How much do you share with your family (parents/siblings/partners)

Hi Pier

Sounds like a thread about Estate Planning might be in the making. Are there any lessons to be learned from your loss or was it too specific (both personally and location-wise)?

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This is my best advice, when possible. I still have a WhatsApp group with people from University and Friends working in the same field than me and we regularly exchange about how much is one worth on the market according to different caracteristics (company size, locstion, etc…) based on our porfessional experience. Helped me multiple times and way more than bluntly asking google or Glassdoor.

Both my parents and in-laws know we’re doing fine, but no details. My brother know a bit better, and we discuss financial plans and details sometimes. We were considering investing in some commercial RE together, but the plan fell through.

My wife knows roughly how much we have come each tax period, but that’s about it. She does ask every couple of weeks ‘how did our stocks do today?’ Funnily, mostly they were down the days she asked, so she though we only lost money the last 12 months…


Interesting post.

In general

  • my parents are not financial literate and I know how much they have, my brother has access to their bank account if needed
  • I educate my wife with financial topics, she understand the basic but not very interested. I keep educating her as you never know in life. Probably if the pot is big when I go away, she will go to a private bank like vontobel to ensure money Remains invested even though she knows they are charging a lot
  • I don’t share salary / income with all my friends but only with a subset of 3-4 close friends. In part I do to share my successes but also to push them to do more. Some are doing OK, some very well but we can always strive for more
  • share lot of details with my brother. He works in finance. I would leave the key of my assets to him if I d pass away but despite working in finance he is super risk adverse so I would prefer my wife pays some reputable advisor rather than having my brother keeping most in cash (unless I ask him specifically what I want him to do with the money should I pass away)

In many countries finance topics are taboo - I hate this. It’s just old style. I try to push these boundaries. Financial education is basis for financial independence and keep repeating this to people


11 posts were split to a new topic: Gender disparity in income & wealth

A post was merged into an existing topic: Gender disparity in income & wealth

Hmm I am confused. Can someone please clarify.

Am I responsible for my inlaws financial situation via my partner? We have everything separate (i.e. no joint account etc.) But will my assets be counted towards the threshold for whether or not my partner is responsible?

But if you are someone who is working towards FIRE, then the combination of income + assets would put you easily above the threshold, right? Lets say you have 140K gross salary and 1M in assets.

Sort of, yes. You are not yourself liable for your in-laws, but your partner may very well be. And if you are married, your incomes and assets will be assessed together regarding the aforementioned thresholds. The amount of support is generally limited at half of the income above the income threshold. When married, you’ll be assessed jointly, and it would be limited at half of your partners half, i.e. one quarter of the income above the threshold.

This at least is the case for participation of acquired property (Errungenschaftsbeteiligung), the martial property law status under Swiss law without specific agreement. I cannot say if a specifically agreed separation of property (Gütertrennung) would shield your income and assets from the calculation, but I doubt it. Simply having separate accounts certainly does nothing.

But let me add: Forced cases of family support are quite rare in Switzerland. Requires family members that are heavily indebted to their commune (typically beyond just being a simple social security recipient, even though legally that would be enough), and a commune that takes the effort to assess if there are liable family members (a long and complicated process) and ultimately their willingness to go through legal instances to force you to pay (and you’ll have plenty of reasons to appeal).


Hmm, thanks. I guess it should be fine, but I really don’t like uncertainties. There are already enough uncertainties involved in retiring early. Do they take into account if I was supporting my parents who don’t happen to live in Switzerland? Or they don’t count because they are not Swiss?

Thanks for this ! Nice tip!

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Can’t say, but probably yes. Again, in terms of arguments, nearly everything goes. That includes non-financial considerations, such as but I hate my parents.

Also, once you FIRE’d, having no relevant income yourself anymore, you are basically save. One prominent case (BGE 132 III 107 E. 3.3) from 2005 was a 55-year old with CHF 2.5 Million net worth and no job who did not have to pay for his daughter and her four grandchildren, because he needed the money for his own retirement. And that was before the thresholds were increased significantly!

To summarize: Mandatory family support is like the professional trader tax status. It’s not going to happen to you, unless you are a very, very special case.

Life is nothing but uncertainties, all you got to learn is how to play the odds :wink:

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