The Ugly Monster of Money Jealousy

This is a real tough one, and a topic not often talked about...though if you've got siblings, you may have already encountered the issue at some point.

What happens when you have MORE or LESS money than a sibling?

Here it's not a matter of the other person coming from a different background or having more family wealth.  The person likely grew up with you, maybe even shared a bedroom with you and darn share most of the same DNA!

So what do you do when you're jealous of a sibling's money?  Or if you're the one with the money?  (Lucky you!) 

Maybe what you need is a Money Mentor

Hanging out with older women, you can pickup some of the best tips for life:

Smear-proof mascaras, how to correct a horrible hair coloring accident, where to find bargains on furniture, and SUNSCREEN.

These are all invaluable advice gathered from older women.

When older women start talking about money: LISTEN. They’ve learned the lessons already so you don’t have to start from scratch.

  • Want to know how much of a raise you can ask for?

  • Need someone you can trust for a mortgage?

  • Worried about your debts and how to pay them back?

These are all moments to seek out some money mentoring. But don’t keep it all to yourself…remember to pay it forward!

Do you GIVE money to friends?

By now, author Elizabeth Gilbert's EAT PRAY LOVE book has been an international best seller and a movie staring Julia Roberts & Javier Bardem.

In the book, Gilbert recounts the story of how she raised money from friends to give to her friend/healer Wayan to build a home for Wayan and her daughter.

After the book came out, Gilbert has amassed a personal wealth of $25million.  Enough to build many homes many times over. 

But what happened when Gilbert decided to share some of her personal "good fortune" with close friends?  When is it a good idea to help out a friend by gifting money? 

What do you do when it comes to money + friends?


Letter to the Millennial Woman

These days there's so much scrutiny on all aspects of the Millennial generation's financial habits.  Yet, listening to many Millennial women, they genuinely want to make sound financial decisions.  They just don't know where to turn for information that's actually RELEVANT for their stage of life and/or don't know how to balance their major life choices with their financial ones.

We recently met a young woman who was struggling and seeking help with her financial choices in a room full of older women. 

This is our letter to her, sharing what we wish we had figured out about money in our 20's

This One's for all the "Non-Typical" Partners

This week our message is for all the women (ex-pats, common-law/same sex couples) who have "non-typical" financial concerns living here in the UK. 

There's no doubt about it, navigating the tax landscape in the UK as an Expat, Non-Domiciled individual, or part of a Same-sex partnership is challenging. At different phases of life in the UK, the tax rules suddenly shift, making non-typical individuals more vulnerable to tax complexity. Understanding when these tax changes happen can help you plan ahead to be financially prudent, and NOT run afoul of the HMRC or its equivalent abroad.

This is one area were we STRONGLY recommend you don't just rely on word of mouth and SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE.  (Please.  For your own sanity.)

Below are the key takeaways from London 2016 Forum breakout discussion on “Overcoming Financial & Legal Challenges for Non-typical Partners” led by Tor Flonaes of Maseco Private Wealth. 

New UK tax changes make it harder to keep offshore money off the tax grid.  For example, effective April 2017, HMRC will levy tax on your worldwide assets and your global income if you have been resident in the UK for more than 15 out of 20 years.  With this new change, individuals are also exposed to inheritance tax on worldwide assets as opposed to just assets based in the UK.  Be careful if only one spouse is domiciled and the other is not - special provision must be made for transfers between spouses to not bring about a tax charge.  

Americans: Get a US/UK accountant who can take care of tax filings for both.  Being an American abroad is especially complicated as the US mandates global taxation on citizens even when living abroad. Having someone who understands both the US and UK tax rules is critical for reliable advice before making financial transactions and considering the timing of US and UK tax years (e.g. you can potentially have favorable tax treatment filing gains in one country first, and then the other). 

UK Common-Law Couples: Did you know?

  • If you're married, WITHOUT children: whole estate passes to spouse outright
  • If you're married, WITH children: spouse receives half of the estate, children receive remaining 50% 
  • If you're not legally married, WITH children: entire estate passes to children, surviving partner has no entitlement

Ultimately, ask around (including on our Facebook page) to find recommended professionals for advice if you are not sure of your domicile/tax situation.  Sites such as VouchedFor and Unbiased can also be useful resources in beginning your search for the right specialist advisor(s).

(*NOTE:  We have no relationship whatsoever with VouchedFor or Unbiased.  They are simply mentioned here as a possible source of useful information.)

What are your thoughts?  What advice can you share from your experiences preparing for your life's major financial moments?  Please share your thoughts with us on Facebook here.

Life's Major Financial Moments

This week, we share the key takeaways from our London 2016 Forum breakout on “Preparing for Life’s Major Financial Moments”, led by Margaret Kelly of Josiah-Lake Gardiner Solicitors & Ruth Sturkey of The Red House.

