Money and Relationships

How Can the Right Financial Adviser Help Couples Fighting Over Money?

Money can be one of the biggest sources of conflicts in a relationship, even when both spouses are financially well-off.  When it comes to financial management, many couples offer contrasting opinions on the best course of action.

A person’s financial decisions are often deep-rooted in his or her personality and are based upon ones’ past and present socioeconomic status, income level, financial goals, total assets, and his or her idea of what wealth means.  The right financial adviser can help couples understand one another and plan for common goals.


Why Do Couples Fight Over Money?


Money can cause a serious strain on couples, especially when they are not on the same page.  Couples often fight over different financial habits and goals.

Couples often fight over money when they have different financial goals and financial planning habits.  For example, if one spouse is a spender that enjoys “living in the moment” and making purchases on a regular basis, but the other spouse is a saver that “lives for the future” and makes less frequent purchases this may cause strain on a couple’s relationship.

Financial hardships are best handled when couples work together to accomplish a common goal.


What are the Biggest Fights About Money?


There are many reasons that couples fight about money, but here are five of the biggest fights couples have about money:

  1. Who should manage the finances?
  2. What do you do when spouses have different spending and saving habits?
  3. What happens to the finances in the case of one spouse’s death?
  4. How much money will be given to the children?
  5. How do you handle conflicts when one spouse controls the finances?


What Can the Right Financial Adviser Do For Me?


Understanding Risk

Financial advisers often distribute risk questionnaires in order for both the adviser and investor(s) to better understand his or her risk tolerance.  When dealing with couples the right adviser would distribute separate questionnaires to each spouse.  This will allow each party to understand how each party views risk.  Early intervention to address potential biases is essential in order to develop the path to reach a couple’s financial goals.

Continuing Education

Financial advisers are often regarded as experts in financial services.  Couples often speak to an adviser, because they are less knowledgeable in financial services and wish to consult with someone with more experience.

However, working with a financial adviser is not a valid excuse for shirking on increasing their financial literacy.  The right adviser should be able to improve a couple’s financial education by explaining various financial concepts and investments in simple terms.  A couple should only work with an adviser that can explain their finances in terms that they can understand.

Developing a Plan

The right financial adviser can help develop a plan that best suites the financial needs and goals of a couple.  The right adviser can help put a couples present and future goals on paper and help them stick to that plan.  Financial planning is a process.  This process is something that must be monitored and changed as according to major life events such as:  a wedding, sending a child to college, retirement, and death.

Encouraging Open Communication

Open communication is crucial to every marriage and the same holds true for a couple’s relationship with their financial adviser.

Couples should communicate openly with one another about their financial goals and their future plans.  Although finance isn’t the most romantic topic a couple can discuss, it is one of the most vital to the couple’s success.

A couple should feel free to discuss their finances with their adviser no matter how trivial it may appear.  As a couple if you feel comfortable asking your adviser any seemingly dumb question that pops into your heads then you know that you have the right financial adviser.

Furthermore, the right adviser should speak openly with his or her clients.  Financial advisers should be transparent and disclose fees and other pertinent information to their clients.  Advisers should not hide important information from their clients.  Couples should not do business with advisers that they deem to be untrustworthy.


Right Financial Advisor’s Nick Bredow, contributed this report.


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