The TIAA 2017 Family Money Matters Survey has some disturbing results. It shows that the families surveyed are OK with the idea of talking about finances, but few follow through. For instance, 74% of parents and 87% of adult children respondents said financial conversations are important—but just 11% of parents and 37% of adult children admit they started a conversation on any financial topic.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently reminded readers in its article, “It's high time families start having money talks,” that the money talk is crucial. For parents, the four major topics are estate planning, shelter, personal finances and health care. Parents need a will (and possibly a trust). All information regarding bank accounts, savings accounts, mutual fund investments and retirement savings plans should be documented and collected. Sharing thoughts about housing is important, and family members need to know about your medical directives.
You should try to keep focused on the major topics, like whether they have a will, their plans to stay in the house or moving, along with the number of bank accounts.
One way to get this conversation going, is to also volunteer your own information.
These financial discussions are important and practical. However, they could also be even better by exchanging knowledge, experience, and information about money and values.
One example is charitable giving and volunteering. A study from the University of Indiana-Purdue University, found that parents who volunteer are more likely to have children who do the same. They also found that the choice also goes the other way.
Young and older adults may find charitable giving and volunteering as a good way to share philosophies about money and values. Older adults might think about an ethical or legacy will. That’s a statement of the values you’d like to pass on to your children and other members of your family. Young adults can also tell their parents what values they’ve learned from them.
Compelling evidence shows that millennials get along with their aging parents and vice versa. With that in mind, it’s high time to start the financial talks.
Reference: Minneapolis Star Tribune (April 1, 2017) “It's high time families start having money talks”