How to get spouse on board with investing???

13 Replies

I have been trying to get involved in real estate for some time now.. I can not get my wife on board with the ideal. She is afraid we will lose our money. Any suggestion to change her mind?

@Danny Hinkle How much exposure has she had to information about REI? I would assume you two have talked about it, considering you are trying to get her on board. Some possible suggestions could be to direct her to some basic resources to give her more information on the concept of investing. Real estate sounds scary to almost anyone who hasn't had much exposure to "demystify" some of how it works. Don't give her information that is real technical or "deep in the weeds", rather just to understand the concept of why and how real estate investing can work.

Another possible approach would be to present to her the concept of opportunity cost and how the riskiest thing isn't investing, but having all your income generated from a W2 job (especially if only 1 of you works).  The more you can reframe her thinking, the better.  Rich Dad Poor Dad always does a great job of that if she hasn't read it yet.  Good luck. You are going about it the right way.  Don't invest until both of you are on board.

@Danny Hinkle I was a reluctant wife once. I think what helped me was meeting other investors and getting the inside scoop on what they were doing and how it was positively impacting their lives. House hacking--buying a property and living in one side while renting out the other--was a great introduction to investing for me as well. It felt like a low-risk buy (since we could easily cover the mortgage even without renters), but since the unit was almost always filled I saw the full power of REI firsthand.

Above all, I think communication is the most important--if you have an open dialogue and address her concerns, I imagine you'll make progress :) Good luck! 

You have already tried and failed? What were her objections? How did you respond?

@Danny Hinkle Change is scary for people. I see from your profile that your a government employee. That means you have access to a tsp or some other 401k type investment vehicle. Make sure your contributing each month. You also probably have access to a pension. With those two things and social security you guys won't be eating cat food in retirement lol. I'd play that angle, my day job is super safe and secure and funding our retirement portfolio. Why not let me try this real estate thing to try and speed up the retirement part of this or get us some extra money coming in for vacations or however you want to frame it.

@Danny Hinkle What were your approaches to her? Maybe, she may take it from a different angle when she feels assurance about REI.

In my situation, my wife hesitated at the beginning when I brought up the investment in REI; however, I slowly build up her confidents day by day by:

1. Showing her your vision of this investment. In our case, we are looking toward building our wealth and eventually replace W2 with rental income in the future.

2. Showing her your plan on how to achieve your vision. Same with other investors, we started at goal and worked backward. This can be 1, 2, or 3+ properties a year depending on your financial situation and your goal.

3. Showing her your numbers. This shows her that you have done your due diligence on working through the number, and it is not a heat of the moment.

4. Lol. Whenever you have a chance, let her listening to BP podcasts. It can be in the car, at home, etc... The REI conversations will unconsciously absorbed into her head. Try to initiate few discussions during this activities.

5. Attend local REI meetups. I did this one last. I need to make sure she had some ideas what people talk about during the meetup so she didn't feel like an outcast. My goal of this activity was to validate our strategy and formula in the deal analysis. After 2 REI meetups, she was on board and we bought our first 4plex few months after that. Good luck and hopefully we will hear some good news from you soon.


@Phat Vi thank you for your response. I ask her to read Rich Dad Poor Dad. She loves to read and I hope she falls in love with this book as much as I did. Thank you for your steps/process you took.. I will try them

@Matt P. Thank you for your response.. She works for the government also and we both contribute to our TSP.. Hopefully cat food is not in our future lol.. Speeding up retirement will be a nice suggestion and may grab her attention

@Danny Hinkle   -  I talked mine into buying a primary residence that's located on a river with legendary Salmon fishing.  It's  the perfect Airbnb.  She gets the benefit of a glorious home that she can show off to her friends and family AND she can play Johanna Gaines and pay her mortgage with Airbnb income.  

It took me years to convince my wife to invest in real estate. It was obvious that we wouldn't be able to retire before 67 if we didn't do something to bring in money from something other than our regular jobs. She had no solutions and the only thing I wanted to do was to buy rentals. She finally allowed me to buy the first rental but I would be 100% on my own. I bought a house, did some repairs, and got some really good tenants. Things went smooth and it changed her thinking. A year later, she was actually pushing me to get the next house.

