K.A.&R.R. - Arizona
As a couple entering into a new marriage during middle age, our goal was focused around what we wanted to do with our money, having a better understanding of when we could retire, where we would live, what our lifestyle could be like, if we would outlive our assets and so on…What we didn’t know was how much our separate behaviors and habits with money influenced our outcomes with money.
Having these types of conversations around money with your spouse isn’t easy. We were afraid to talk about these personal subjects as they were personal. As a new couple, we wanted to get it right this time. We didn’t want money to ruin our relationship. The Money Focus program made it easier than expected. It took us through our values regarding money which was really interesting. It also provided a framework for very detailed budget related discussions without getting negative. Bhaj personally made a tremendous contribution. She was very methodical at the right time when it came to conversations around personal values on the topic of money and eventually made sure we were on the same page regarding our use for money, our budget and how to structure our ongoing conversations about money.
The workbook materials are very thorough. Moving forward many years later, we still have an annual meeting with Bhaj going through the same materials, which is comforting because it ensures that we are on track with our behaviors and habits. It allows us to have easier conversations with our investment counselor because we are in agreement about what we want our money to do for us. We stay true to our budget thanks to the program and our conversations around money are easy, no matter what the topic is.
In terms of how financial conversations typically occur, we periodically check in with each other and talk about our plans for spending money for the next 3-6 months. The real benefit is that we both have 100% clarity and alignment around the topic of money and how it is spent. As a result, we have a much closer and easier relationship. There is NEVER any disagreement over money.
The experience of working with Bhaj was different than I expected. We went to Bhaj thinking we were going to talk about how to look at financial numbers. Instead, Bhaj made us think about what is important to us, both together and individually, in our lives around money so that we are able to plan for it financially. We understand each other now so much more deeply! I know I already said this, but it is so wonderful that there never is any turmoil at all over money.
One unexpected thing was that Bhaj has become a very good friend. She truly cares about our well-being and is a very interesting person to know. She is artistic, has a background in the arts and is a very well rounded person. We appreciate her varied interests, such as tennis, music and photography.
On the topics of family, money and philanthropy, Bhaj is the 1st person we turn to.