Risk tolerance - EOC Reading 9 Mueller

Saw this problem get discussed a few years back, but no clear resolution. Can you guys help out?

Risk tolerance. The Muellers are in the middle stage of the investor life cycle. Their income (relative to expenses), total financial resources, and long time horizon give them the ability to assume at least an average, if not an above-average, level of investment risk. Their stated preference of “minimal volatility” investments, however, apparently indicates a below-average willingness to assume risk. The large realized losses they incurred in previous investments may contribute to their desire for safety. Also, their need for continuing cash outflow to meet their daughter’s college expenses may temporarily and slightly reduce their risk-taking ability. In sum, the Muellers’ risk tolerance is average.

This is the first I have seen where the risk tolerance is averaged out. I thought rule of thumb is to honor the clients willingness?