Suze Orman Warns Against Investing In Marriage

October 9th, 2009 4:34 PM

Did you think that marriage was about love and selflessness and sharing? Not anymore. Marriage is about getting what's yours. At least according to Suze Orman, the personal finance expert known for saying "I told you so" when the economy crashed.

On Oct. 9 Orman advised "Today" show listeners not to invest in their marriage, saying, "Just to have everything [all your money] together allows you to have a big downfall if something goes wrong." She says it's just commonsense to have three bank accounts, "His, Hers, & Ours," so "nobody could take anybody else's money."

"You enter a relationship as an autonomous human being," Orman said. "You need to have your own money. He or she needs to have his or her own money. And then there needs to be a joint account."

And what is that joint account for? To "pay your joint bills."  Everything else should be split evenly into "his" and "her" personal accounts to do with as he or she pleases. And just to ensure that neither person has to share more than the other, Orman says to contribute "equal percentages," "not equal amounts" to the joint account.

And being married for "10,15, 20 years" doesn't mean you still shouldn't be worried about your spouse hijacking your money. "Set it up now," urged Orman. Apparently, many older couples haven't properly set up their accounts yet because the women were oppressed:

How much does one want in one account? Do you divide what's there equally? Just divide it 50-50? And then start a joint account for expenses? But why not just divide it 50-50 right now?! Matt, the day has come where the one who makes the money does not have the power in the relationship.

Orman says that you need to set up these bank accounts when you're in a "state of love," not when you're in a "state of hate." That way when the apparently inevitable divorce comes around the corner, everything's "already split."