Romance And Financial Planning: Interview With Divorce Financial Advisor Gary Jefferies
“But it’s just not romantic!” Cry the ladies, when the words ‘Pre-Nup’ or ‘Living Together Agreement’ are uttered.
Well it’s not romantic fighting over the assets either, if you are one of the 50% (if you include cohabiting couples) who will separate at some point and need to split the house, the savings, the pensions, and anything else they or the lawyers see fit to divide.
And here’s the thing – I worked out once that your are about 7 times more likely to leave a relationship alive than dead. But no-one complains it’s ‘unromantic’ to create a Will – especially if they have children.
Financial expert Gary Jefferies is concerned at how many couples avoid creating a financial plan of any kind, even though the benefits to them could be immense.
“Planning ahead and knowing in advance you will be able to afford the University fees for your children, or when you can afford to retire – these are questions that I can help people answer years in advance, allowing them many more opportunities in the meantime to make their financial future pan out just how they want it to. They seem to think it’s scary to take control of your financial future – but I do all the numbers. All they have to do is think about what they want for their life to look like and predict their needs and those of their family.”
Being a bit scared to talk about money may be the reason why so many couples still don’t create a pre- or post-up.
While prenuptial agreements are not formally legally binding, case law confirms that agreements which are entered into freely and with a full understanding of the implications should indeed be upheld, unless it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement. Provided certain safeguards are met – for example, updating the agreement every few years, and any other sensible stipulations you choose to put in place – parties to a prenup are very likely to be held to the terms of the agreement.
But before you run off to speak to a lawyer – think for moment. Who are the experts in splitting pensions, working with numbers and making long term financial forecasts? It’s not lawyers. It’s the job of Financial Planners.
These are not the IFA’s who do mortgages and pensions (though some do that as well) – these are the financial experts who literally look into the future and help you to plan what you want to happen, and also what to do if that plan changes (like going through divorce).
You see, you don’t have to approach a pre-nup or cohabitation agreement with dread. Why not create a beautiful life plan, based on all the wonderful things you expect to happen? A financial planner can help you ensure that you reach your financial goals by telling what you need to do in the meantime to make those dreams into a reality.
And then while you’re at it, you might as well include a couple of ‘what-ifs’:
What if one of us dies? (Simple, create a Will).
What if one of us leaves? (Simple, create a financial agreement and turn it into a pre-nup or cohabiting agreement).
And of course that’s where the lawyers come in. You want to make sure that your agreement – which you can always get extra help to create with a life coach or a mediator if the discussions become tricky – is finally turned into a legal document. Just like you would with a partnership agreement with a business partner.
You can have an initial no-obligation chat with a Financial Planner to get things moving – and if you are near Tunbridge Wells, give Gary a call and he’ll explain what will be involved with a no-obligation chat.
Romance is lovely, but open transparent honesty and trust is more useful in a long-term relationship. And being able to be grown-up about what life may throw at you, and ensure that any split would not become a traumatic expensive divorce simply because you will already have ‘had that conversation’ – well that’s going to be a sign of a strong relationship, where you are not afraid to talk about money with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Gary agrees: “Many people are nervous about talking about money with their spouse or partner. But being able to have that conversation with the help of a financial planner like myself, is very empowering and liberating for many couples. They often discover that they can do more with their money than they ever realised, and feel more secure about their family’s future. That sense of security often strengthens relationships.”
Gary Jefferies provides Personal Wealth Planning to help clients make the most of their money by investing to achieve specific targets, including being comfortable in retirement. He also provides advice and guidance on the new Pension Freedom rules, and helps clients with issues and opportunities surrounding tax and trusts.
Why not schedule a free call?