Dear Annie: I'd like to start a small business, but I'm afraid to mingle my finances with my husband's.
We have a house, which is paid off and in both of our names. I have money in my retirement account and about $10,000 in savings. When I spoke to a banker about using home equity for a down payment on a small business, the banker said my husband would have to sign the papers.
Annie, my husband is very controlling when it comes to money. In the past, I was so ignorant. I mingled my money with his, and we purchased some properties together. He immediately claimed that the idea to purchase was his and that he knew best how to handle the properties. He always knows everything.
How can I start my business without his partnership? — Carol in Columbus, Oh.
Dear Carol: If the house is in both of your names, you must have your husband's signature to use it as equity. In order to avoid this, you would need a separate source of equity or someone else willing to loan you money (a family member or friend). But first, we recommend looking into small-business loans for women entrepreneurs. Check the U.S. Small Business Administration website at sba.gov for information on loans and grants specifically for women.
Dear Annie: I feel the need to respond to "Desperate," the disabled woman with children whose mother wants to provide a house for her, but her sister resents it.
Decades ago, my husband and I wanted to provide a home for one of our daughters, who has a permanent disability and most likely will never be able to find a stable job. This property is and will remain in our names until our deaths. Her siblings are grateful that their sister has a home. They also understand that our wills state that this property belongs to her upon our deaths, and remaining disbursements do not include the house. We have been firm and clear that we are not going to make up the difference to the other siblings.
On the rare times any perceived inequality has been mentioned by the siblings, we have asked them whether they would like to trade places with their sister, locked into a life dependent on disability income, unable to provide for herself. It stops the conversation cold.
I hope my letter helps "Desperate" and her mother make this important move to protect her. They are in a fortunate position — one generously giving, one gratefully receiving — and should move forward regardless of the pressure from the demanding and selfish sister, who, it seems, does not appreciate her own good fortune. — Secure in Our Decision
Dear Secure: Thank you for providing a very compassionate perspective. Some readers did suggest that the value of the house could be deducted from the estate, and while not as generous as your situation, this, too, is a reasonable solution.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Want Him To Look Only at Me," the woman whose husband likes to check out pretty women. She said all he does is look. I've always said, "I don't care where he gets his appetite, as long as he eats at home." — LOL
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.