What are the costs for care after your Russian fiancee arrives?

by Michael


You answered an earlier question from someone else about how much it would cost to bring a Russian woman to the US. I have a follow up question. How much do you think it would cost after a Russian women arrives? I realize there are all kinds of circumstances, but let me be more specific.

My Russian GF is 31 and has a 6 year old daughter. She has an economist degree that she says won’t help her career wise in the US (you’d think math and money is rather universal…). She speaks good English and can carry a conversation but needs Google translate every once in a while. Her daughter knows some words but does not speak English.

Me? I’m 44. With two kids Boy 11 Girl 7. I make just over 100K a year. I have a lot of money wrapped up in retirement plans and investment assets but not the kind of money I can withdraw just whenever. My available cash is not a lot. I think after my own bills and kids, I have about 400-800 dollars available to spend on myself…or others, depending on the month.

Am I setting myself up for failure here?

All I can think about is the bills and debt I may have to endure. Car, car insurance, gas, new education degree?, more food, cell phone plan, English lessons, day care, clothes etc etc.

It seems to me, these types of relationships are an endeavor for the rich or childless.

She has a lot of money herself wrapped up in an apartment she will eventually sell but she says that money is for her daughter’s University education. All of it…Its all on me to provide.

My heart is in it, but my logic, anxiety and fear is consuming me from a financial standpoint.

Bob's Comment:

Funny, I have a PhD. from Hard Knocks University on this one!

So you're really asking how much it would cost to support a family, but with the added twist of it being with a foreign woman who probably cannot earn very much here.

Well, as you rightly observe, there are all kinds of circumstances. I would not agree that it is a pursuit for the rich and childless.

Let me start by pointing out that she's mostly right about her education not really qualifying her for similar work here. Yes, math and money are universal, but everything works so differently there that she's really starting from the bottom. And even in the best case it wouldn't even be legal for her to work here until she has a work permit (that can be issued within a few months of her arrival).

The biggest variable here is going to be your woman's way of viewing things.

There are many single women in Russia and Ukraine who really are looking for love, family, and have a very healthy, realistic, down-to-earth view of money and standard of living. If you find one of these, your costs of living won't really go up that much. And even better if she's of the mindset that she WANTS to contribute financially... either by working, or by maybe starting some small business, or whatever.

Someone like this will be content with an 8 year old used Toyota Corolla with 150K miles, shopping only when necessary at Ross, T.J. Maxx, and Walmart, and is OK with long weekend vacations at Galveston Island or South Padre Island instead of Paris, Rome, or Hawaii.

But on the other end of that spectrum are women who are greedy, demanding, materialistic harpies who will not be happy no matter how much they have. Some also even flat out say they in their online profiles that they will NOT work and expect to be fully supported in a life of luxury. YES, they even sometimes say those words in their profiles! Can you feel the fangs piercing your jugular?

Someone like this may demand weekly shopping trips to Dillard's or Neiman Marcus, a new Lexus, restaurant dinners out multiple times/week, fairly frequent vacations (no Texas beaches will do), and even insist on sending her family financial help on occasion (or frequently).

And in between these two ends of the spectrum are others who may not really be overly demanding or materialistic... these things may not MOTIVATE THEM, but like so many people everywhere else in the world, they think all Americans live lives of the rich and famous, and that our streets are paved with diamonds and gold.

Those kinds of women may SOUND greedy and materialistic, but they may just be infected with a misconception that could possibly be cured.

The most important thing for you to do is to BE CAREFUL, and LISTEN CAREFULLY for clues about her expectations, demands, and her overall paradigm of life. Make it clear the standard of living she can expect with you, and ERR ON THE LOW END. UNDERSELL. Don't just tell her what the income numbers are, draw pictures... "This means that you could maybe spend an average of $___ on clothes and other things for yourself, and it means that we might be able to spend $___ on a vacation twice per year, INCLUDING hotel, food, airfare..."

If she sounds like she expects too much, straighten her out NOW. And DO NOT MOVE FORWARD until she does get it.

If you do it that way, you should be able to afford it.

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