— Who's better at getting a family to talk about
money matters, mom or dad? Taking sides probably won't
make for a harmonious Mother's Day celebration on
survey by a financial services company found that
mothers clearly have the upper hand over fathers in
getting the discussion started with their adult
children. While all families are different, moms are
often the ones who encourage conversation about such
important topics as financial security in retirement,
caring for an elder and estate planning, according to
survey results released Tuesday by Fidelity
are more likely and open to having deep, detailed
discussions," said Lauren Brouhard, a senior vice
president for retirement with Fidelity's personal
the discussion with mom may be a good strategy,"
given how awkward such conversations can be, Brouhard
findings from the Boston-based company include:
percent of the mothers aged 55 and older who were
surveyed reported they'd had comprehensive discussions
with their adult children about their ability to cover
living expenses in retirement. Just 55 percent of
fathers had talked about that topic.
percent of the moms had discussed estate planning or
wills with their adult children, compared with 69
percent of fathers.
percent of mothers had discussed health topics such as
caring for elders, while 56 of the dads had done so.
percent of mothers said it is "not at all
difficult" to start a conversation with an adult
child about savings and investing, versus 54 percent
of fathers who said that.
reason that mothers were more open to discussing such
matters: They were more likely to describe themselves
as the "the empathizer" in their families.
Fifteen percent of moms said that was the case versus
6 percent of fathers describing themselves that way.
Fathers were more likely to view themselves as
"the pragmatist" in discussing finances,
believing they take a more straightforward approach
asked privately about these hard-to-discuss topics,
survey participants offered widely varying views on
whether their families were discussing money matters
in sufficient detail, if they were having the
conversations at all.
many instances, adult children who participated in the
surveys "felt that the conversations were not
happening at the level of depth required,"
really important is that these not just be surface
discussions. Nobody wants surprises down the road, so
it's important that they have these conversations now,
when they're not reacting to some financial or health
survey was conducted from July 24 to Aug. 29 by the
firm GfK, with Fidelity not being identified to survey
participants as the sponsor. GfK used its
KnowledgePanel sample, which first chose participants
for the nationwide study using randomly generated
telephone numbers and home addresses. Once people were
selected to participate, they were interviewed online.
Participants without Internet access were provided it
total sample recruited for the study included 975
parents who were 55 years or older, had an adult child
and investable assets of at least $100,000.