The focus of my financial services life has been around women, their friends, and families, and their financial goals, dreams, and solutions. Sometimes the woman was married or in a committed relationship. Other women were single, having been divorced or widowed. Some had never been married and always made independent decisions about money and money issues. Honestly, the easiest clients to work with were women who were single, or those women who had an understanding within the relationship that they were the lead on financial matters, or had a husband who listened and freely collaborated unemotionally about goals and decisions. I would give each a budget sheet and ask them to give their estimates of monthly expenditures. Then we would compare them. Couples with good communications and clear understanding of their money management agreements did this with ease. Others often learned new things, or things they wished they hadn’t. On occasion I could sense the relationship vaporizing right in front of me. Having that goal conversation and then attaching the money part of reaching that goal for those requiring money (some goals are not money things at all). Yes, communication and goal setting is so important. I think we find the term goal to be a little clinical, so basically the question is, what do you want to accomplish, how do you want to accomplish it, and when!