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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Talking with middle age children about our and their finances

Both Hubby and I were very fortunate that our parents were totally open with us about their finances and set up revocable trusts with their children as co-trustees. That meant there were no worries about their financial situation while they were alive and easy execution of their estates - or so far easy in terms of my FIL's as it is not done but progressing as anticipated.

They never asked about our finances though so we felt free to talk to them without judgement and we have tried to follow the same pattern with our sons. As a result it all gets talked about with no drama.

This weekend was no exception. My newly married 47 year old son and DIL asked how we organized our finances (joint accounts or separate) and how we tracked and budgeted for our household. They are quite experienced tracking their investments in rental properties and their side business but are looking at how, or if, to totally merge their personal finances. Since my since son organizes and processes information pretty much the same way I do, it was nice to be able to share the Excel spreadsheet I set up for tracking income and expenses and have used and tweaked for years. That led to a discussion of how much we are needing to live on and how we have our savings invested now that we are both retired and on Medicare.

I do love this ongoing openness and sharing.

I know not all families can sit and have a calm and interested discussion of these things and feel really blessed with both my son's maturity, sense of responsibility and calm emotional states when it comes to money. I'll take a tiny smidgen of credit for that, but it really is all to their credit as they have both deliberately created the lives they want and their way of dealing with others to match their values, personalities and goals. Thank goodness they are also care about our well-being financial and otherwise.

Lots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend.

I hope you are feeling loved and thankful too.

5 comments:

  1. Our oldest daughter loves to share her saving milestones, and frequently discusses investment strategies with my husband. It's nice, and we are pretty good about simply listening without visible judgement (ha!).

    We are happy to share our investment strategies with both daughters, but not so much our net worth. I worry a bit that if they realized how well positioned we are, they might begin to have expectations we are not yet prepared to meet. I think it's important that they figure things out on their own without us consistently helping. We do have everything in order, however, should something happen to us, and my older daughter knows where to find everything. She's impeccably honest, and has a law degree, so we know her younger sister will be in good hands with regard to the eventual execution of our estate. Hopefully not for a good long time to come!

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    1. How lovely that she is comfortable talking with you so openly! We haven't shared net worth either although both sons have asked if we think we will be ok financially for the rest of our lives or if they should factor helping us into their planning. My husband is the executor for his father's estate somewhat by default as his brother is sort of sitting back waiting to be told what to do. We are lucky they get along and trust each other totally as my brother and I do too.

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  2. It's important to be able to talk honestly with our grownup children about all different issues, and so good for you for being able to sit down and discuss this sometimes touchy topic. My kids ask me for money advice now and then; but based on your example, I know we could do a lot better.

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    1. We had great role models in our parents openness about their financial situation once they were older. I do wait to be asked before I offer advice though - most of the time at least LOL.

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  3. Yours is a rare situation, I am afraid. But such a great example. My parents were savers. Especially my mom, who would buy broken or used because it was almost a game with her and not because they couldn't afford new and better quality. She would shop 4 grocery stores to take advantage of everyone's sales in the days before price-matching. And now they have savings that far exceeds anything I will ever have. Bless their hearts. What a compliment that your son and DIL came to you all for this discussion!

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