A Modern Day Fable:
Frank, a retired police officer, met with his financial advisor several times right before he retired in order to ensure that all the pieces of his financial puzzle were put together in a smart and cohesive manner. But there was a BIG problem: his wife, Barbara, never attended the meetings. At age 65 Frank finally hung up his badge and settled into retirement.
Frank thoroughly understood that a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds was a powerful and consistent way for his money to make money. Frank also understood that it was OK to start spending his hard-earned savings now that he was retired. He had big plans. Buy an old boat, fix it up. Take his wife to the Caribbean for a few weeks each year. And maybe join the local country club where all of his golf buddies hang out.
“Barb,” Frank said, one day as they were drinking their morning coffee together, “I’m thinking about checking out a nice bass boat I saw online.”
Barb’s eyes widened and stared at her husband incredulously. “What do you mean!? We can’t afford that!
Frank responded quickly, “Don’t worry about it. We are fine. My advisor says that we can spend nearly $3000 a month from our savings above and beyond our budget. They are only asking about $10,000 for the boat. I have it all figured out. We’ll be fine.”
Barb shot back, “Are you out of your mind, Frank? It said last night on the news that the Dow Jones just went way down. And you know what? Nancy next door keeps talking about this stuff she’s reading online. She is positive that the economy is about to collapse. Frank, there is no way we can be spending money on stuff like this.”
Frank saw the look in his wife’s eye, and knew she meant business. His dreams of trolling the Gulf began to fade away…..
Moral of the Story: If you are married, be sure to include your spouse in any financial planning discussions. I don’t care if you usually handle “this kind of stuff.” If you aren’t on the same page as your spouse, you may end up like Frank, sitting on the sofa, watching a show about fishing, dreaming of what could have been….