What helped was her realizing that $40,000 sitting in a savings account was earning us $2 a month. That same money could buy us a house and make us $400 a month, someone else would be paying off the mortgage, and the value of the house would go up 3-5% a year (it's been going up 10%). If things went bad, we could always sell the house. We might lose some money but if you never take a chance you will never get far in life. We started in 2015 and have 3 rentals so far and are working towards #4. I've always been good with money. If the rental thing wasn't working out I would be the first one to sell everything and look for something else. My wife is retiring next month (she's 57) and part of the reason is because of the extra income we make. If things don't go as planned, i'm the one who will have to work more years at a regular job before I can retire. All the pressure is on me so it's not like i'm asking her to follow me off a cliff. I only asked her to have a little faith that I can make this work. We agreed to buy the first one then wait a year to see how things go. If things went well we would consider buying another one. If it wasn't going well, we would sell it and move on. Luckily things went well but it's a lot of work.

I self manage and do all the repairs myself. We just had tenants move out and new tenants move in at one house. The house needed some work. Between working my regular job, planning a vacation, getting taxes done, doing repairs, showing the house, etc... I've worn myself out the past couple of weeks. I got 5 hours sleep yesterday and 5 more today. It isn't like this all the time but be prepared to put in some real work from time to time.

@Danny Hinkle In order to get your wife, or anyone else for that matter, to go along with your plans you need to show them how what you plan to do meets their primary drivers. Each of us have a Hierarchy of Individual Life Priorities (HILP). These are the things that drive us at a subconscious level. This is where inspiration comes from and also where our fears are formed. When these drivers are challenged we feel threatened. When they are being met we feel happy and fulfilled.

Your wife's resistance will be due to the fact that, as she sees it, investing in property is not in alignment with her HILP. Your proposal is not meeting the things highest on her list of what she values most in life. Imagine for second that your wife has a high value on family. In other words, the top of her HILP is family. If your proposal threatens that value she will not be interested and in fact will resist any and all attempts for her to join in. This is because, if she thinks her highest value is under threat, she will protect it any way she can. We will all do this if the top item on our HILP is threatened.

To solve the problem you have, you would be wise to identify with your wife what her HILP is. Once you have done this you can then consider putting a proposal to her about investing in property that is in alignment with her HILP and therefor not threatening it. In fact, it is a good idea for all couples to determine their HILP together. By understanding each others HILP you will have better communication.

I have a process for discovering HILP that I teach. This is not a sale of my services. Just a mention that these tools, when employed correctly allow us to understand the people we deal with at a much deeper level. In your case Danny, you are simply not on the same wave length as your wife in this regard and any manipulation you may use to get her to agree may backfire on you in the future.

The other thing to consider in this case is your wife's risk aversion profile. We all have one of these too! A risk aversion profile is basically an individual persons' ability to feel comfortable with different levels of risk in their investments. Some people have a very high risk tolerance and will take high risks. Other people have a very low risk tolerance and will not accept high risk and will be a lot more conservative in their approach to risk. What is your wife's risk tolerance like? Is she a risk taker or not? The answer to this question will also give you some understanding of how best to present your proposal to her so that it is in alignment with her risk profile.

Everyone has a HILP and a risk tolerance level. If you want to sell something to anyone in the field of investment it is good to know just what these two drivers are. These are the two main things that are driving your wife's decision making process.

Good luck on your journey!

@Danny Hinkle

I had a similar problem. A combo of things worked for in our case. First, demonstrating to my spouse that I wasn't just dreaming, I was willing to work. Showing her I was spending hours and hours educating myself (reading, analyzing deals, watching videos, etc.). Second, I introduced her to the bigger pockets money podcast (the real estate one did not interest her), and that opened the door to her being exposed to FI and stories of successful real estate investing. Then, we worked hard to get on a similar financial page (weekly budget meetings) and her interest in finance related books (and my nudging) led her to read Brandon Turner's "the book on rental property investing." I think that book finally sealed the deal and made the opportunities and concept in REI more concrete for her. But, there was a long process leading up to it (nearly 2 years of patience and baby steps). Be kind, listen to her fears, communicate, and make small deals/compromises (e.g. "I'll listen to a podcast you recommend and you can try this one", I'll read that book on marriage and feelings and you can try this REI one"). I think my attitude of "my way is right, I need to convince you of that," pushed her away, but when I took more of a stance of "there are other ways of doing things, let's explore together," then we found common ground (that just so happened to be where I was standing on the first place).

@Danny Hinkle , I glad I’m not the only one in this boat lol! I’ve been trying for over 10 years now to convince my wife that real estate is a good thing. I’ve been working for builders in new residential construction since ‘99 and have held a residential builders license since ‘04. We live in a strong sales and rental market, so I’m not sure why she’s so adamant against the idea of building or investment property ownership. Maybe one day I’ll figure out a way because using our home for a loan is definitely out... I hope you have better luck than me.