"If you ain't no punk, holla 'We want prenup! 'We want prenup!' "
In this clip from Industry Focus: Financials, Gaby Lapera is joined by Mark Reeth and Jason Moser to talk about why it's so important to get a prenuptial agreement, and how best to approach this sensible subject with your significant other.
A full transcript follows the video.
This podcast was recorded on Aug. 1, 2016.
Gaby Lapera: We're going to move on to Gold Digger by Kanye West, which has one iconic line of a financial advice. "If you ain't no punk, holla, we want prenup, we want prenup."
Mark Reeth: Yeah.
Lapera: Exactly. That's how the song goes.
Reeth: It is how the song goes. It's a great song.
Lapera: So prenuptial agreements: This can be a hotly contested topic amongst couples, but it's something you guys should definitely talk about before getting married. Neither Mark nor I are married. Not to pry into your financial/personal life.
Jason Moser: That's OK. Pry away!
Moser: I'm an open book. No, I think ... My wife and I -- neither one of us came from obscene wealth, so we didn't have the need for something like a prenup, because we both kind of came to the marriage with us and our futures. But yeah, ... I guess the raw statistic is that one out of every two marriages ends up failing, and for whatever reason that may be, it seems like divorce is just kind of standard in our society today. ... I think maybe just the best way to look at a prenup is to say, it doesn't necessarily have to favor one versus the other, but if you can figure out a way to frame this with your significant other and say: "Hey, listen. It's not about me. It's not about you. It's that if for some reason this doesn't work out, some slimy (no offense) lawyer out there isn't gonna make obscene amounts of money off of us, because we've already kind of laid the framework out from the very beginning." Because if you're getting divorced, then think about it: The lawyer has all the incentive in the world to try to drag this thing out really as long as possible.
Lapera: Yeah, and not to be a pessimist, but I think it's something like 60% of U.S. marriages end in divorce.
Moser: That's just a lot.
Lapera: Better safe than sorry.
Moser: I'll say, I'm getting ready to hit 15 years in December.
Moser: 15 years, so I feel like we've been through a lot. But thankfully, we just didn't have that situation where we had ... neither one of us had anything really to defend. I'd like to think that after 15 years, well shoot, we've probably got it figured out to the point where we can make it the rest of our lives. Anything is possible, right?
Reeth: Uh-huh! We get a little postnup.
Lapera: Just so you know. That's actually a thing, postnuptial agreements.
Reeth: Oh my God!
Lapera: In case you guys are curious. Just in case you're curious, Jason, the 15th anniversary gift is crystal.
Moser: That is good to know.
Reeth: Mrs. Moser, I hope you're listening.
Moser: I appreciate that, and Austin will happily edit that out, or I'll just tell my wife to not listen to Industry Focus this week.
Lapera: Yeah, prenuptial agreements, good thing to talk about even if you're not super-wealthy, worth a thought. Also, astounding number of people don't talk about finances at all before they get married.
Lapera: Maybe you guys have a very different spending habits, and that's something you should talk about.
Moser: When you guys grew up, do you feel like as a child your parents were open with you about money and things like this, or do you feel like they felt like it was a taboo subject that didn't really didn't have a place in the home?
Reeth: I think it fell into that category of "Why would I talk about it?" It's like politics or religion. You don't talk about, especially with your kids, at least for my folks. Though credit where it's due, when I started becoming more aware, started doing all the things you teach a little kid about money with, allowances and budgeting and stuff like that, yeah, they were always open. My dad was the first one to get me into investing. He kind of taught me paper-trading over on Yahoo finance.
I never knew much about my parents' financial situation, only that I had a roof over my head and didn't really want for anything growing up, which was more than enough for me. It was never a deep dive into "Here's how much we make. Here's what we're doing with it. Here's how this affects you," which I actually think would probably been very beneficial for me growing up. Again, I said before, I struggled with budgeting for a long time. I think seeing my parents do it, and knowing what they had to do, would've helped a lot. Is that something you do with your daughters?
Moser: I do, yeah. I was going to say, the reason why I do it is because my mom and dad were pretty open with stuff like that when I was growing up, It was never ... I wasn't doing their taxes or anything, but it was, we just understood kind of where money went every month. There is insurance, there was a mortgage payment, there was clothing, there was food, and all this stuff, and you've got to kind of recognize that it's not all just like magically there. So my wife and I just sort of talk to our daughters and just sort of frame it like our household is like a business.
Every month, we have expenses that the business incurs, and this is how we pay for those expenses. Then we take some that's left over and all that good stuff. And we're helping them with savings accounts. They had their little investment accounts, which is pretty cool, and again, the idea is that when they're old enough, they won't be stuck wanting that knowledge or needing that knowledge. They'll at least have the background to move forward and then sort of do what they decide to do. How about you, Gaby?
Lapera: I had a very similar experience to what your daughters are apparently experiencing right now. My parents opened a credit card in my name very early to help me build credit. My first Excel spreadsheet ever was made by me and my father. Proud moment for him.
Reeth: That's the nerdiest sentence I've ever heard.
Moser: Was your stocking stuffed with FICO scores?
Lapera: We talked about budgeting. My parents are also from South America, so one of the things with them was, they always like a pretty big, they kind of hoard that they had. Emergency reserves were always really big in my house, everything from actual bank accounts to what we call "el closet de golpe", which translated to English is the coup d'état closet, which also still has French in it.
Reeth: Sounds really carry over, but I get it. Okay!
Lapera: I still remember the first time I went to someones how and I was like, "Oh wait, you don't have a pantry full of canned goods just in case government gets taken down?"
Moser: Things happen.
Reeth: I was going to say.
Moser: I've lived outside of the United States for extended periods of time, and we are very unique here, I think. The rest of the world is a unique place, too.
Lapera: Yeah, my parents came here in the 80s, so they were very much shaped by their experiences before that, but they were always all about fiscal responsibility and budgeting and understanding how credit works, and my mom worked for Fannie Mae, so I got to talk about mortgages starting from a very young age. Fun dinner table talk.
Moser: Well, you should have no trouble buying a house when you're ready to buy a house.