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The Top Components of a Comprehensive Financial Plan for Couples

The Top Components of a Comprehensive Financial Plan for Couples

12 May 2022

Comprehensive financial planning for yourself is not the same as that performed on behalf of a couple. If you are married, have a life partner, or cohabitate with a significant other, it is in your interest to obtain comprehensive financial planning for couples. Our fee-only, fiduciary CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ (CFP®s) guide couples and individuals.  

The fiduciary duty is an essential point of distinction as it means we have a duty of care to you and your spouse or significant other. We suggest investment products, services, and strategies that are most likely to help you make money as opposed to our planners.

 

Is it time to receive financial advice as a couple? Discuss your financial life with an Akron-Canton financial advisor at McGervey Wealth Management. 

 

Financial Planning for Couples Starts With a Net Worth Assessment

In the context of financial planning for couples, net worth refers to the total assets held by both individuals minus their cumulative financial liabilities. Our planners will tabulate your combined net worth and your individual net worth. The calculation of each amount sets the stage to make sound financial decisions.

Calculating net worth requires the addition of assets ranging from investments to savings, insurance plans, credit history, and real property. Subtracting the cumulative financial liabilities of both individuals determines the net worth. At this point, your advisor will help you determine the optimal approach to combining assets or, alternatively, keeping some assets separated.  

For example, it might be mutually beneficial to create a joint account for each spouse or life partner to contribute their fair share of money to shared interests. Examples of a couple’s common financial interests include funding a child’s college education, purchasing a home, or even paying for daily expenses.  

Setting Financial Goals

Your wealth manager’s guidance will help you establish goals for the short-term and long-term. Together, you will delve into your life aims, be it starting a family, buying a house, or financing a vehicle. This professional will help you chart a financial course to achieve those goals.  

Your CFP® will break down all the numbers that help you establish realistic goals for the short-term, medium-term, and decades ahead, then show you how to reach those destinations through prudent financial management.

Securing Finances

The average person saves and invests a percentage of each check, then spends the rest without a second thought. Some people are stretched so thin that they don’t have much in their savings and investing accounts. It is imperative to have a financial cushion as a couple—you’ll find that surviving a financial crisis is that much easier when your finances are secure.  

Securing your finances as a couple means more than dedicating a percentage of your earnings to bank savings accounts and investment accounts. Truly secure finances are those in which both partners account for calculated risks. Meet with your advisor, and you’ll receive invaluable advice pertaining to the optimal investing strategies based on your unique tolerance for risk.  

Your wealth manager will guide you in shoring up your finances if your investment risks lead to losses. From insurance policies to expense minimizations and saving a percentage of each paycheck, there are plenty of ways to amass a financial cushion that helps you brace for the impact of a financial setback.

Investment Strategy

The mainstream investing media harps on passive investing in which hard-working Americans set it and forget it when allocating money to stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, and other investment vehicles. There is certainly some merit to passive investing, yet there is an even better argument for active investment management through a professional with a fiduciary duty to you, the client.  

Meet with a wealth manager for financial planning for couples, and this professional will do much more than merely project potential earnings based on an investment strategy. Every financial decision your CFP® makes on your behalf is based on your appetite for risk and comprehensive financial modeling of your current financial situation and your desired situation. This macro view of your finances as a couple makes it much easier to amass wealth across the long haul, regardless of whether there is a bull or bear market ahead.  

The key takeaway from the investment monitoring component of financial planning for couples is it is not in your interest to spend your limited time analyzing the merits and weaknesses of the seemingly endless number of financial securities. Instead, let your advisor do the work on your behalf so you and your significant other can focus on remaining gainfully employed.   

A Plan for Spending 

Successful couples tend to be on the same page in terms of saving and investing, yet spending also plays a vital role in a couple’s financial future and the relationship itself. Chances are, you spend money on different items than your spouse or a life partner. Start tracking your spending, and you’ll have a better idea of where, exactly, your discretionary income from each paycheck goes.  

Trim the metaphorical financial fat of your spending to maximize the money allotted to saving and investing, develop a budget that makes sense for both of you and stick to the plan with the assistance of your dedicated planner. Continue to monitor your spending to stay on course. You’ll find it much easier to save for needs across posterity—your hard work results in meaningful financial gains that advance your financial interest as a couple.

Tax Planning

Now that you have a plan for saving, investing, and spending, it is time to shift your attention to tax planning. Your advisor will help minimize your tax burden with capital gains tax-loss harvesting. They will also help estimate your year-end tax refund or money owed so you can plan your finances and get a better sense of whether your financial goals can be reached in the year ahead.  

Ideally, you will meet with your planner at the start of each financial year, setting the stage to take full advantage of all tax deductions and exemptions. Your CFP® will also help you determine if it is financially prudent to file separately or jointly. Learn how tax laws can impact your tax planning.

 

Ready to assess your spending habits and align your financial goals more effectively? Akron-Canton investment management with McGervey Wealth Management is a good idea!

 

We provide holistic, comprehensive financial planning with everything you need to safeguard your assets, maintain a sound trust, and remain tax compliant. Our detail-oriented financial planning gives you and your loved one(s) the financial support needed to live comfortably now and into the future.

Cohesive efforts will make a world of difference. Call us today!

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More About the Author: Matthew McGervey, CFP®, MBA

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Matthew has a broad knowledge of personal financial planning strategies and solutions.