Trying to find a way to ask your parents about the potentially sensitive topic of their finances? You might have better odds of getting the conversation going if you start with mom instead of dad.
Have you had “the talk” with your senior parents? You know, the one about their finances? According to experts, ask Mom first.
Fidelity Investments specifically suggests that moms are the best source of open dialogue, even when it comes to the “money talk.” In fact, MarketWatch recently considered this in an 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.
All that noted, “the talk” needs to be had, sooner rather than later.
Reference: MarketWatch (May 7, 2013) “In family-money talks, start with mom”