表明过我的观点,我认为婚姻或者其他长期关系中的双方都应该保持一定程度的经济独立。我有两个理由,首先,我不认为只要你嫁给(或者爱着)某个人,你们就将拥有同样的欲望和需求。每个人都应该有一定金额的自主消费权,不需要获得对方的同意,只要这笔支出不会影响家庭财政健康即可。(到底多少金额合适?稍后会谈到这个问题。)其次,每个人都应该知道如何管理自己的财富。自己的账户或名下有钱可以帮助培养理财能力。只有手中握有赌注的时候,你才更有可能参与到游戏当中。

但是提到小金库,我的疑问就来了。擅长离婚领域的认证理财规划师莉莉•瓦斯莱夫也有同感。她表示:“保密的想法会亮起警告信号。你将某件事对配偶保密,意味着你担心被对方发现……这种保密的想法越多,婚姻中的裂痕就会变得越深。”兰德斯也认同,一旦被发现,本可以用来巩固婚姻(让你们可以不必为钱的问题争论)的秘密储备,会产生截然相反的效果。“如果被对方发现,这件事本身就会导致婚姻问题。”

那么,正确的做法是什么?

保持经济独立,但要开诚布公。如果你已结婚很长时间,但最近才有这样的想法,你可以提出要有自己的钱,但同时也要坚持让对方也这样做,比如通过共有账户的方式。然后,要循序渐进,齐心协力为每个账户中存入资金。如果你们刚刚确立关系,你在考虑合并一些资产,其他资产依旧为各自所有,要开诚布公地谈论这个问题。你要认识到,在一段时间之后,如果你们将资产混合在一起,它们可能会变成夫妻共有财产,所以你必须谨慎处理。最后,去见律师。你们需要签署一份婚前协议。

自己保留多少钱合适?这要取决于你的财政状况。养家要放在首位,然后是积蓄(用于短期应急的流动性账户,以及用于长期目标的储蓄,如IRA和401(k)退休计划等)。此时,你可以开始将一部分钱转入自己的账户。兰德斯的客户都是正在经历离婚的女性,所以他的观点无疑有一定的偏向性。他建议,个人账户中的金额应该保证你在必要时有钱聘用律师。不同地区的律师费在5000美元至3万美元不等。

划清界限。如果你既希望保持经济独立,又想合并双方的资产。一项有效的策略是提出一个数字——比如100美元或500美元。当然,这同样要视自己的财政状况而定——双方同意在没有经过事先讨论之前不会越线(比如花销方面)。

在离婚中,隐瞒资产是禁忌。如果你们最终决定分开,你需要坦白承认对方不知情的资产,这是理所当然的。瓦斯莱夫表示:“在离婚过程中,你必须尽早向自己和对方的律师披露隐瞒的资产。你不可能永远隐瞒下去。如果你试图这么做,你将面临欺诈风险。不论是100美元、1000美元还是数万美元,都不值得你为之冒险。”



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