It’s often been said that you should never discuss money, politics, or religion in polite company. As you edge closer to retirement, though, it might be a good time for you to start having monetary conversations with your family members. While such conversations can get a bit heated, there are tips you can follow to help you navigate these dangerous waters.
Create a Plan
You should always go into your conversation with a game plan. While your family can chime in about money tips and their own needs, you should know exactly what you want to say and what your own goals are going to be. This will help you avoid getting off-topic and allow you to focus on the goals that are important to you.
Use Neutral Language
People can get defensive when it comes to money, and family members can easily let old grudges boil to the surface when you begin to discuss dollars and cents. All language you use during a monetary conversation should be neutral, focusing on “I” statements rather than “You” statements. This shouldn’t be a time for discussing problems, but rather a time for discussing plans and solutions.
Only Disclose the Necessities
It’s often a good idea to look at money conversations as a “need to know” type of situation. If you’re planning on doing something with your money that won’t impact the rest of your family directly, don’t bring it up. If you’re planning on doing something that will upset one member of the family, discuss it with him or her privately first. The last thing you want is to cause a scene when you need to work through money problems.
The most important thing you can do, though, is have the discussions themselves. Don’t avoid them because they are hard – it’s that difficulty that makes the discussions necessary. With a bit of forethought and a lot of effort, you can have the conversations your family needs to have before you retire.