July 23, 2024
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THE MONEY MINDER

‘Would you feel comfortable sharing your net worth?’: I make $360K+ yearly but fear gold diggers. How do you gauge if a partner will be a good financial match?

Hi Money Minder,

I’ve got a sweet salary of $161,000 and every three months, I snag RSUs (Restricted Stock Units) or stock worth around $50,000. After taxes, that’s about $30-$35,000. So, my total yearly earnings stack up to a cool $360,000+. I landed this job in 2022.

I’m currently flying solo and just working on my fitness. But, I’ve been wondering what everyone else is up to in the dating scene. When you dive back into dating, when do you start making sure your significant other is a solid long-term partner? Maybe you’ve been together for a year; how soon do you want to know they’re the real deal?

Do you go all detective on their finances somehow? Throw out some vague questions to get a feel for their money habits? Ask about their debts or where their cash flows? Their financial goals? Even their net worth?

Obviously, that means you’ll have to spill about your finances too. And if there’s a massive gap (like in my case), does it make you comfy sharing your net worth? What if you’re worried they might be in it for the money?

What’s your game plan? I’m pretty proud of my financial smarts, so I’m not looking for a partner with poor money habits. This all started after hearing about how my friend’s husband racked up over $15,000 in credit card debt and spends recklessly.

Seeking Guidance

Response from THE MONEY MINDER:

Certainly! Here it is:

"Hello There,"

Congratulations on your impressive financial achievements! It’s fantastic to see someone prioritize both their career and personal health. Approaching the dating world with your financial situation in mind is understandable, especially given your commendable financial literacy and the unfortunate stories you’ve heard from friends.

When considering a long-term relationship, the key is to find a partner whose financial habits align with your own values and goals. It’s prudent to focus on open and honest communication early on, especially about significant topics like finances. Here’s a realistic and practical approach:

Firstly, observe your partner’s attitudes and behaviors around money. You don’t need to ask invasive questions right away; instead, pay attention to their spending habits and financial decisions. Conversations about general financial philosophies can offer valuable insights. For example, you might discuss your views on budgeting, saving for the future, and investment preferences. These discussions can happen naturally over time and can be an enlightening way to gauge compatibility.

Once you feel more comfortable and your relationship starts to get serious, transitioning to more specific questions about finances is reasonable. You can frame this delicately – for instance, by sharing your financial goals and asking about theirs. Questions like, “How do you approach savings and investments?” or “What are your financial priorities for the future?” are less intrusive but very telling.

Regarding a potential financial audit, it might be too early to delve into each other’s detailed finances unless you are discussing moving in together or marriage. However, asking about their debt, financial responsibilities, and future plans can help you understand their financial landscape without seeming overly probing.

When it comes time to disclose your own financial status, be honest but cautious. You don’t need to disclose every detail right away. Sharing that you are financially stable and what your general approach to finances is can be enough initially. If and when the time comes for fuller disclosure, you should feel comfortable that trust has been well-established and that your partner has demonstrated a healthy approach to money.

It’s natural to be concerned about potential gold diggers, but focusing on building a strong foundation of trust and mutual respect should help alleviate those worries. Ensure your partner respects your financial boundaries and demonstrates a responsible attitude towards their own money management.

Remember, the goal is to find a partner who values financial stability as much as you do and is willing to work together towards shared goals. Good relationships are built on trust, communication, and shared values, including financial ones.

Best of luck in your journey, both in your career and your personal life.

Farewell,

THE MONEY MINDER

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