Emotional Wealth Management
Money itself isn't the problem...
It is our interpretation of money, our interaction with it, where the real mischief is and where we find the real opportunity for self-discovery and personal transformation.
- Lynne Twist
author "The Soul of Money"
Talking about how we spend and save money - for the kid's college, vacations, estate planning & retirement, inheritance - anything to do with finances - often activates anxiety. So couples and families often just don’t talk about it.
Couples dodge each other, wanting to keep the peace.
Parents dodge their adult children’s questions, and the children stop bringing it up for fear of seeming insensitive or greedy. Everyone finds it easier to be vague or actively avoid the subject and put it off for another day – another day often happening when there’s a financial or health crisis.
Why all the anxiety and avoidance?
Because addressing financial arrangements means addressing relationships. Every relationship has some “blind spots,” aspects that are unseen and/or unexplored. Often these blind spots concern issues that feel too uncomfortable, too vulnerable, to address in the course of everyday interactions. There just doesn’t seem to be a right time.
To be effective, communication requires a foundation of authentic trust. Communication is a skill that requires both knowledge and practice in order to lead to clarity of understanding and perceptions, and unify the family for common action and shared responsibilities.
- Institute for Preparing Heirs
Start small. Begin the process of opening communication & building trust around less loaded topics. There will likely be a learning curve as various relational challenges, such as past misunderstandings, generational & personality differences, come to the surface. Many families struggle with how to effectively communicate openly, honestly and freely, without misunderstandings escalating into larger conflict.
If having these conversations feels too complicated or unsafe, consider inviting a therapist to guide the process. A trained third party can create a neutral, safe space for heartfelt dialogue, and promote the development of skills and understanding that lead to better family decision-making.
In the end, the conversation is about hopes and fears, history and legacy, love and relationship... beyond the money.
7 Money Afflictions from Inherited Wealth
Read more: Follow us: @Bankrate on Twitter | Bankrate on Facebook