I have spent quite some time considering how to bring up this subject. I am, after all, one of them (a man, that is). You know, the ones who think they know everything, can solve everything, always have to fix everything, won’t go to the doctor and refuse to ask for directions. Oh, and don’t forget that thing when we don’t listen!
Fortunately between the smart phone and satellite navigation it’s hard to get lost in the car. What about saving for and living in retirement? Who wears the pants? Who makes the decisions and is testosterone interfering with your life in more ways than you realise?
In a recent UK study, it was found that higher levels of testosterone in men (and women) increases the tendency to dominate others, results in a decreased willingness to take account of the opinions of others and a higher tolerance of economic risk.
It seems that success and winning can trigger the creation of greater levels of testosterone. Gamblers on a winning streak get drunk on it. Successful people (men and women) produce more testosterone! Testosterone can cause, amongst other symptoms, overconfidence.
Ever met anyone overconfident enough not to ask for help? Chances are that you are married to one or it’s the person you see in the mirror. What an irony that the more successful you are could undermine how successful you will be!
What does any of this have to do with money?
The answer is that the world of retirement, of investment and superannuation, of pension and annuities, of government assistance and incentives, and of markets and risk, is often all new. The answers are not self evident. The danger is that our retirement system, just like our tax system, is self assessment.
The right answers are not obvious and the errors can go unnoticed.
I have spent my career helping people make the most of the financial system to their benefit; to play the game well. The point is that you have to ask for help as there isn’t any automated service that flags when you are not getting the most from your savings.
As Ella Fitzgerald sang: “T’aint What You Do (It’s The Way That You Do It)”.
There is no right way either. Everyone, couple and family are different. Different goals, different bank balances, different assets and liabilities and different living expenses. Some need less than they have and some need more than they can afford.
If you haven’t consulted an expert then you may be missing out and the sooner that you get help, the wealthier you could be. Look for a financial adviser you can trust. Ask for advice, for a strategy and for guidance to get the most for you and your family.
I may sound like a broken record but if a financial adviser starts with a product discussion instead of asking what you want, leave the room.
Strategy is everything.
Do you and your partner have opposing spending habits? Who spends more? What are you doing about it? Tell us below.