Married couples, especially those with children, often take a “divide and conquer” approach when it comes to household responsibilities. This can range from simple jobs like yard work and home maintenance to more complex tasks like childcare and family finances. After all, there are only so many hours in a day, and these days, people find themselves busier than ever.
In our continuing series on Biggest Financial Planning Mistakes that people make, this week we focus on Mistake #2. Are you living in the dark?
Mistake #2: Spouse is in the Dark
In your efforts to divide and conquer, you and your spouse have agreed that one of you will act as the family bookkeeper. Perhaps because one of you is either better with money, or more clearly understands the nuances of finance. According to Cullen Douglass, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) and Wealth Management Advisor with Douglass Financial Services, this often leaves the other spouse “in the dark” when it comes to understanding what’s happening with the family finances. “More women are in the dark than men, yet women tend to be the worriers and planners,” reveals Douglass.
Douglass also points out that financial planning is not money management: “It’s the integration of everything important to you financially and emotionally,” he explains. “Our job is to take the puzzle pieces – which are the various parts of your financial make up — and link them together so the puzzle is made whole and makes sense for your family in the long run.”
Douglass recalls a business owner who initially came to him to prepare wills for he and his wife. “During fact-finding I learned he had two grown children and a second marriage with two younger children,” says Douglass. “He had raised both sets of children with his current wife, but she relied on him to do everything related to the business and family finances while she took care of the home and children.”
According to Douglass, after several meetings with the man and his wife — after the wills were drawn up, a comprehensive financial plan was developed, and after the insurance and investments were cleaned-up — the wife turned to him and said, “thank you.” “What I realized later was that she had been ‘living in the dark’ and now had someone outside of her husband that she could rely on for their financial plan,” reveals Douglass. “Her anxiety was relieved. Her fear of the unknown had subsided and she finally had some clarity.”
In order to ensure your financial security for the long-term, you must begin now with the proper information and expert advice – from a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. Cullen Douglass, CFP® and his team of professionals at Douglass Financial Services in Cool Springs has more than 60 years of combined industry experience.
“I see such relief on their face when someone other than their spouse is helping them with their financial plans,” says Douglass. “We are facilitators. We get everyone on the same page so they can all work toward the same goal.”
Cullen Douglass, CFP® is a Wealth Management Advisor who focuses on complete planning including risk management, investments, estate planning and insurance. Douglass Financial Services specializes in comprehensive integrated financial planning, including:
- Personalized Financial Planning
- Investment Advisory; Products & Services
- Trust Services
- Wealth Protection & Risk Management
Just moved to Tennessee? Don’t delay in learning about Tennessee’s unique state laws. It’s not worth putting your spouse or children at risk. Cullen Douglass, CFP® & Douglass Financial Services can help you successfully navigate what can be murky waters.
Whatever your situation, if you have ten minutes, give Cullen Douglass, CFP® a call and take the first step in securing your family’s financial future. Douglass Financial Services is a division of Northwestern Mutual.
Click here to learn more about Cullen Douglass, CFP® and Douglass Financial Services.
To see the first article in our series, Mistake #1: Running Out of Money in Retirement, click here.
Check with us next week when we discuss Mistake #3 in Biggest Financial Planning Mistakes.