I Tricked My Fiancee Into Doubling Her Retirement Contributions
Last month, my fiancée agreed to start making $50/mo contributions to her Roth IRA. We setup her up with an automatic contribution program so she wouldn't have to think about (otherwise it would never happen). I was really excited that her finances were starting to get on track.
However, the more I thought about it, the more anxious I got. My fiancée has been working as long as I have, and while she doesn't make much (she's a teacher), she hasn't made saving for retirement a priority. I think she needs to make up for lost time, but I feel she sees retirement contributions as lost money.
I continued to be bothered by this nagging worry that I needed to get her back on track sooner rather than later. I had originally thought that we could start small - slowly getting her to make contributions and when she got raises I could push her towards increasing her contributions. However the more I thought about it the more frustrated I got - we needed to accelerate this to make up for lost time.
Earlier we had also agreed to each make monthly contributions to a wedding fund. I began to see an opportunity to make everyone happy - I know my fiancée couldn't pass on free money, and I felt I needed to push her towards contributing more money in her Roth IRA.
I called her one night and told her I had an idea. I thought it was more important to start building up her Roth IRA more than mine. I suggested I take $50/mo from my Roth IRA contributions and instead could contribute the extra $50/mo to the wedding fund if she would take $50/mo of her wedding fund contribution and put it into her Roth IRA. From her perspective, the wedding fund contributions stay the same, but an extra $50/mo goes into her Roth IRA.
Naturally she agreed and we immediately bumped up her Roth IRA contributions to $100/mo from $50/mo. Of course I left my Roth IRA contributions the same and now just pay an extra $50/mo to the wedding fund. I think it was a smart move that will pay off after the wedding is over - I'll stop contribution to the wedding fund, but I hope she will still be contributing to her Roth IRA.
A bit of trickery, but with good intent.
Related in Money And Relationships:
Smart Couples: Dreams Basket (Jan 18, 2008) My wife and I recently resumed reading Smart Couples Finish Rich. The book helped us discuss our different values, sync on our current retirement savings plan, and start talking about our insurance needs. The last section in the book...
Smart Couples: Security Basket (Jan 17, 2008) My wife and I recently resumed reading Smart Couples Finish Rich. The book helped us discuss our different values, and sync on our current retirement savings plan. The next section in the book was focused on security including emergencies,...
Managing Cash Flow (Jan 02, 2008) Wow -- I am still amazed at how complex managing personal finances gets once you get married. It's like that corporate project that gets extra headcount to speed things up, but yet everything slows down because more communication, more interlock...