As Mother’s Day approaches on Sunday, Americans will be reaching out to dear old mom with flowers, cards and, for those still in grade school, some heinously ugly arts and crafts. A Fidelity Investments study released this week indicates adult children might be reaching out to her for financial advice, too.
The Fidelity study finds that noticeably more mothers than fathers have had comprehensive conversations about savings, planning and retirement with their adult children. Sixty-four percent of mothers surveyed say it is “not at all difficult” to start a conversation with their children about investments and savings. Only 54% of fathers say the same.
As a result, markedly more mothers than fathers report having detailed discussions with their adult children on wills and estate planning (79% vs. 69%), the ability to cover living expenses in retirement (70% vs. 55%) or health and elder care (66% vs. 56%).
“We encourage all families to engage in detailed conversations on these topics,” says Lauren Brouhard, senior vice president for Fidelity, “and, as this research indicates, starting the discussion with mom may be a good strategy. Regardless of whom these conversations begin with, discussions about finances are deeply personal and very difficult, and often even taboo in some families.”
More fathers (47%) than mothers (32%) are counting on their spouse to care for them if they become ill; for mothers (13%) it’s more likely to be adult children than it is for fathers (3%). More fathers than mothers also are worried their spouse won’t be financially prepared if they pass away first (40% vs. 26%). These are important details for adult children to know when speaking with aging parents on retirement plans and the financial future.
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