Have you ever gone shopping for something, say a new car or a dining room set, and the sales person only focuses on one person in the couple? I remember shopping for furniture when we were moving to a new home years ago and, despite my 6 foot 6 presence, the sales person was only interested in talking to my wife and ignored me. I was like, “Hey, I’m going to sit on this furniture, too!” As the father of 3 young adult daughters, I hear this happens to women a lot - my daughters tell me lots of stories. It’s not a good feeling and it should not happen to anyone.
Unfortunately, I have heard this from new clients who have come to me because they felt that way when they met with their previous financial advisor. “He didn’t even look at me; he only talked to my husband. It’s my financial future, too!” or “I was never even invited to meet.”
When it comes to family/couple finances, both partners should have a seat at the table. It’s not a good idea to remain in the dark when it comes to financial decision-making which may impact your future security - deferring to another person to handle the money matters in the relationship is not typically “easier” in the long run. You don’t want to be sitting there somewhere down the road completely unaware of where the assets (if any) are, or whether or not there was insurance. Know for sure and be involved in the planning conversation.
A financial advisor can help to provide education, and to help provide a “voice” for both partners should one partner seek to dominate the meeting/conversation. The financial advisor can help to assist with financial planning that strives to keep money and strategies aligned with what the couple cares about - perhaps their children, perhaps risk mitigation, perhaps leaving a legacy. And if, heaven forbid, you find yourself “suddenly single” due to divorce or death, being engaged in money matters might help to smooth the transition. Don’t assume you’re financial future is “all set” - know for sure, be involved.
This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide advice to any specific individual.
Seek professional advice before taking any action in regard to your finances.
Todd A. Slingerland, CFP®