Our financial relationships involve connections with others that affect our financial well-being and life satisfaction.  Without a doubt, the complex circumstances and evolving dynamics of each relationship can have a profound influence (consciously and subconsciously) on the big and little decisions we make on a daily basis.

Nowhere is the influence of emotions on financial behavior more clearly illustrated than in family relationships.  In particular the needs and wants of our children and our parents can weigh heavy on our hearts and minds and undermine our objectivity.  The following questions will help you to reflect on and assess your financial responsibilities across generations:

  1. Do your parents and children often rely on you for financial assistance and advice? If yes, how does this make you feel?
  2. Are you able to effectively communicate with your parents and children about their financial needs and wants?
  3. Are you concerned about balancing the financial needs and wants of your children and aging parents while also preparing for your own long-term financial security?
  4. Are you able to say “no” to your parents and children when necessary?
  5. If you have a spouse or life partner, do you generally agree on the degree of financial assistance to give your children and parents?
  6. Are you willing to seek professional advice, on both a practical and emotional level, to help you deal effectively with the financial needs and wants of your children and your parents?

Reprinted by permission of Money Quotient, NP

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