In many families, money still is not a typical dinner table discussion, but we think it should be. Surprisingly, this is especially true when it comes to affluent parents. And, we hope to change it because one of the most important things you can do is talk to your kids (and your parents) about money.
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.
But, that’s just faulty thinking, wouldn’t you agree?! We hope so! But, if not, read on …
The amount of money generated by your family, and what will happen to it when you or your parents become incapacitated or die is definitely your business. In fact, we believe it may be the most important business you have. And whether your parents talk with you about it now, or you figure it all out after they die, your parent’s money has a huge impact on you.
And, of course 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. And 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, but you can change that now. And 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, and that you want to influence them in the most positive way possible, when it comes to money.
Consider how you would want your children to approach you to have the money conversation, and how you can do exactly that with your parents?
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, and we can lose tremendous opportunities for passing on more than just money.
As an affluent parent, or the child of affluent parents, 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 a Personal Family Lawyer® most loves to do because they 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 they can help you here, either with your kids, or your parents, please be in touch.