We recently had clients in our office; a married couple who admitted they don’t talk about money very often. We had previous advisory meetings with the husband and when his wife came in to join the conversation, she said, “I hate talking about this stuff, but I worry about it all the time.” After assuring her that she is not alone in having those feelings, we were able to walk her through her investment plan and show her that she has actually been working towards her retirement goals.
Couples sometimes have difficulty discussing retirement planning and a lot of times, it’s simply because they were raised differently. Family of origin impacts how you talk and feel about money as an adult. If you grew up in an environment where your family didn’t spend money, you probably tend to prefer not spending money. And, if your spouse grew up in a spending family, they may be placing more of an emphasis on spending to enjoy life now and not worrying about tomorrow. This is one of several reasons a lot of couples save for retirement independently, with no idea of what the other is putting away.
Nerdwallet, a personal finance website, reports that a recent survey conducted online by Harris Poll revealed that one in five people, married or in a relationship with a partner who is saving for retirement (21%) say they don’t have a general sense of how much their partner has saved.
Working with a financial advisor provides a neutral platform for couples to talk about money, first independently and then together. Speaking openly and honestly about how you’re investing in your future is critical for couples who want to make the most out of retirement. A qualified financial advisor can help you get the conversation started, lead you in the right direction, help you make decisions and help hold you accountable to each other.