How financial advisers help couples agree on their finances
The majority of the clients that I work with are in couples. Typically because I love to work with GenY and GenX the couples can be relatively new and are just starting the process of combining finances.
For some people this can be a scary process and this is where it is a great opportunity to sit down and iron out the kinks.
Whenever I meet with couples, I encourage an open discussion from both parties about what it is they think they want both individually and as a couple. Through this discussion I am able to help in the following 3 ways:
Identifying problem areas
Whilst a couple may be working towards the same goals, they may be doing separate things that are inadvertently hurting their joint goals.
In my meetings I literally want my clients to tell me everything they want to do, are doing and think that they might want to do so that we can get it all out on the table.
It is usually during this time that I can pick up on pitfalls in their current structure. For me, coming from an outside, non-emotional viewpoint, it is easy for me to pick up on these things where others wouldn’t. Sometimes when you are too close to the action, it can be difficult to pull it apart and assess the situation from a logical view point.
Help to define joint goals
It is important for couples to identify what they actually want to achieve as a couple, as well as their individual goals. When meeting with people it usually goes 1 of 2 ways. They either have ridiculously ambitious goals that they want to achieve in the next 2 months when the financials just don’t stack up. Or, they have very timid goals, when I know that they can achieve so much more.
This is where we really get to hash it out and discuss all of the potential options that could be available to them. From there, as a couple they can hone their goals together, commit to them together and come up with a plan to get them there….together.
People don’t know what they don’t know. It’s great to have joint goals, but if you have absolutely no idea how to get there, then you aren’t going to achieve anything. Financial advisers will guide you to achieving your goals. Whilst it’s all very technical, in essence that is what we do.
I can assess your individual situation, match it to your decided goals, and give you a plan as to how to get there. This includes timelines and action items and helps to keep you accountable.
Finances can be an emotional thing for couples but it doesn’t have to be. Remember money is just a tool, and if you structure it correctly, you can use it to get what you want both short term and long term.
The post is from our resident Financial Planner Cara Brett, check out her details in the About Us section.