Mothers have more in-depth financial discussions with their adult children on topics ranging from health care needs to living expenses in retirement than fathers, according to a study released today by Fidelity Investments.
“As this research indicates, starting the discussion with mom may be a good strategy,” said Lauren Brouhard, senior vice president, Fidelity Investments. Mothers describe themselves as “the empathizer” in the family while more than half of fathers see themselves as “the pragmatist” when discussing finances with their children.
The survey found 64 percent of mothers said it is “not at all difficult” to start a conversation with their child about their savings and investments – vs. 54 percent of fathers. More mothers than fathers report having had comprehensive discussions with their adult children about estate planning or wills, health and eldercare topics, and the ability to cover living expenses in retirement.
As a result, adult children speaking with mom get more details on their parents’ retirement plans, and may be able to avoid miscommunication in the future. For example, more mothers (13 percent vs. 3 percent of fathers) are planning on an adult child caring for them if they become ill, while more fathers (47 percent vs. 32 percent of mothers) are counting on their spouse.
In addition, the study highlights that significantly more fathers (40 percent vs. 26 percent 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 mom’s and dad’s financial future.
GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communication conducted the Fidelity Personal Economy Intra-Family Finance Generational study online during the period of July 24 – August 29, 2012. Parents had to be at least 55 years of age, have an adult child older than 30 and have investible assets of at least $100,000.