We know it's been a tricky few years for everyone's finances. Hopefully, the advice we’ve given you means you have a more positive outlook about your long-term plans. But why not ask yourself how are you feeling about your financial future in 2024?
If you’re feeling optimistic, you're in good company. January 2024 research by Aegon has found 52% of UK adults felt positive about their finances for the year ahead. At the same time, 38% admit they are worried about their financial situation. Hopefully that doesn’t include you. But the chances are it will include some people you know, perhaps even members of your family.
No matter what your family dynamic, there are certain topics that might be difficult to talk about. And right at the top of that list for many families, are finances.
Money can be a particularly difficult subject to discuss - even though having honest conversations could actually open up financial planning opportunities. They might allow you to help each other and improve your loved ones’ future finances.
This is especially true when speaking with friends and family for tips and advice on money matters. Just imagine how your own financial experience could help younger generations of your family, as they go through life's challenges.
Not to mention when families go that one step further and provide financial support where they can. For example, according to an article on MoneyMagpie, 58% of over-75s say they would lend money to loved ones. Showing that talking to your family about your finances is sometimes a worthwhile endeavour.
It can also really help to talk about trickier topics like any inheritance you plan to leave your loved ones. According to September 2023 research by Charles Stanley, only 64% of us have discussed our wealth plan with family members. What’s more, 14% of us don’t intend to ever have that conversation.
Avoiding such sensitive topics is very understandable, but it might cause problems over family member expectations. November 2023 research by Standard Life found 36% of people aged 18-25 and 29% of people aged 26-41 are not focusing on saving for their retirement because they’re expecting to inherit money or property in future.
How to start a conversation about money with your family
Having financial talks with family members can be really rewarding. Here are some tips to get the most from these conversations:
1. Get a family meeting in the diary
Getting everyone together is a great way to kick-off a family financial chat. So making it official in the diary is an important first step. You can then pick a topic to focus on using a checklist to make sure key points aren’t missed.
Being respectful and listening without judgment while all parties speak is a must. If the discussion starts to get heated, simply take a break. You may not see eye-to-eye on everything, but that’s totally normal.
2. Keep the conversation going
The more you talk about money with loved ones, the easier it will get. So, plan to revisit your conversations on a regular basis.
This will give you the opportunity to talk about how financial situations may have changed. Or if there are goals or other financial milestones you want to let your family know about.
In time, you’ll hopefully develop a better understanding of everyone else’s financial situation and goals. And might also be able to make meaningful plans to support each other.
3. Don’t go it alone
There are some financial decisions where family members might need some additional expertise in the room. In those instances it’s an option to bring in a neutral third party, such as a financial adviser or a money expert. That way they can help move the conversation forward.
This allows you to come together to make individual financial plans that don’t just benefit you, but other family members, with professional guidance.
It’s all about pushing through
Bringing up finances with your family may initially be challenging, but it’s certainly worth pushing through some discomfort to proactively plan for the future.
Having open conversations with family members about your (or their) finances can help prepare your wealth and assets going forward. It can also form tighter bonds between family members, and help make the best-informed decisions for the future.
And if you start talking about money early, it can really help you get on the same page about your financial goals in the years ahead.