5 Steps to Healthy Financial Discussions as Couples
Money conversations are not the easiest, especially in a marriage setting. Conflicting attitudes toward budgeting, savings, investing, protection or even how to spend money can scuttle the best-laid marriages.
So how can a married couple best approach financial conversations, even when disagreeing on particular money approaches?
Experienced financial & wealth advisors provide a number of recommendations, according to Ben Mattlin, Writer at Financial Advisor Magazine.
Step 1: Be impartial and listen without judging.
People often don’t realize how intertwined emotions and finances are. Research shows each person has a money personality based on their previous experience with money. So it pays to listen without being judgmental. Listen carefully to ascertain what each party is trying to accomplish.
Step 2: Dig a little deeper.
Did your partner grow up around money, did their family ever discuss money and their values about money? When it comes to differences about money, usually it helps to dig a little further.
For example; A spouse may relate money to a sense of security if, in a past experience, they lacked that [security] and that caused some pain.
Once you get your spouse to open up about their fears, you can make progress and talk about the costs and benefits of different approaches towards money, this should be two-way.
Step 3: Use a “dream or vision board”
Make it fun by helping visualize each other’s rich life. To facilitate frank conversations about what your partner wants to achieve with their money, by asking open-ended questions to learn more about what is important to them and why. This gets you to a point of understanding and compromise as you uncover each other’s authentic financial goals and the triggering fears around money.
Step 4: Find Mutual Points Of Agreement, Choose Separate Buckets.
Once all goals and fears are out in the open, it becomes easier to design equitable, mutually agreeable solutions.
For example, if your spouse prioritizes security and you are more of a risk taker, you can together decide to pick spots in your portfolio and financial plan that are safe and secure and other appropriate spots that are more aggressive for yourself.
That way both your needs and your spouse’s are addressed, without having to say you are right and the other wrong.
Step 5: Identify Financial Risks, Mitigate Them.
Still, using separate investment buckets to address your different financial styles only goes so far. Despite the inclusive, well-balanced, holistic ideal approach to money, many households forget to mitigate financial risks by not involving a financial advisor to guide them on wealth protection as they strive to create and build their wealth. Think of the unexpected; illnesses, accidents, damages, theft, death etc.
Don’t be caught pants down, a prudent plan includes insurance that protects you and your loved ones from the unknown and helps you cope with the tough times without disrupting your investments. Talk to Bima Hakika’s expert financial advisors to recommend to you various protection solutions.
Bonus Point: Make your Financial Planning a joint affair;
To avoid situations where one spouse exclusively handles the finances, and when that spouse passes away, the surviving spouse is left clueless about their financial position, to the extent of not having an idea what they have or even where to look for important documents.
Food for Thought:
How do you view your money though? ‘mine and theirs’ or as ‘ours?’ Next Topic of discussion. Stay Tuned.