Yes, it can be tough talking about finances, but keeping your money issues a secret can be bad for your personal and financial health.
Most of us don’t like chatting about our finances and nearly half of Canadians agree that talking about personal finances is one of the most difficult conversations to have.
This silence around finances encourages people to remain uninformed about their financial options and strategies and also to hide resulting financial errors. Plus, many people don’t know what their loved ones think about money and misunderstandings fester when we don’t communicate. Keeping secrets, whether financial or not, can result in stress, anxiety and even depression.
Yet, despite plenty of good reasons to open up, people find that money is a difficult topic to discuss because it often comes with an emotional attachment. When we take a look at financial planning, yes the technical details can be complex but it also requires people to think about aging, their own mortality and the risk of financial loss or a family’s stability when poor investment choices are made.
As with other hard-to-discuss topics, it’s easier to stay quiet than to admit you’re deep in debt or are experiencing other money-related problems. But talking about money can reduce feelings of financial stress and help you make better money decisions.
Of course, talking is easier said than done. When you are ready to open up, accept that the discussion will inevitably not just be about money, but also what it symbolizes. Start by acknowledging your own emotional relationship with money and understand that finances trigger different feelings in others.
As with any journey it helps to have a goal in mind – what do you want the discussion to accomplish? It’s also easier to start having money conversations with professionals that you have no emotional connection with, before sharing your financial feelings with your loved ones.
A great way to start the, “your money” conversation is by talking to your Certified Financial Planner. Don’t have a CFP? Speak to your friends – find out who they are talking to or visit Financial Planning Canada (www.fpcanada.ca) and use the links there to find a CFP in your area. A professional financial planner can provide you with knowledge and help with planning, which will reduce your stress and emotions, making it easier to communicate your financial goals, dreams and concerns with others.
This column is written by Michelle Weisheit CFP, IG Wealth Management and presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Please contact your own advisor for specific advice about your situation.