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Finances may seem like a private, personal matter, but significant headache and heartache can be avoided by involving those you love in discussions about your finances and financial decisions.
According to a recent survey released by GoBankingRates, 73% of Americans have not had conversations with their aging parents about finances. 22% of the survey responders said they don’t plan to have any discussion, because their parents’ finances are “not their business.” The trouble is that parents’ finances can easily become a mess of a business for the entire family, when age or illness prevents parents from managing their own affairs.
One reason to involve family in financial matters is because children may end up caring for aging parents. As Americans continue to live longer lives, debilitating illnesses like dementia are becoming more prevalent. Instead of waiting until the faculties of parents are affected, families should discuss finances early on, in the event that children must become the decision-makers.
A second reason to involve family in finances is that children may need to help support their parents financially. One quarter of Americans have no retirement savings, so the burden of making financial decisions and payments may fall upon children in the future.
A final reason for open financial discussions is that it is important for children to understand the legacy their parents hope to leave. Legacy planning includes discussing one’s legal documents (wills and powers of attorney), as well as a host of other qualitative and quantitative talking points that will help your family when they need it most. Parents must be in a sound frame of mind to sign those legal documents. In order to avoid misunderstanding and potential for a complicated court process, it is beneficial to have those conversations now rather than later.
The Family Legacy Journey can help. The Family Legacy Journey is a unique process offered by Ambassador Advisors, aimed at facilitating lasting communication between loved ones about finances and other key matters.
The Family Legacy Journey is a multi-step process: the Family Legacy online survey, Family Legacy notebook, and the Family Legacy analysis and recommendations.
The professionals at Ambassador Advisors will provide critical feedback after your notebook is created, and you will have the notebook to share with your family members.
Ambassador Advisors will be happy to provide additional guidance about your legacy or financial concerns you may have. Before you are no longer able to handle your affairs, taking these preemptive, proactive steps will show your family that you care.
Any opinions expressed in this forum are not the opinion or view of American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) or American Portfolios Advisors, Inc.(APA) and have not been reviewed by the firm for completeness or accuracy. These opinions are subject to change at any time without notice. Any comments or postings are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial instruments. Readers should conduct their own review and exercise judgment prior to investing. Investments are not guaranteed, involve risk and may result in a loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investments are not suitable for all types of investors. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purposes of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each tax payer should seek tax, legal or accounting advice from a tax professional based on his/her individual circumstances.