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5 Reasons to Include Your Spouse or Partner in Financial Planning

John Morton
October 31, 2022

If you take on primary responsibility for the family finances while your spouse or partner has little to no role, you’re not alone. It’s common with many couples, for a variety of reasons, from one person’s lack of interest or lack of confidence in money management, to a simple division of labor.

Regardless of the reason, this approach might adversely impact many aspects of your financial life, from managing debt to fulfilling retirement visions. But when you’re both involved, you generally have better odds of reaching your combined goals.

Here’s a look at five ways you may benefit by involving your spouse or partner in financial planning.

 

5 Reasons to Involve Your Spouse or Partner in Financial Planning

 

You can understand each other’s financial perspectives.

Many financial decisions impact both people in a relationship, so it can be important to understand your spouse’s views and money management style when developing a financial plan. This may include their risk tolerance and understanding of financial terms, as well as personal values, experiences and family history related to money.

For instance, one person might be an aggressive investor willing to take more risks, while the other person may have a more conservative approach. This couple may want to find middle ground when investing to consider both people’s mindsets.

In general, understanding each other’s perspective may help smooth out financial discussions and help prevent misunderstandings that could derail your plan.

 

You can discover each other’s goals.

You and your partner both have goals — and they may not be the same. Understanding your partner’s goals may allow you to factor them into the family financial plan. For instance, we had a client who brought his wife to a financial planning meeting for the first time. When the advisor asked the wife about her goals, she mentioned wanting to attend the U.S. Open. Her husband had no idea! But once he knew her goal, the couple could work with the advisor to start planning how to make her dream reality.

Likewise, it may be important for you to both share your vision of retirement, thoughts on leaving a legacy or even major purchase plans. You may not agree on everything, but getting the information out in the open may give you the opportunity to create a plan that reaches your mutual goals.

 

You can work together to put your plan into action.

Once your goals are aligned and you understand each other’s money management styles, you may find it easier to define the steps you’ll each need to take to achieve your aims. This often involves each person taking action and, perhaps, making changes. For instance, one person may have to reduce discretionary spending and direct more money to retirement savings. The other may want to update their life insurance policy.

 

Your partner will be prepared for the unexpected.

At some point, your spouse or partner may need to manage the family finances alone, whether due to your death or incapacity, or even an extended business trip abroad. That’s one of the strongest arguments for making sure your partner is at least aware of the full financial picture — including debts, assets (and where they’re held), retirement plans and essential tasks like paying the bills. It’s also advisable to make sure your partner knows how to log in to any online accounts and who to contact for help.

 

Your partner can gain comfort with your financial team.

One part of helping your spouse prepare for the unexpected may be introducing them to your financial team. That might include your tax advisor, estate attorney and financial planner. This may help your partner become familiar and comfortable with these professionals. And it may help give your advisors a more complete view of your financial picture, including goals and priorities for both you and your partner.

A financial planner can also act as an objective party who can evaluate a situation based on facts, not emotion, as well as educate both partners on financial options and opportunities.

Even when your spouse manages their own finances separately from yours, this process may allow your advisors to look for issues, such as overlaps in your portfolios that could create a lack of diversity or overweighting in one area. In fact, couples who attend financial planning meetings together generally have better odds of seeing their financial plans succeed.

You may find it most helpful to include your spouse in planning meetings, annual reviews or anytime you have a major life change that could impact your plan. Your Hancock Whitney team has plenty of experience working with couples and making everyone feel comfortable and confident in the process and the plan. Contact a Private Banker to schedule an introductory meeting today!

 

Talk to a Private Banker

 

The information, views, opinions, and positions expressed by the author(s), presenter(s), and/or presented in the article are those of the author or individual who made the statement and do not necessarily reflect the policies, views, opinions, and positions of Hancock Whitney Bank. Hancock Whitney makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information presented.

This information is general in nature and is provided for educational purposes only. Information provided and statements made should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal, or tax advice. Hancock Whitney Bank encourages you to consult a professional for advice applicable to your specific situation.

Hancock Whitney Bank offers investment products, which may include asset management accounts, as part of its Wealth Management Services. Hancock Whitney Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hancock Whitney Corporation.

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