Financial Advisor Lori Sackler opens up about the need for family dialogues and the issues each generation faces when it comes to money.
Welcome to the fifth installment of this blog series, “The Two ‘M’ Words,” where I dive into the what’s what of money issues and questions families with millennials may be facing.
Why is it that parents don’t share more with their children about their financial affairs? Why are children afraid to bring up the topic, even as they see their parents aging and slowing down, despite still engaged in meaningful activities? As parents approach the later phase of their lives, as health concerns start to emerge, and as financial obligations for their care sky rocket, it’s more important than ever for millennials to be aware of the responsibilities coming their way – and for parents to engage in meaningful discussions about money.
The answer is complicated and the reasons are varied. Suffice to say the “Money
Talk” is not the easiest conversation to have with your children. However, I highly recommend that you figure out your particular situation and decide what topics need to be addressed, the conversations that need to take place, and how to best approach them. Your family’s future could depend on it.
Lori Sacker, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
In my book, THE M WORD: The Money Talk Every Family Needs to Have about
Wealth and Their Financial Future, I offer an easy, 5-step process to help families overcome the taboo topic of money and open a dialogue about the pressing issues that they face with their loved ones who will ultimately be impacted.
Let’s start with the first step: Identifying the transitions you are facing.
As a millennial, it may be college debt or purchasing your first home and starting a family of your own. As a baby boomer, it could be retirement and figuring out how much to spend. Or is it giving to your kids or sharing it with your community? Maybe you need to shift responsibilities as your health declines? There are countless questions and decisions people of all ages encounter throughout their lives, and wealth management is at the root of them all.
Each generation is dealing with change and facing a difficult, often overwhelming, life transition and each transition affects your finances and your family members on some level. It is critical to be clear about what it is you are facing and the topics that you need to address. By creating a game plan and communicating with the family members who will be impacted, your lives can change for the better.
The statistics on successful wealth transfers between generations and its connection with communication is not particularly positive. As Vic Preisser highlights in his book, Preparing Heirs, 70% of wealth transfers fail and the main reason is a breakdown in communication and trust. Preparing heirs and engaging the next generation does not need to be difficult. With a strategic plan and plenty of conversation and help from third parties (which we will discuss in an upcoming blog), there is potential for you to successfully get through every transition. And from my experience, millennials are more open and ready to have that financial conversation with parents than you may realize.
In the next blog in this series, we will discuss the factors interfering with your dialogue, so you can get started in overcoming the roadblocks and get ready for the next chapter of your life.
Lori R Sackler, CFP®, CIMA®
Senior Vice President, Wealth Advisor
Senior Investment Management Consultant
The Sackler Group, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
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