@Tax Token I'd be interested to see the Billfold do a follow-up with a divorce lawyer on this. Kleinberg's advice is interesting, but she has pre-nups to sell, right? My sense is that pre-nups become less effective the longer it's been since the marriage, though of course it must vary by state. But still, there must be a cost-benefit analysis to this decision.
I think the metaphor is supposed to go the other way. It's not that vampires are rich. Rich people are vampires!
It's a very long read, but James Meek's essay in the London Review of Books has some suggestions: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n01/james-meek/where-will-we-live Subsidization of housing on a large scale, and in a way that doesn't stigmatize those who live there, has been done, as Meek demonstrates. But current fantasies about "the market" (which really are just fantasies) make that a hard sell.
@dilworth From a Smug Married with a twenty-year relationship: I disagree! Separate accounts provide some space and autonomy in ways that are good, emotionally, for a relationship. And separate accounts also provide some protection in case the relationship sours. The investment account, for example, might be "legally" equally your wife's, but ultimately you could secretly blow it in Vegas and she couldn't, and that's an important distinction. (Obviously, I mean, couples should do what works for them. But I still vote for separate accounts.)
@emmabee It also made me think of Thomas Shapiro's work (at Brandeis) about wealth disparity by race in the US, and how reduced family assets have a cumulative effect.
My partner and I also have joint accounts plus our own separate accounts. We have a budget that reflects what the joint money is supposed to cover (mortgage, utilities, food...) and contribute to the joint account based on that. The list of what's joint and what's separate has definitely evolved over time... we realized, for example, that we liked being able to use the joint card to pay for casual meals or coffee out together, so we added that in. Other things (clothing, hobbies) are solidly in the non-joint category. As always in relationships, I think the keys are communication, flexibility, and goodwill.
@Jake Reinhardt I got that vibe from this question, too, and at the moment I'm generally on the higher-income side of my friend groups. "I thought a road trip would be was just a fun thing to do, not a transaction/massive exchange of goods and services!" Well, it's both of those things! Something being fun and friendly doesn't mean it doesn't also require spending resources, and that should be done in a way that reflects the relationship. Of course below a certain threshold it's not worth the time to figure out relative contributions (I wouldn't count how many tea bags I've served a friend at my house) but if the activity is above that threshold for even one member of the group, some intentional cost-sharing is appropriate.
@katethegreat Yes, definitely. Send an e-mail or leave a voicemail saying you need to talk as soon as possible--no need to wait until you happen to overlap in the office again.
@mayonegg if you live in boston, this could be the answer: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=14071 :(
@pizza My partner and I decided against hiring a financial adviser for pretty much that exact reason. As the author says, she wasn't telling us anything we didn't know already. Instead we spent the money on an attorney (drawing up wills/powers of attorney/health care proxies),and we're hiring an accountant to do our taxes and give general advice.