How Do You Deal With Conflicting Financial Priorities in a Family?

How Do You Deal With Conflicting Financial Priorities in a Family?

When financial priorities clash within a family, the advice of experienced financial planners becomes invaluable. From facilitating family financial meetings to balancing education savings and mortgage payments, we've gathered five insightful strategies from top financial professionals. Senior Financial Planners and CEOs share their real-world resolutions to these challenging situations.

  • Facilitate Family Financial Meetings
  • Create a Compromise Savings Strategy
  • Budget to Balance Priorities
  • Bridge Generational Financial Gaps
  • Balance Education Savings and Mortgage

Facilitate Family Financial Meetings

As a financial planner, managing conflicting financial priorities within a family is a common and delicate task. Recently, I worked with a family where the parents prioritized saving for retirement, while their adult children were focused on funding education and starting their own businesses. To resolve these conflicting priorities, I facilitated a series of family meetings to fully understand each member’s goals and concerns.

Through open communication, we were able to identify overlapping interests and common financial objectives. I then developed a comprehensive financial plan that balanced these priorities. For the parents, we optimized their retirement savings by increasing contributions to their retirement accounts and exploring investment options that offered growth potential. Simultaneously, we set up education savings plans for the grandchildren and identified funding sources for the children’s business ventures, such as low-interest loans and grants.

By creating a strategy that addressed both immediate and long-term goals, and involving all family members in the decision-making process, we were able to harmonize their financial priorities. This approach not only resolved the conflicts but also strengthened the family’s financial future, ensuring that everyone’s needs and aspirations were considered and met.

Chad Harmer
Chad HarmerSenior Financial Planner & Managing Director, Harmer Wealth Management

Create a Compromise Savings Strategy

I once worked with a family where the parents wanted to prioritize saving for their children's college education, while the grandparents insisted on focusing on building a robust retirement fund. To resolve this, I facilitated a family meeting where we discussed their long-term goals and financial concerns openly. We developed a balanced strategy that allocated a portion of the savings toward a 529 college savings plan while ensuring the grandparents' retirement fund continued to grow. This compromise allowed both priorities to be addressed, creating a harmonious financial plan that met the needs of all family members.

Chad Lively
Chad LivelyLead Financial Planner, Lively Financial LLC

Budget to Balance Priorities

Once, I helped a family that was torn between saving for college and buying a new car. We sat down and made a budget to see where their money was going. By cutting back on some unnecessary expenses, we found they could do both by saving a little each month for college while making payments on a used, reliable car. In the end, the family was happy and felt more in control of their finances.

Matt Willoughby
Matt WilloughbyFounder, OneStop Financial Services

Bridge Generational Financial Gaps

Navigating conflicting financial priorities within a family is a nuanced task that benefits greatly from our team's 60-plus years of combined experience. We take a multigenerational approach to financial planning, which becomes crucial when older clients aim to communicate their legacy and strategic wishes to younger, possibly more spendthrift, family members.

By harnessing the diverse age range within our team, we effectively bridge communication gaps, ensuring that even the 'big spender' in the family understands the broader financial picture. This strategy not only aligns different financial priorities but also fosters a comprehensive understanding across generations. It's about balancing respect for legacy with the dynamism of youthful ambition, and our team's varied perspectives are key to making this happen effectively.

Delante Greer
Delante GreerFinancial Planner, Opulentia LLC

Balance Education Savings and Mortgage

As the founder of Leverage and a finance and insurance expert, I've seen many families struggle with conflicting financial priorities. One memorable case involved a family torn between saving for their children's education and paying off a large mortgage.

When they came to me, the parents were really stressed. They wanted to save for college to avoid student loans for their kids, but they also felt the pressure to pay down their mortgage quickly. Both goals were important, but their finances were stretched too thin.

We started with a detailed discussion about their financial situation and priorities. We listed their monthly expenses, income, and savings. It became clear that their emotional attachment to being mortgage-free was driving their financial decisions more than the actual numbers justified.

I suggested a balanced approach: allocate a fixed percentage of their income to a college savings plan and another portion to making extra mortgage payments. This way, they could build their college fund while also reducing their mortgage debt.

Additionally, I recommended they refinance their mortgage to a lower interest rate. This reduced their monthly payments and freed up more cash flow for savings.

Rhett Stubbendeck
Rhett StubbendeckCEO & Co-Founder, Leverage Planning

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