Talking about financial planning can be tough, but meeting with your spouse, children, or grandchildren to discuss financial decisions can better prepare your family for the future. Here are some suggestions you could do to help set up a meeting to talk about financial issues and planning with your family.
For the initial meeting, you may want to keep the discussion small. Who you invite depends on the sensitivity of the topic, family structure, and distance. You can always expand your group in subsequent meetings. If you aren’t sure who to involve, consider asking for input from your financial professional.
Don’t try to cover every financial topic at once. Instead, you can focus on one issue at a time. Sticking to one topic can help keep the conversation focused, and help prevent family members from feeling overwhelmed.
When you have money discussions with your family, a goal may be to make some kind of agreement on a particular topic. Achieving this could take several meetings, so it’s important to be patient.
After you’ve identified the main topics you wish to cover, you may want to create an agenda to keep you on track.
Timing your meeting is important. You may want to avoid having money conversations during big events, such as holidays, as they can be stressful. Instead, you could choose a moment when everyone is in a good place in their lives. Pick a date that works for all your desired attendees and a neutral, comfortable location.
To help ease tensions before the meeting, you may want to plan a dinner to help “break the ice.”
Before the meeting, you may want to get some advice from a financial professional and discuss the family meeting goals.
When you meet with your family, it can be important to lead the conversation in an open, honest, and focused way. Talking about finances can feel strange, so it’s vital to do it in a way that’s pleasant and agreeable for all involved.
Talking about money, especially when the conversation is focused on estate planning or end-of-life decisions, can stir up a lot of emotion in people. Here are some suggestions to help keep emotions manageable during your family finance discussions:
When your family meeting ends, it’s important to help ensure the discussion continues and your loved ones stay informed. Here are some ideas you could do after your meeting:
A financial professional can be a great, objective source of knowledge for you and your family members and will help you realize your goal to have a successful financial meeting. You may also want to introduce family members to your financial professional to help create an enhanced level of trust, better communication, and a greater understanding of your plans.
Midland National offers a Legacy Portrait guide to help you navigate tough financial conversations in a safe space. You’ll find helpful tips, samples, and templates to assist you in planning.
The term financial professional is not intended to imply engagement in an advisory business in which compensation is not related to sales. Financial professionals that are insurance licensed will be paid a commission on the sale of an insurance product.