Sig and I advise older parents to share financial information with their kids (we’ll say why in upcoming posts). But a parent may resist – sometimes with valid reasons.
Parents with limited means:
1. Shame. Mom may have embarrassing debts. Taxes. Credit cards. Even gambling debts. There may be a lien on the family home. She’s trying desperately to pay if off before she dies so the kids will never know.
2. Pride. Mom doesn’t want to seem needy, doesn’t want to ask her children for help. Doesn’t want to be a burden. Doesn’t want them to have to take her in. Doesn’t want to worry them.
Parents with some wealth:
3. Control. “I earned my money and if I want to travel around the world or get a face lift or give it all away, I don’t want my kids telling me what to do.”
4. Greedy kids. Mom overheard a son say, “When my parents die I’m going to buy a waterfront condo.” No parent really wants their children to look forward to their death.
5. Related but different: Mom wants to encourage her kids to take responsibility for their own lives now, to be able to support themselves and care for their own families. They shouldn’t delay important decisions now based on a future potential windfall.
Can you think of other reasons? We welcome your comments.
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