Life was different when I was a child. Back then families were larger, and kids were not the center of attention as they are today. One of the sayings that my Dad told us on the infrequent occasion that we had visitors was “children should be seen and not heard.” Today, this admonition may sound harsh. Back then, that is the way it was.
The reason I bring this up is that when we have meetings with couples, it seems that someone has told one of the parties the same thing that I heard as a child. They are seen in the meeting, but are rarely heard from. There can be any number of reasons for their silence. They may be confused, disinterested, or afraid to show their ignorance on any given topic. They may also have a spouse who sucks the oxygen out of the room by monopolizing the conversation.
What can you do if you find yourself in meeting after meeting with nothing much to contribute? Does it make sense for you to continue showing up at meetings in which you are not expected to participate?
The first step in becoming an active participant in your meetings is to draw up a few questions before the meeting. For instance, how much are we worth? Can you tell me how our money is divided? Do we still need life insurance?
Now that you have your questions set, what is the best way to bring them up in the meeting? It may be helpful to tell your spouse that you have a few questions that you would like to bring up at the beginning of the meeting. Be sure to have your questions written down, and do not move on to the next question until you are satisfied with the answer. Do not be afraid to say “I do not understand what you mean.” Remember that you are one half of an economic partnership and deserve to know the status of that partnership. We want you to be engaged and informed.
You are the client, not your money. This distinction lies at the heart of how we view the relationship we enjoy with our clients. From the very beginning, we have aspired to make a difference in each of our clients’ lives by helping them find their unique balance in life.
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