Could You Use a Little Financial Therapy?

18 May 2016

Do you know that fully 72% of American adults feel stressed about money? And no wonder:

• Only about 14% of baby boomers have a written retirement strategy.

• Approximately 47% of boomers expect Social Security to provide the biggest portion of their retirement income.

• For a 2014 college graduate, average student loan debt is $33,000, and many graduates owe substantially more.

• About 75% of Americans have less than $1,000 saved.

• Households with credit card debt carry an average of $16,000 in such debt.

Many of us see, or have at some time seen, a “shrink” to help us deal with life’s stresses. Your financial advisor can help you “shrink” the daily ins and outs of your financial matters to manageable proportions, and significantly reduce stress in the process. Here are some of the ways a good financial planner can provide “therapy” for your financial picture – and help you reduce stress.

1. Reduce the strain financial pressures can put on your family life

Among married people, money is the #1 cause of stress in the relationship. Your financial planner can both help you and your spouse navigate through your current turbulence to smoother financial waters, while providing a “safe space” where you can both discuss your views and needs.

2. Assist in developing a financial legacy – harmoniously

Financially secure families can face friction with respect to longer-term planning questions; well-off parents and their adult children can have widely divergent views on such matters. Together with your estate attorney, your financial planner can help devise a strategic plan to increase the likelihood of all family members getting on the same page, thereby reducing the risk of wills being contested and relationships fractured.

3. Guide you through emotional uncertainty to a rational strategy

Although sound financial planning can greatly reduce stress in the long run, embarking on this course can create real emotional pressure for couples at the outset. A good advisor will keep his cool, and redirect the conversation toward shared goals, promote the development of mutual solutions to challenges, and devise a sound strategy which takes account of the present while planning for the future.

4. Bring clarity to confusion

Even for those who are committed to getting their finances in order can get bogged down when they don’t know where to begin. The best financial planners know what questions to ask to determine financial goals, risk tolerance, and the individuated needs of each client. Only then will they begin devising a financial plan that is based on both sound fiscal principles and the unique needs and goals of the particular client(s).

5. Help you overcome fear

Making changes, even those you know you should make, can trigger resistance. Your financial planner can hold your hand as s/he guides you through the process, while empowering you to confront and conquer any fear of change.

6. Enable you to understand your financial impulses

Your financial planner can help break unwise fiscal habits – such as spending more on luxuries than the budget will allow, or making often exciting but too-risky investments. S/he can help you identify thought-patterns which lead you down these “garden paths,” which can empower you to change these patterns for your own and your family’s benefit.

7. Help you get past “confirmation bias” to clear-headed plans

It is only human – we look at new evidence through filters that confirm our existing beliefs. Your financial planner can – gently, with empathy, but firmly – guide you away from this circle-game toward an open-minded and holistic approach, which addresses your future needs as well as your current comfort.

Do your finances need therapy? Contact us to find out how much sound financial planning can contribute to your overall well-being, as well as your financial health.

No two situations are identical. At RFG, we know that yours is unique. Call us to start building your retirement savings toward the level that is right for you, your family, and your lifestyle.

The above represents general advice. When it comes to planning, one size does not fit all. Rigby Financial Group provides highly individualized, specifically tailored plans for individuals and businesses. Please contact us for advice and assistance in creating a specialized plan that suits your unique situation.


The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.