5 Reasons Your Adult Children Should Come to Your Next Financial Planning Meeting
Many families are reluctant to discuss personal finance, and this resistance can be particularly strong among parents and their adult children. But especially if you’re approaching retirement or already retired, inviting your children into your financial world can be a very good idea.
In fact, we suggest you consider bringing your child or children to your next financial planning meeting.
Here are 5 good reasons why.
- Emergency preparedness
We rarely realize how complicated our financial lives are – after all, we’re in them. But that insularity can make emergencies all the more stressful for loved ones who might need to step in to help.
Giving your child some insight into your financial situation and information about who to call or where to find things can make it easier to keep things on track should you suddenly become incapacitated.
As a starting point, we recommend taking the following steps:
- Compiling all of your accounts, assets, and insurance policies into a single list. Don’t forget account numbers and broker contact information.
- Updating and providing your child with the basics of your estate plan.
- Keeping a list of automatic payments or critical budget items that may need to be attended to if you’re incapacitated. That might include your mortgage payment or automatic deductions from your health insurer.
Meeting your advisor cements this information and can give your child (or children) much-needed support in the event of an emergency.
Even with lists of accounts and payments, something happening to you will likely be very stressful for your loved ones. Knowing that there’s a trusted advisor to lean on in this situation could be invaluable.
- Building relationships for the future
For emergencies and non-emergencies alike, it’s useful for adult kids to know and understand their parents’ financial situation – and their advisor.
Knowing your advisor is very useful if your child ever needs to get more involved in your financial plan in a broader sense. They’ll have a basic starting point and relationship to work from, which can simplify the process and reduce some of the family stress (for both parties) of needing help from one’s kids.
Our client Christy took this approach with her daughter, Maria.
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Christy is a widow who lost her husband to Alzheimer’s, which made her very sensitive to the reality that anyone could face unexpected impairment. To help ensure a smoother financial path in the future, she brought Maria into her financial life, and today Maria often joins Christy for meetings with her advisor – even though she doesn’t really “need” it.
Bringing your child could also provide an opportunity for your child to see some of the benefits of working with a professional advisor. Many people struggle with questions of how to plan for the future, and seeing your solution and the financial planning process could help kick-start a new approach for your child.
- Your children can still learn from you
Even financially stable adults often overlook some of the sheer effort required to build wealth and a robust financial future. Seeing you in action with your advisor can help to get this message home, and even provide a lesson in some of the issues and risks involved in financial planning for retirement and beyond.
Our client Brad came to Vitucci & Associates because his parents were also clients.
He said, “I was doing all the right things – or so I thought – but when I joined my parents for a financial planning meeting I was shocked at how much effort went into retirement planning, and how much every dollar of savings counts. I decided to become a client on the spot.”
Your child may or may not decide to work with an advisor after meeting yours – but they will at least get some insight into the very real questions you’re facing.
- Open the door to future conversations about money
Nothing destigmatizes money like a clear view of a loved one’s finances.
If you’ve been struggling to have honest and open conversations with your family members about money, limitations, and other related issues, inviting them to a financial planning meeting can help.
An advisory meeting offers a neutral environment for difficult conversations, as well as an impartial party to field any questions or mediate disputes. Many families who have experienced financial conflict find that the simple presence of an outsider can help to put everyone on “best behavior,” if that’s an issue, or even just help to minimize some of the bigger emotional upsets that can arise.
Of course, it should be said that the effectiveness of this strategy is highly dependent on the people involved.
In one case, a client couple found that inviting their ambitious son to the meeting was actually counter-productive – instead of taking comfort in their well-thought out planning process he pressed for more aggressive investment in line with his beliefs.
- Take the first step on legacy planning
Finally, knowing where you stand can also help your kids learn about where you want to go from here. They’ll have a chance to see your priorities for the wealth you’ve worked so hard to build, which can translate into a better understanding of what you’d like to see happen beyond your lifetime.
Our children don’t always see the work, planning, and process of legacy planning – at least not until they do it themselves – but inviting them in can help clarify the philosophy and priorities behind your efforts.
Let it spark a conversation about your hopes and dreams for the future– and how you might be able to achieve them together.
If you’re thinking about the future, you need to read this
Multi-generation financial planning isn’t simple, which is why so many parents and grandparents looking to the future consider working with a professional advisor. To help you get started in thinking about your own family legacy, download our free guide to multi-generational financial planning.
Learn about the key issues, important investment considerations, and some of the planning tools you’ll want to consider adding to your toolkit.
Click here to download Keeping the Whole Family on Track today!
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