Financial planning meetings are opportunities for both spouses to ask questions and confirm their financial plan.
During a marriage, many of the household tasks are divided. Finances tend to be one of these tasks. One person takes care of them, and the other pays little to no attention to it. In some cases, one spouse handles the daily money chores of buying groceries and clothes for the kids. The other manages the investments, including the retirement accounts.
There are a number of reasons why the non-financial spouse doesn’t deal with the money or investments.
In the US, money management is still considered to be included in the “male duties”. There’s no particular reason why men have to deal with the money, but it’s often the case. Over half of married women report leaving the dollars to the “dudes”. Surprisingly, millennials are most likely to do so.
Sometimes people never learn how to deal with their finances. Now they’re afraid, either of money itself or that they would make the wrong decisions. Some consider it all a numbers game, and they don’t enjoy dealing with numbers. Or they just find finance boring.
Whatever the reason, both members of a couple should attend the meetings with their financial planner.
When you attend the financial planning meeting, you get to know the financial planner.
Most fee-only fiduciary planners (like the ones at Platt Wealth Management) are looking for long-term relationships with their clients. They want to get to know their clients better to ensure the financial plan reflects the reality of the household.
Even if one spouse doesn’t manage the money for the marriage, they’re still one of the decision-makers in the household. Their questions and tastes should also be reflected in the plan. Good financial planners want to find a balance between risk and reward that satisfies the household. If one is very aggressive and can handle a lot of loss on paper, and one can’t, then the conservative spouse is in for a lot of sleepless nights!
A fiduciary financial planner wants to answer their clients’ questions. Even the ones the spouse thinks are stupid or that everyone else knows the answer. Most people probably don’ t know the answer, so no one should feel bad for asking!
In the past financial advisors sold products on commission, and they were interested in buying and selling stocks to generate those fees. That’s not how it works anymore, and financial planners specifically are focused on the plan and not the products.
Not only do fee-only planners avoid selling products, they don’t want to. They want their clients to be comfortable enough not to panic when the market drops. Whatever questions need to be asked so that doesn’t happen, they’re happy to answer.
10 Questions You Need to Ask
Figuring out if your financial advisor is a fiduciary can be difficult. Banks, investment brokers and insurance companies might call themselves financial planners, but do they have your best interests at heart? If they are offering financial planning or investment management for “free”, you have the right to know how they are getting paid and how that affects the advice they give you.
Attending financial planning meetings together means a higher chance of success for your financial plan.
Honestly, there’s no use spending all the time and energy to come up with expenses and goals for a financial plan if you’re not going to implement the steps necessary.
Usually a plan requires some work on the client’s part to reach their goals. There may be things the planner recommends outside of the investments.
For example, one or both of you may need to max out your retirement contributions. Or change investments inside your 401(k). Or pull back on current spending to make sure that you have a comfortable retirement.
If you don’t accomplish these things, the plan won’t work. But in order for the steps to be carried out, both partners need to agree to them.
You may find that your idea of retirement or legacy is quite different from your spouse’s. It would be very helpful to know that ahead of time! Your planner can help you figure out what your mutual goals are so both of you commit to making them possible.
That can’t take place unless both of you are in the discussions. Neither of you wants to sacrifice for something the other person wants but you don’t. To make the plan work, you’ll need to come together as a team. One spouse avoiding the plan development isn’t the right answer.
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Attending financial planning meetings together means both spouses will feel prepared if they find themselves alone.
The truth is, most women will have a period of time when they’re the only money manager in the household. Although women tend not to handle the finances in a heterosexual marriage, it’s especially important that they have a grasp on the overall financial picture. You may be used to having your husband deal with your money.
But what happens when they aren’t able to make decisions for you? Or you don’t want them to?
No one gets married planning to split up later, but divorces do happen. The fastest-growing demographic for divorce is those over 50. In other words, it can happen to you. Which doesn’t mean it will.
It’s not just divorce that affects who manages the money. Given that women tend to outlive men, there’s a good chance you’re going to outlive your husband. He might also be incapacitated, even briefly, by an accident or something else.
Wouldn’t it be a smart idea to be prepared? Avoid struggling with the finances on top of everything else if something happens.
Wouldn’t it make your life easier if you were already familiar with the financial planner? You ‘d be comfortable calling them for help. Planners can provide guidance on whether you need to do anything to the portfolio, or start the withdrawals, or whatever you might need to get through.
It would be a relief to have one thing you didn’t have to worry about because you already knew and trusted your planner. The easiest way to do that is to go to the meetings and develop a relationship with them.
Have you and your spouse scheduled your financial planning meeting yet? If not, please email us or call 619.255.9554. We’re excited to talk to both of you about planning for your future!
Dream. Plan. Do.
Platt Wealth Management offers financial plans to answer your important financial questions. Where are you? Where do you want to be? How can you get there? Our four-step financial planning process is designed to be a road map to get you where you want to go while providing flexibility to adapt to changes along the route. We offer stand alone plans or full wealth management plans that include our investment management services. Give us a call today to set up a complimentary review. 619-255-9554.