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Could Thanksgiving Be a Time for Family Financial Planning?

Family Walking In The ParkIn “How families can talk money over Thanksgiving,” Time.com has an unusual suggestion for something you and your family can do during the Thanksgiving holiday:

“While most Americans are focused on turkey dinners and Black Friday sales, some financial advisers look to Thanksgiving as a good time for families to bond in an unlikely way: by talking about money.”

You can do more than talk turkey; you can talk finance.

If your family has traditionally been reluctant to discuss money or if you are all rarely together to have these important discussions in person, you might consider this approach. The Time.com article mentions a Fidelity Investments survey from two years ago, which found that while adults and children alike think it is important to have these discussions, not very many of us actually follow through and have them.

What they don’t suggest, however, is discussing family financial planning over the holiday dinner table, when people are full and may have had alcohol. Nor do they suggest an ambush where a finance discussion is suddenly foisted upon unsuspecting family members.

What they do suggest is that you let family members know that you want to get into financial planning before a family event. You can prepare everyone by sending out topics or an agenda ahead of time.

The article also notes that if your family has never had a meeting like this before, you may want to go slowly. If it goes well, it can become a regular thing and you can get into more serious topics later. In fact, one expert advises that you begin to talk about charitable giving. Thanksgiving is the perfect time for this and if you can agree on how to help others this may set the stage for more serious talks about what you can do to get help the family manage estate planning.

However, agreeing the talk is needed and actively participating are different matters. This is why some financial advisors offer to help with the meeting itself or meet with family members individually.