Keeping the Financial Peace




By Colleen Gillespie


Call me sentimental, but October is always a special month for me and my husband. In mid-October, we will celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary. It’s been a blessed journey, and like many couples, our financial peace waxes and wanes as we plan for new milestones in our lives.

On our Facebook page last month, (like us on Facebook –, we featured an article entitled “Money Tips for Newlyweds.” In that article, it was noted that in a recent study, “88% of Millenials admitted that financial decisions were a source of tension.” From our personal and professional experience, we don’t believe that Millenials or newlyweds corner the market on this issue, and these tips offer sound advice whether you are about to get married, or celebrating many years of wedded bliss. To access the “tips,” please click on this link (, and feel free to share the article! It might be the greatest wedding gift you could give!

Now if you’re in a relationship, you don’t need multiple studies to describe the role that finances have in stressing a partnership. But do you understand where the sources of discord or discomfort come from? What role models did each of you have related to finances growing up? What are your philosophies on saving versus spending? The use of credit? Do you have a common budget, and do you both stick to it? Is one of you in control of the finances, and how does the other feel about that? A lack of financial compatibility can lead to disagreements, which can put more and more stress on the union.

I’m passionate about helping couples plan for their future, whether that be saving for a first or new home, education planning for children, or preparing for a new chapter in their lives – retirement. What drives me is my personal experience with my parents. As a caregiver and power of attorney for them during their later years before they passed, it was apparent that these important topics were not discussed, or if they were, there wasn’t a consensus. Despite being married for over 43 years at the time of their retirement, they both had different views on what retirement looked like for them. My dad’s compromised health not long after retirement solved the riddle for them, and they did not experience the golden years that either really desired. Sound all too familiar to you, or someone you know?

There are many times when my degree in social work comes in handy, as we need to serve as a facilitator of difficult, yet important conversations to help couples align their expectations. These sometimes tough conversations aren’t limited to just couples – many individuals are faced with multiple financial decisions, which can be very overwhelming. But from these conversations, goals and strategies can be developed. We monitor and update the goals and activities, and encourage you to do the same with us. If you, or someone you know would benefit from having this type of conversation, please give us a call at 360-464-2025, or you can use our online appointment scheduler ( We have many tools at our disposal to assist in developing your personal road map.

So, in addition to having a very nice dinner, we will use our anniversary as an opportunity to have important discussions on our finances, and check-in on our common goals. Have our priorities changed, requiring a shift in our financial strategies? Life can be so crazy, and it seems strange that we need to schedule a time to talk, really talk about what’s important, but its worked for us for a couple of decades and keeps the financial peace.