Spouses with different risk tolerances

Ask NJMoneyHelp

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Q. My husband and I are willing to take different risk. I’m more conservative. We both make our own choices for our 401(k)s but I know we’re supposed to as a couple treat the money like one big pot. Is it okay that we decide separately or what should we do?
— Not agreeing

A. You’re not alone. It’s quite common for couples to have different investing strategies and risk tolerances.

But if you have the same goals for your money, you should be able to come to an agreement.

It’s best to sit down and discuss how you will treat your joint investments going forward, said Bill Connington of Connington Wealth Management in Fairfield.

“Managing your 401(k)s differently is a way of diversifying your assets without much difficulty,” Connington said.

But for your short-term joint goals such as a house, car or other big-ticket items, you should sit down and devise a plan that incorporates both of your investment philosophies and compromise based on time frame, Connington said.

“As most couples know, a good financial plan worked out by both of you together will lead to a joint goal you can work on and reduce stress in the marriage,” he said.

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NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.