  • Entering into Marriage or Partnerships:  Consider getting a pre-nuptial agreement.
    • Before you get married, discussions about a pre-nuptial agreement can help you and your partner determine how to sort your finances if the relationship does go awry.  It’s like life insurance; hopefully you never need it but at least you know you are protected if things do go wrong.  More importantly, discussions around the pre-nuptial can help to work out future "kinks" in your relationship.  Money is the number one reason for arguments between couples.  Working out a system of financial understanding beforehand can help reduce the need to trigger the pre-nuptial agreement.  
    • If you’re not planning on getting married, it’s even more imperative that you have a legal agreement in place with your partner; a woman can’t just assume that she is a “common law” wife. 
    • And for those of you who are married, a post-nuptial allows you and your partner to settle your affairs and assets in the event of a separation or divorce. In general, it’s always better to be up front about things with your partner as soon as possible and discuss things while the relationship is still “looking up”, as they say.
  • Caring for Elderly Parents:   Set up Power-of-Attorney and Medical Directives.  
    • Introducing the topic of a Living Will may be a good way to open the conversation with elderly relatives on what their wishes should they become incapacitated and/or when they pass. 
    • Specifically, put a legal Power-of-Attorney in place while your relatives are still sound of mind. This will allow you to make decisions on their behalf.
    • While putting in place a Power-of-Attorney, also set up a Medical Directive at the same time.  This will allow you to make medical decisions on your relative's behalf. 
    • If your relative is receptive, discuss the concept of Last Will & Testament, or at the very least have him/her update beneficiary forms across their accounts.  (This applies to partnerships as well.) 
  • Caring for your loved ones:  Set up your legal Will.  
    • If you have a very straightforward situation, there are online services that can produce a Will for as little as £200-300.  Though if your budget allows, it is best to seek personalized legal advice. 
    • You may need multiple Wills if you hold assets in different jurisdictions.  You will need to seek local advice from each country or a specialist who is familiar with the legalities of each country you are dealing with.
    • While personalized legal advice is still the preference, using an online service is still better than doing nothing at all. 

What are your thoughts?  What advice can you share from your experiences preparing for your life's major financial moments?  Please share your thoughts with us on Facebook here.

Money + Family = ?

One feedback we heard from our London 2016 Forum attendees was that they wished they could have attended more (if not ALL) of the breakout sessions.  So we thought it would be useful to summarize the key takeaways from a different breakout session each week, focused on a topic relating to how to manage money around major life events. 

This week, we share the collected group wisdom on "How to Manage Money with Family/Partners/Kids", led by Anna Sofa of Addidi Wealth

  • Focus on Setting Shared Goals.  Your partner or loved one can have a very different approach to money than yourself.  There is no one right approach, but do set aside time to agree on what's practical for both of you and will get you to your shared goals.  For some it may be separate accounts, plus a joint account for certain expenses.  For others, it may be joint accounts with agreed spending limits and target savings levels.  Communicate and agree on what you're comfortable with and keep communicating to make changes as needed in the future.  Note: if you are a caretaker, you deserve to be paid for care-taking/domestic work (talking to you stay-at-home moms).  Value your own contributions to the family. 
  • Be Sensitive to Generational Attitudes Toward Money and Discussing Money.  Many elderly parents are actually relieved to be able to open up about death and their plans for after they pass.  Opening the discussion around setting up a Living Will can help pave the way to discuss the sometimes more complicated conversation around passing of assets.  
  • Managing money with kids: there are different ways of setting up ISA's (Independent Savings Accounts) and Trusts to control when your children can access the money.  Be aware that an ISA in your child's name automatically gives them control once they reach legal age at 18.  Are you sure you want your children to have access to money at an early age?  What boundaries might you want to set for children so they understand your intentions for how they are to use the money?

What are your thoughts?  What advice can you share from your experiences managing money with family?  Please share your thoughts with us on Facebook here


Divorce can be devastating enough without having to worry about how to fund your divorce...not to mention how you'll manage your living expenses until the division of assets are finally sorted out.  All of which could take years.

What if someone could give you roadmap to guide you through a divorce?  And help you envision your life after?

Well, here it is...from Maseco Private Wealth in London.

Saving your way to retiring in your 30s

It almost seems like it's an insane idea...retire in your 30s?! Only if you win the lottery or join a fantastically successful tech startup, right? 

Actually, no. 

You CAN save to retire in your 30's and here's how one "normal" couple did it.  Their personal journey may be extreme, but it still offers interesting options for reaching your own financial goals.  Lots of useful ideas here for reshaping your life to be financially free.