Joint Planning Doesn’t Replace Individual Financial Planning

 Are you a casual observer or a committed participant when it comes to mapping out a strategy for your financial future?    Maybe you are already a planner and organizer, or perhaps a visionary that lives in the future, or maybe you are happy to be working on one thing at a time.  Regardless of your starting point managing your finances is like managing your health --- you have to be involved. 

A question that women often ask me is, “Should I be thinking about my financial future separately from my spouse or partner?”  My answer is an unequivocal yes.  This doesn’t mean to disregard your partner or forego joint financial planning.  What it does mean is this:

  1. You will be better prepared if you are on your own at some point in your life
  2. Financial health and well-being is not a “one-size-fits-all” prescription
  3. Involvement provides the opportunity to step back and really ask yourself, “Are we on the right track?”
  4. Looking at individual planning and then coordinating with your spouse can be a way to ensure you both are planning for financial independence when partners handle money matters differently. 

It would be simple if we could decide exactly where we want to go and chart a course accordingly, but remember, life is no ordinary journey. It all starts with the commitment to pull together the different aspects of your individual financial picture and collaborate with a spouse or partner.  Ultimately, the goal is to commit to a game plan because standing on the sidelines is for spectators.

Laurie Renchik, CFP®, MBA is a Partner and Senior Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. In addition to working with women who are in the midst of a transition (career change, receiving an inheritance, losing a life partner, divorce or remarriage), Laurie works with clients who are planning for retirement. Laurie was named to the 2013 Five Star Wealth Managers list in Detroit Hour magazine, is a member of the Leadership Oakland Alumni Association and in addition to her frequent contributions to Money Centered, she manages and is a frequent contributor to Center Connections at The Center.


Five Star Award is based on advisor being credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR), a FINRA registered representative, a CPA or a licensed attorney, including education and professional designations, actively employed in the industry for five years, favorable regulatory and complaint history review, fulfillment of firm review based on internal firm standards, accepting new clients, one- and five-year client retention rates, non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered, number of client households served. C14-011216