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Ask Dave

The Core Of The Problem Is Attitude

Maya is 40 with a 78-year-old husband. They've tried to do a budget together, but it hasn't gone well. How can she convince her husband to get rid of their negative cash flow?

QUESTION: Maya in Los Angeles is 40 with a 78-year-old husband. They’ve tried to do a budget together, but it hasn’t gone well. How can she convince her husband to get rid of their negative cash flow?

ANSWER: The problem at the core of this is the attitude. One of the things you face with a great age discrepancy in marriage like this is that you’re thinking survival and he’s thinking wind it down. That’s just natural. That’s okay. That’s not a putdown. That’s just the reality of the thing. He’s thinking he has 10 years and is going to enjoy himself because he’s worked his whole life for this. And you’re thinking that when he’s gone, you still like food. That’s kind of what’s going through both of your heads. He needs to love you enough to put a plan in place that you’re okay with. You need to love him enough to let him enjoy his retirement years. There’s a balance.

If you pay off that home equity line of credit, you need a firm commitment from him and you that you’re going to live on the income that’s coming in or less, which you told me you could do. But if his attitude prevails, then you’re going to be back to a $2,000 deficit because he’s going to raise his spending more. If your attitude prevails, we could crank it down so far the guy has no fun in his life. That’s why you need each other to balance this out.

Investigate some long-term care insurance today. Today. You may have to add that back in this budget because a nursing home stay is going to be $30,000-$50,000 a year, and that messes this plan up. You’re going to be forced to sell your commercial property if you get into that and you don’t have long-term care insurance. You need long term care insurance yesterday. Eighty percent of us will spend some time in a nursing home. I would make sure you get a policy that covers for in-home care as well because in your situation, with the amount of wealth you’ve got, you can easily afford that, especially if you have a little bit of a supplement.

You may be looking at moving this commercial property later in this game. It may be something you don’t hold later in the game. If you’re down to zero cash, you’re going to have a problem. I think we have the short term fixed by paying off the loan, but we’ve got to work on these attitudes.