Deciding on the best investment tools can be stressful for an individual, but when balancing the needs and wants of others the situation can grow contentious. Even sitting down with an advisor can leave people in the dark about the best course of action unless everyone is on the same page about the strategy.
There are options available to help keep finances safe without inflaming relatives, but getting to these solutions can present hurdles. Understanding what's available and how to handle money is something that could require intense financial investment advice.
Be openly communicative
One of the leading causes of unrest in long-term, familial financial planning is that participants in the conversation may not know the full asset picture. Detailing bank accounts, stocks, bonds, real property and more will provide everyone with an arsenal of information upon which to base their financial strategies.
In situations where families are trying to include loved ones in the planning phase, it's essential that parents be upfront with their children. Bloomberg Businessweek wrote a Fidelity study showed that more than 95 percent of adult children feel they will need to be financially responsible for their parents at some point in the future, which may not be true but could cause undue stress, regardless. Many cited lack of transparency in conversations with their elders in terms of their financial wellness, leaving room for these doubts to fester. Adding to the issue, two-thirds of parental survey respondents said they would rather talk to a financial investment advisor than their own families regarding finances.
"Getting more comfortable with these conversations is going to be really important," said Kathleen Murphy of Fidelity. She pointed out that, while monetary discussions may be uncomfortable for some, dodging important details and leaving family members in the dark could skew everyone's comprehension of the real ongoing situation. On top of that, while personal income could be an issue, with the way the U.S. marketplace has been fluctuating in recent years, the need for financial assistance could also be changing.
Mix up the strategy
In the past, retirement planning and life insurance were the big things to focus on in terms of protecting families for years to come. However, as the retirement age shifts upward and more people choose to remain in the workforce, either from personal interest or monetary need, the idea of planning for a period of non-working has turned into simply having extra assets to fall back on later in life.
John Diehl of The Hartford said in an interview with West Virginia Metro News that financial plans are now targeting subsistence for later years, rather than simply a reliable income for after a career has ended. He said that more people are staying at their place of employment or even seeking entrepreneurship instead of retirement, subtly changing their investment portfolios to reflect more flexible payout strategies and mixed maturation periods.
Another key factor in this scenario, Diehl told Metro News, was that economic factors in recent years have become highly mercurial. Having a financial plan that only accommodates retirement could be too narrow a scope, leaving some unprepared to meet the requirements of a changing marketplace.
"I would say the biggest mistake is not having a vision or a plan in place for what comes next," he said. "The word 'retirement' is beginning to disappear in the country's dialogue."