Money matters are not exactly the conversation many families have over dinner, especially when it comes to affluent parents. However, such discussions are one of the most important things to happen between parents and their children.
According to the Spectrem Millionaire Corner, a market research group, only 17% of affluent parents said they would disclose their income or net worth to their kids by the time they turned 18. A nearly equal amount, 18% said they would never disclose these numbers to their kids. 32% of the rich parents surveyed by Spectrem said “it’s none of their business” when asked why they would not talk to their kids about money.
However, it most certainly is the kid’s business. Should their parents become incapacitated, children need to know how to manage affairs properly, and should their parents die, they’ll need to know how much, where, and how to access the family assets. These are just some of the reasons why your parents money has a huge impact on you and why your money has a huge impact on your kids.
If your parents are not talking to you about money, it could be because they are afraid that if you know how much money there is, it will make you lazy, unmotivated, or change the course of your life decisions in a negative manner. Maybe you have the same fears of talking about money with your own kids.
But the truth is that whether you know exactly what there is or not, you have a general sense of your family’s affluence and it’s already impacted your decisions in a myriad of ways. That’s why the best way for your family’s money to impact your decisions in a positive manner is to get into open conversation about it all. If you are a child of affluent parents who are not talking to you about money, consider that your job is to learn to communicate with your parents in a way that will have them trust you and the decisions you will make if you know just how much there is.
Perhaps consider that when money has come up in the past, you behaved immaturely and that caused your parents not to trust you. Luckily, that’s something you can change now. In fact, consider the possibility that your parents would love it if they saw evidence of your maturity in this arena. If you are a parent yourself, you probably already know or can imagine that the most important wish you have for your children is that they learn to handle money well. In which case, you want to be a positive influence on them.
Imagine how you would want your children to approach you when it comes to having a conversation about money. Now try to figure out how to do that with your parents to keep things open between you.
We all have to learn about our family’s money eventually and if that doesn’t happen until after our parents die, it can be a much bigger burden to deal with. We can end up losing tremendous opportunities for passing on more than just money because getting into conversation about money now is a huge opportunity to pass on values, insights, stories, and experience that will be lost if you wait until incapacity or death to start facing the truth together.
Helping you talk to your kids or your parents about money is one of the things we most love to do because we see it as a real opportunity for your family to come together and use your whole family wealth to create more connection from one generation to the next. If we can help you here, either with your kids or your parents, please be in touch.
This article is a service of Levi Alexander, Personal Family Lawyer®. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session,™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.