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Financial Decision-Making

How do you and your spouse make money decisions?

When it comes to money, you and your spouse will face many decisions over the course of your life – career choices, when to spend and when to save, what kind of lifestyle you desire and when to seek outside financial advice. 

Some couples make the decision to see a financial advisor and then work hard to implement the advice they receive. But sometimes, if the couple isn’t on the same page or one partner is more committed to seeing an advisor than the other, they’ll end up simply going through the motions of talking to an advisor without following through. Over the years I’ve seen a number of brand-new client families who say they’re on the same page and confident in their decisions during our conversations, only to either a) make a different decision a short time later, or b) make no decision at all. In these cases I always ask myself, why did these people even seek advice in the first place? 

As financial advisors, this is a frustrating trend. We’ve seen a pattern of indecision rise among some of our newer clients, and what’s driving this pattern seems to be too much access to free information. Just when you think you’ve settled on one course of action, a flashy news story, ad or trend pulls you – or your spouse – in another direction. Keep in mind however that the free information available via the Internet or other instant sources isn’t tailored to you. We are all unique, and many financial situations cannot be addressed with general, one-size-fits-all advice. 

Don’t get me wrong – just as you don’t agree with everything your significant other says, you’re allowed to disagree with your financial advisor from time to time. Healthy discourse is important in any relationship, be it professional or personal. But indecision is a relationship killer. 

I have seen indecision derail more financial plans over the years than I’d like to say. Couples who work together in a common direction will generally go much farther toward meeting their financial goals than couples who constantly change their minds and backtrack. 

So, how do you and your spouse make financial decisions? Have you talked about whether to seek specific advice from a financial planner or use more general guidance? Once you’ve made a financial decision, how do the two of you hold each other accountable in sticking to that decision? We’d love to hear from you, and we’d love to help you stay on the path toward your financial goals. We aren’t marriage counselors, but we do enjoy creating plans that work for lots of different clients. 

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