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the-moneyist:-my-fiance-wants-me-to-give-up-my-cushy-six-figure-job-to-work-at-his-landscaping-company.-should-i-ask-him-to-pay-me-a-salary?
the-moneyist:-my-fiance-wants-me-to-give-up-my-cushy-six-figure-job-to-work-at-his-landscaping-company.-should-i-ask-him-to-pay-me-a-salary?

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The Moneyist: My fiancé wants me to give up my cushy six-figure job to work at his landscaping company. Should I ask him to pay me a salary?

The Moneyist

‘Is it fair that I ask for a salary, or just help him grow the business if he continues to pay for everything?’

Dear Moneyist,

My fiancé has a very successful landscaping company, which is about five years old. I‘ve been in corporate banking for 15 years. My fiancé and I are discussing me quitting my cushy six-figure job and helping him with his business. My question is, can I ask him to pay me a salary?

Right now, he pays all the bills and I put money into a joint savings account for us along with helping with groceries, cleaning lady, etc. Helping him at “the shop“ feels exciting and would be a nice change of pace/scenery. I just want to ensure I am/we are setting this up the best way possible.

We do not have a marriage date set yet (COVID, ugh!) but I prefer to quit my job/career after we are officially married. I just feel it is safer this way? We’re also discussing doing a prenuptial agreement, but I guess that’s another question!

He feels we can easily make more through his business (with my help) than my six-figure job, but I’ve never not had a paycheck. Is it fair that I ask for a salary, or just help him grow the business if he continues to pay for everything? Just thinking down the road if things go sideways, I’ve set myself up fairly to be protected.

Am I over thinking this?

Curious in Missouri

The Moneyist: My sister-in-law moved in with her mother, changed her will, set up a new trust and inherited everything. Is it too late to claim what rightfully belongs to us?

Dear Curious,

Your last question is the easiest answered. No, you are not over thinking this. You are asking all of the right questions, and your concerns (if that’s what they are) are well founded. But before I get to your first question about asking him for a salary, I have a question for you. Do you enjoy your job and the independence that brings? Be very careful about giving up a profession that pays well and one that you have worked hard for and gives you a separate creative, social and intellectual outlet.

It serves two very important purposes in your life: It gives you a separate identity to your husband, financial independence and it splits the financial risk you both share. If people decide they can’t afford landscaping during COVID-19, you will both have your salary to rely on. If your job goes, you will hopefully have your job too. He is clearly very excited about his business, but it’s five years old and it’s important not to allow his excitement (née ego) overwhelm your work life too.

The Moneyist: My mother’s will says her boyfriend can live in her home after she dies. Can I still kick him out if the deed is transferred to me?

Bottom line: Think long and hard about this decision and wait until you are married to make it. Giving up your sole source of income, your job and any future chances of promotion should not be taken before you marry and nor should it be taken before you have agreed on a prenuptial agreement. These are all slices of the same pie. I hope you have the wedding you have always dreamed of if and/or when there is a vaccine available.

But more importantly than that, I hope you have the marriage and the kind of life for yourself you have envisioned for yourself. If you were the one with the landscaping business, would you ask him to give up his six-figure job? That is a question worth asking.

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check outthe Moneyist private Facebook
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 group where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

As of Thursday, COVID-19 had infected 27,886,825 people worldwide, which mostly does not account for asymptomatic cases, and killed 904,103. The U.S. still has the world’s highest number of COVID-19 cases (6,362,440), followed by India (4,465,863), Brazil (4,197,889) and Russia (1,042,836), according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

The Dow Jones Industrial Index
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closed higher Wednesday. U.S. stocks, particularly in the technology sector, broke a losing run on Wednesday, as the Nasdaq rallied. Doubts about traction for further fiscal stimulus from Washington may be one factor discouraging investors.

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