I was privileged to be asked recently to speak on the panel of the Love and Money event, organised by the Money Advice Service (MAS) in conjunction with Relate & the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments (CISI) of which I am a member.
The panel explored relationships, money and the interactions between love and finance. We examined the implications of how money guidance, relationship support, financial advice and planning sectors could support couples to talk about money.
Disagreements over finances are a major source of conflict in relationships. Relationships can also pose challenges for couples’ money management. If couples have different approaches or attitudes towards money, this can create difficulties or conflicts over finances can have deeper roots in underlying relationship dynamics.
Dealing with conflicting approaches towards money is therefore a significant challenge for financial planners/advisers as well as for relationship counsellors/therapists, but what was clear that evening was that, through working together and learning from each other across sectors, we may be able to improve the information, guidance, and support for consumers to talk about money and work together on their finances.
These discussions and the comments contributed by the audience brought together the financial advice/planning, relationship support, money guidance and financial services sectors to develop a more holistic and cross-sector understanding of the issues and to identify ways forward for cross-sector collaboration to help couples to talk about money.
What became clear is that we were able to identify ways of improving our professional practice, drawing on insights from research and practice across the different sectors. There was much synergy between financial Planners, the Relate Counsellors, MAS and the academics also on the panel.
I believe that there is a great opportunity for these groups to work together and share ideas, training and influence on government bodies for funding and innovation in this area. We should explore these to work collaboratively, increase coordination and deliver new solutions for our clients. Healthier relationships and Planners’ understanding of how these can be achieved means a more constructive approach to planning couples’ finances for the future.