“To the extent that there is a disconnect between parents and their grown children on these financial topics, our data show that families can look to mom to help bridge that gap,” says Lauren Brouhard, senior vice president of retirement in Fidelity’s Personal Investing unit.
Oh the dreaded “money talk.” Where do you start? The experts suggest that you start with Mom.
Fidelity Investments specifically suggests that moms are the best source of open dialogue, even when it comes to the “money talk.” (See also the recent MarketWatch article titled “In family-money talks, start with mom”).
A summary of the numbers from that article:
In the survey of 975 parents and 152 adult children, 64% of mothers said it was “not at all difficult” to start a conversation with an adult child about their finances; only 54% of fathers felt the same way. In addition, 79% of women, versus 69% of men, reported having had “comprehensive discussions” with their adult children about estate planning or wills. The same was true of 66% of women vs. 56% of men about health and elder-care topics and 70% of women vs. 55% of men about running out of money in retirement.
Although there are many reasons why moms might be the best to approach, most of them are mere conjecture. More important, however, is the reality that senior parents really do not enjoy talking about their finances. That is understandable.
The alternative to an uncomfortable conversation may be financial strain on parents and children alike, particularly as the costs of long-term care continue to increase. Take a deep breath, make the call, and get the ball rolling.
Reference: MarketWatch (May 7, 2013) “In family-money talks, start with mom”