Most advisors occasionally encounter couples who can’t agree on a significant financial decision. Indeed, money issues are a leading cause of stress in romantic relationships, according to a survey released last year by SunTrust Bank. While 35% of respondents experiencing relationship stress said the cause was money, only 25% claimed “annoying habits” to be the culprit.

Given the central role money plays in even healthy, loving relationships and marriages, planners need to develop strategies to work effectively with couples who disagree. “A big part of our role as financial counselor is, to some extent, behavioral psychologist,” says Jake Barnes, CFP and vice president with Financial Advisory Service in Leawood, Kan.

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