Why Intergenerational Communication is Key to Planning
Financial Planners and legal professionals deal with laws, logic and numbers. They are not trained to deal with the ‘soft side’ of the financial planning process, inheritance and legacy planning, which deals with emotions.
As the population ages, Boomers and their parents will be facing many unresolved relationship issues. Both generations dislike talking about uncomfortable subjects like money, death and end-of-life issues. They need help in initiating these crucial conversations before it’s too late.
Financial Conversations With Heart trains staff and principals in how to overcome their emotional resistance and successfully plan for the financial and legacy needs of both generations.
“It’s Not about the Money”
Money is the canvas on which a tapestry of emotions is projected. Learning to move past the generational barriers that interfere with discussions about money and legacy is the landscape of the heart. Increased longevity, remarriage, blended families, geographical mobility and the biggest financial crisis in recent history makes legacy planning more complicated than ever. What keeps people from taking action is, too often, not knowing how to begin the conversation.
Study after study shows that there is a disconnect between what people say they do, and what they actually do. For example, a study by Allianz Life in 2005 found that although Boomers and Elders say they are having talks about legacy and inheritance, most of the conversations are not resulting in meaningful or productive action.
Boomers say they feel morbid, greedy and intrusive asking their parents personal questions about health, estate planning, end of life preferences and inheritance. Many admit to concerns that their parents haven’t provided the legal structures they would need to be able to help them if needed. They realize how urgent these personal questions are, but often defer to their parents to raise them.
Their parents, the Elders, also feel awkward about raising the subjects of inheritance and legacy. This generation isn’t comfortable discussing “touchy subjects”, talking about their feelings or initiating conversations that make their children uncomfortable.
Opening up the emotional channels to conversations from the heart gives Boomers and Elders the impetus to overcome their denial and procrastination and get the planning process going. Then the planning tools available through financial and legal professionals are more likely to be utilized.
Financial Conversations With Heart is proud to be a CFP Certification Education Program Sponsor.