Key Considerations for Your Family’s Financial Future
What is the sign of a good decision?®
It’s educating yourself and your children regarding finances to prepare for future financial needs.
In today’s economy, families are facing increasing pressure to provide for their every day needs. It is important for parents to teach children in a way that gives them a chance for a better future than many parents feel they have today. Parents may want to talk about finances so their children feel confident with financial decisions later in life.
A 2011 study commissioned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and conducted by Forbes Consulting Group as part of the State of the American Family series studied family financial decision makers with responsibility for at least one child.
Nearly all Americans face some type of financial setback throughout their lives. For some, setbacks occur due to loss of employment; for others, they result from divorce, loss of a spouse or just plain hard times. For most, though, the greatest financial setback has been a direct result of the economy. People may feel a sense of regret and a resulting pressure to recover losses. Some people may feel a need to work longer before retirement, enabling their nest egg to recoup part of its losses; others may realize that plans for a child’s college education fund must change in order to pay their bills.
Many experience similar circumstances and want to find ways to improve their current situation. In order to do so; however, families need to prioritize personal and financial goals, better manage their expenses against those goals, and establish a plan that will help compensate for setbacks.
In many cases, families are realizing that their purchases have placed them in a financial situation they did not envision since their material “assets” cannot help them bounce back from hard times. It is important for parents to teach children money management skills so this trend is reversed.
The majority of Americans make financial decisions based on their experiences or research. Without guidance from trusted or knowledgeable resources – parents, grandparents, friends, and financial professionals – family decision makers may feel under prepared or lack confidence in their ability to make positive long-term decisions when balancing their family’s short term needs.
Many family decision makers are actively seeking ways to educate themselves and their children about finances. Most parents think it is important to educate children to ensure a strong economy. If they neglect to educate them about finances, parents worry that their children’s quality of life will be inferior.
Thinking about your financial future can be overwhelming and you may not know where to begin. Many people struggle to take the first step because they don’t know where to turn for help or how to search for guidance.
Take time to think about the areas of your personal finances that feel like setbacks in your life. Then consider what you can do to change your situation. Educate yourself about your alternatives to help attain long-term goals and seek a financial professional who understands your situation and can help you to not only imagine but also realize your objectives.
Even if your parents did not talk about finances, or you would change past decisions, following the simple activities below can help you and your family to learn more.
• Reflect on where your finances stand currently and think about what you want to accomplish.
• Refer to www.massmutual.com/family for helpful information about saving, budgeting, protecting your income and family. Also view videos about other parents in similar situations.
Educate your children
• Ask your children questions about how much money items cost, their understanding of credit and the difference between wants and needs.
• Download a free copy of Save! The Game TM to teach children valuable financial concepts through an interactive video game.
To learn more or access helpful materials, speak with a local financial professional and visit www.massmutual.com/family.
© 2011 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, MA 01111-0001