Fidelity Investments® has released the third instalment of its Intra-Family Generational Finance Study, which highlights the different approaches mothers and fathers take when discussing financial topics with their adult children.
The study found that mothers have substantially more detailed conversations on topics such as estate planning or wills, health and eldercare and retirement planning.
Mothers are more than twice as likely to describe themselves as “the empathiser” in the family compared to fathers (15% vs. 6%). In addition, they find it easier to talk with their adult children about issues surrounding their personal economy.
In fact, 64% of mothers surveyed say it is “not at all difficult” to start a conversation with their child about their savings and investments – vs. 54% of fathers. Quite often, fathers believe they take a more straightforward approach with their adult children. More than half of the fathers (54%) see themselves as “the pragmatist” when having financial conversations with their adult children.
As a result, adult children speaking with mum get more details on their parents’ retirement plans, and may be able to avoid miscommunication in the future. For example, more mothers (13% vs. 3% of fathers) are planning on an adult child caring for them if they become ill, while more fathers (47% vs. 32% of mothers) are counting on their spouse—both important details for adult children to be aware of when talking with parents.
In addition, the study highlights that significantly more fathers (40% vs. 26% of mothers) are worried that their spouse won’t be financially prepared if they pass away first—another important fact for adult children to note when speaking with parents about mum’s and dad’s financial future.
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