My fiance wants me to give up my six-figure job to work in his landscaping business. Should I ask him to pay me a salary?


My fiancé has a very successful landscaping business which is about five years old. I have been in business banking for 15 years. My fiance and I are discussing the possibility of quitting my six-figure job and helping him with his business. My question is: can I ask him to pay me a salary?

Right now he’s paying all the bills and I’m putting money into a joint savings account for us in addition to helping with the groceries, the housekeeper, etc. I just want to make sure I’m / we’re putting this together in the best possible way.We don’t have a set wedding date yet (COVID, ugh!) But I would rather quit my job / career after our official marriage. I just think it’s safer that way? We’re also discussing a prenuptial agreement, but I guess that’s another question!

He thinks we can easily earn more from his business (with my help) than my six figure job, but I never got a salary. Is it fair for me to ask for a salary or just help him grow his business if he keeps paying for everything? Just thinking about the road if things go wrong, I prepared myself well enough to be protected.

Do I think about it too much?

Curious in Missouri

Le Moneyist: My sister-in-law moved in with her mom, changed her will, created a new trust, and inherited everything. Is it too late to claim what is rightfully ours?

Dear curious,

Your last question is the simplest answer. No, you don’t think too much about it. You ask all 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 like your job and the independence it brings? Be very careful not to give up a profession which pays well and for which you have worked hard and which gives you a distinct creative, social and intellectual outlet.

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

Le Moneyist: My mother’s will says her boyfriend can live with her after he dies. Can I still return it if the document is transferred to me?

Conclusion: Think long and hard about this decision and wait until you are married to make it. Giving up your only source of income, your job, and any future opportunities for promotion should not be taken until your marriage, nor should it be taken before you have entered into a prenuptial agreement. They are all slices of the same pie. I hope you have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of if and / or when a vaccine is available.

But more importantly, I hope you have the marriage and the kind of life that you have envisioned for yourself. If you were the one with the landscaping company, would you ask him to give up his six-figure job? This is a question that deserves to be asked.

You can email The Moneyist for any financial and ethical questions related to the coronavirus at [email protected]

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As of Thursday, COVID-19 had infected 27,886,825 people globally, which typically ignores asymptomatic cases, and killed 904,103. The United States still has the highest number of COVID-19 cases worldwide (6,362,440), followed by India (4,465,863), Brazil (4,197,889) and Russia (1,042,836), according to aggregate data from Johns Hopkins University.

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