Talking About Finances Isn’t Taboo: How Staying Quiet Could Hurt You

By Jessica Searcy Kmetty

Whether you’re talking about finances as a couple, as a family, or with a financial advisor, the situation can feel uncomfortable and vulnerable.

Chances are, finances weren’t talked about in your house growing up. For many, discussing such things was considered taboo, so it’s hard to start a conversation now about something you just don’t have experience talking about.

But, staying quiet about finances could hurt you.

Have you ever felt the need to hide your debt from your future spouse?

Ever had a hard time telling your partner you can’t pay off the credit card this month?

Ever felt inadequate when asking an advisor to help you start investing?

Here’s the thing about talking about finances: it’s scary to start the conversation, and it’s scary to NOT start the conversation. It may feel more comfortable to keep your feelings, struggles or fears tucked away, but the longer you avoid discussing them, the harder it will be to reach your goals or dig yourself out of a bad place.

I have talked with many people who spent years thinking they were in a “good place” financially, without really doing an analysis on what that means for their lifestyle and if they’re really in a good place or not. They let several years go by before finding out they were not prepared for a financially successful retirement.

The element of time is so important when it comes to your future goals, and you don’t want to be stuck in a place where time is not on your side.

Some people don’t want to discuss finances or seek advice because they fear they don’t have enough money. They are afraid of being judged for not saving enough, for spending too much. They are afraid they will be seen as unsuccessful or foolish for not knowing how to manage money.

Others are afraid because they’ve accumulated wealth and don’t want to be taken advantage of. They are afraid someone could prey on them and they wouldn’t even know something was horribly wrong.

One way to start is to take the numbers out of the conversation. Sharing your feelings, your goals and any worries you may have are universal topics that people experience at every level of knowledge or wealth. Starting with a specific goal or feeling can be a less intimidating place to start, and your comfort might grow into talking about the numbers behind each feeling.

Talking with an advisor who is willing to share in your vulnerability could be a comfort. You should not feel intimidated when discussing financial matters, so talk with someone who you feel is invested in your success. The sooner you start talking, the sooner you can be on a path headed toward where you want to be!

Please remember that different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly in this content, will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), or be suitable for you or your portfolio. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter (article) serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Searcy Financial Services, Inc.

The content of this letter does not constitute a tax or legal opinion. Always consult with a competent professional service provider for advice on tax or legal matters specific to your situation. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed in this content, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing.  

Published for the blog on August 20, 2021 by Searcy Financial Services, your Overland Park, Kansas Fee-Only Financial Planner and Investment Manager.