Have Questions About Blended Family Finances? Blend Wealth has Answers.

By  Brian Thorp

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Family finances can get complicated quickly. When it comes to blended families, traditional family finances suddenly start to look simple by comparison.

While it may feel overwhelming when you first find yourself navigating the complexities of blended family finances, the good news is that you’re not alone. Millions of American adults have found happiness in subsequent relationships. And in the process, millions of children have gained an extended family of stepparents and siblings.

Of course, personal finances become a little less personal when it comes to blended families. Conversations about money matters previously among just two people may now feel out in the open when three or four people are involved. And difficult discussions can lead to heightened tensions and emotional moments that strain relationships, both new and old.

Fortunately, the husband and wife team at Blend Wealth have walked in your shoes and designed their financial planning practice to specifically help blended families achieve their financial goals.

Alexis and Tim Woodward co-founded Blend Wealth in 2021. From their hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana, Alexis and Tim work with blended families locally and nationwide to help them achieve their financial goals.

To learn more about the services available through Blend Wealth, we sat down with Tim and Alexis to learn more about their personal story and the ways they help blended families succeed with their personal finances.

💞 Get to Know Blend Wealth

This page is organized into sections to help you quickly find the information you need and get answers to your questions:

  1. Q&A with Blend Wealth Co-Founders, Alexis and Tim Woodward
  2. Quick Facts About Blend Wealth
  3. Get Answers to Your Questions About Blended Family Finances

– Q&A With Blend Wealth Co-Founders: Alexis and Tim Woodward –

Four Questions with Tim and Alexis about Blended Family Finances

We asked Blend Wealth financial advisors and co-founders, Tim and Alexis Woodward, to answer a few questions to help us learn more about their background, useful tips for people in blended families, and how they help clients navigate the challenges of blended family finances.

Q: For clients you serve who are in blended families, how do your own life experiences contribute to your conversations about their financial planning needs?

Alexis: As a blended family, we are able to relate to our client’s situations. We understand that even when things are good, they’re still more complicated.

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Unless you’re in a blended family, it’s hard to understand the emotional and financial complexities that come with being blended. What coparenting schedule are you on?  How do you split holidays?  How do you split expenses? How is your co-parenting relationship with your ex-spouse? How is your current spouse adjusting to blended family life?

It’s so hard to understand and feel the emotional weight of these questions if you haven’t lived this journey. Ultimately, our passion is for restoration of the family unit and support for the institution of marriage. Therefore, relationships with our clients are very personal as we encourage clients on their unique blended family life.

When it comes to conversations about their financial planning needs, we are able to empathize and offer suggestions that may differ from those in a first marriage specifically when it comes to estate planning, insurance, beneficiary reviews, and divorce decree reviews.

As we are helping blended families get their financial life in order, we always review beneficiaries and divorce decrees if either spouse was previously married to ensure all obligations are being fulfilled. We often see ex-spouses listed as beneficiaries on retirement accounts and insurance policies even after they have remarried.

Q: What are common financial planning challenges you encounter in your first meetings with blended families and how do you help your clients overcome them?

Tim: The most common challenges that we encounter in our first meetings with blended families are getting on the same page in the following areas:

  1. Merging Finances – How do we best combine our finances? Or do we combine our finances?
  2. Estate Planning – How do we best express our wishes if something were to happen to us?
  3. Co-Parenting – Schedules, emails, texts, expenses, sports, school, etc. How do we track it all? I’m overwelled.
  4. Financial Planning – I’m starting over with half of what I used to have. Is it enough? Do I have a chance at success? Where do I start?
  5. I don’t know what I don’t know – I’m emotionally drained. Help me make sense of it all.

When it comes to combining finances, we try to make sure both couples are aligned in the approach they are using. Some spouses want to combine all of their finances while other spouses prefer to keep things separate or even take a hybrid approach.

This decision can get a little more complicated in blended family situations. For example, if one or both spouses have been previously married, couples may feel that it’s emotionally easier for them to pay things like child support and the kid’s expenses out of a separate account so that their new spouse doesn’t get overwhelmed by all of these transactions that are out of their control.

We like to label the different approaches as “buckets” and explain to clients the pros and cons of each bucket. Any bucket system can work as long both spouses are on the same page and are aligned with the bucket system they have selected to use. Read more about the bucket options for merging finances after marriage.

What if something were to happen to me? At Blend Wealth, we know these decisions can be overwhelming, but they are a solvable problem. We help understand each clients priorities, we share best practices, and we help simplify the estate planning process.

Next, we help blended families create an action plan for the future. We understand the added complexities of blended families and we help show new families a path to success in their new blended family life. This allows families to spend more time pouring into their marriage and family – in other words, more time blending, while knowing that their finances are being proactively managed.

Finally, we provide copious amounts of encouragement. We are our clients’ biggest cheerleaders when things are challenging and when things are good. Having a stable and secure peer group for blended families is so important.

Q: Unlike many financial advisors who work with clients individually, as co-founders of Blend Wealth and a husband and wife team, how do you work together or divide responsibilities to best serve your clients?

Tim: Alexis and I make a great team! For us, Blend Wealth is just an extension of our own blended family. Our clients are our extended family.

At the end of the day, we want to make sure each client’s marriage and family are as strong and secure as it’s ever been. To that end, I love to crunch the numbers and Alexis loves to dig deep into the relational and emotional side of money. We each attend every client meeting together as a team, but behind the scenes, we divide and conquer work to ensure clients are receiving the best value possible.

I drive business strategy and operations, while Alexis builds financial plans, trades client’s investment portfolios and handles marketing and social media. You can learn more about us personally on our blog.

Q: Are there online resources or communities useful for blended families and their finances you recommend to your clients?

Alexis: Despite the fact that 40% of families are blended, most blended families quickly realize there are not many resources that speak directly to their situation.  However, some of our favorite blended family resources include:

  • Family Life Blended – They have incredible resources including many books geared specifically for blended families.  Are you the step-dad?  Are you the step-mom?  Are you considering marriage to become a blended family?  Family Life Blended has you covered – all from a Biblical perspective which we love.
  • Blended Kingdom Families – Podcast, books, conferences, and more.  If you want to know blended family best practices, this is your resource.
  • XO Marriage – We both strongly believe that the results you achieve are a direct result of the effort you put in.  And we feel strongly that EVER blended family needs to be attending a marriage conference annually.  This is the perfect date weekend to support, re-affirm and energize your marriage and your blended family.
  • Our Blended Blog – If you want to understand the intersection of marriage and money, blended families and finance, there is no better place than Blend Wealth.  We would love to connect.

📗 Quick Facts About Blend Wealth

Year Founded:2019
Wealthtender Profile Page:Blend Wealth
Co-Founders: Alexis Woodward CFP®, CDAA™ | Tim Woodward, CFP®, CDAA™, MBA
HQ Location:Indianapolis, Indiana

🙋‍♀️ Have Questions About Blended Family Finances?

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About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

Brian Thorp

Founder and CEO, Wealthtender

Brian and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

To make Wealthtender free for readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Learn more. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers.
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