Trouble in Paradise: Dealing with Couples' Money Issues

Opiela, Nancy
August 2002
Journal of Financial Planning;Aug2002, Vol. 15 Issue 8, p56
Academic Journal
This article discusses how financial planners can deal with married couples with differences in attaining financial stability. The key in dealing with these couples is to realize that it is unrealistic to expect that two different viewpoints will converge in perfect harmony. Rather than resolve all conflict, planners need to give their clients tools to deal with differences and ways to talk about money, often a taboo subject for many individuals. Particularly to couples, the road to understanding starts with creating a safe place for both parties to talk openly. Many planners find that a data questionnaire completed by clients before the initial meeting gives everyone a head start when it comes to understanding where money problems are. When its time to implement the plan, one word that creeps into the conversations many planners have with their clients is respect. Avoiding the approach that one person has to be right and that the other person has to conform is perhaps easiest when it comes to allocating the portfolio because there is generally a place for both conservative and aggressive investment styles. The solution is to make both parties happy by breaking all overall allocation down into various buckets. This allows planners to accommodate some diversity.


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