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Who knows your $hit?
Old 11-07-2019, 08:49 PM   #41
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Who knows your $hit?

I plan to tell my child everything. Money isnít a taboo topic in our family. We already discuss amounts, strategies, returns, expectations, psychology, debt, etc openly
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:11 PM   #42
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I haven't told anyone specific numbers. I have tried to talk with my niece and nephew about investing and my approach, particularly when I've given them larger gifts for graduations etc. I've also given them a few simple books about finances, but I've basically given them some info, let them know I'm happy to talk if they want and otherwise left them to decide how they want to handle things.


At some point, I may end up talking specifics with them but at that point it will be because I want their help. As a single person without kids, I may eventually want their help protecting things if I'm not able to handle things independently. At that point, they'd need to know details.
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Opposite approach
Old 11-07-2019, 09:28 PM   #43
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Opposite approach

We've got pretty much the opposite approach from many of you. To each their own of course.

In terms of family, since we've built for multi-generational wealth, we went fully transparent with our kids when they became young adults. They need to understand the scope and scale and they now do. They will be more tightly linked in as we go and they continue to full adult-hood. I expect one of them to take an active role.

By virtue of my prior business situation and early business exit, hundreds of contemporaries know I'm well above average and likely "rich" in terms of numbers. We are very quiet with zero flash, but there are few secrets at this point except for actual detailed dollar amounts. It's obvious we have a lot and know how to get it and keep it.

We also live in a place with a lot of actual high net worth people, not to mention hundreds of thousands of households with high incomes and challenges getting ahead and meeting their goals. As a result, I get asked a lot and help a lot of people with their strategies and specific questions; they don't have to guess whether or not I know what I'm doing. I do.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:36 PM   #44
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A funny thing happened to me along those lines. A neighbor said, "Do you mind if I ask how much you paid for your house?". I said "Yes", and that was the end of that conversation.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:06 PM   #45
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I never tell anyone. Saves a lot of resentment, especially from relatives.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:40 PM   #46
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I never tell anyone. Saves a lot of resentment, especially from relatives.

+1 I'm in the same boat.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:58 PM   #47
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We never tell anyone of the details, except enough of the story on this site. You never what negatives it can lead to, with very little upside.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:09 PM   #48
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We have told only our adult kids approximately what we have in assets. We also tried to teach them early on the value of saving and investing. They have IRAs and have done pretty well with them, but I have had to direct their investments as they little interest in the nuts and bolts. Eventually, they will have to take over their own assets, as well as ours. I read somewhere that the millennials will become the richest generation as there are so few of them compared to the boomers who will be leaving their wealth to them.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:36 PM   #49
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I don't think sharing your personal financial details is likely to change the likelihood someone will take financial advice from you.

In my experience, people are set in their ways and beliefs with respect to personal finance (and actually most everything else). Trying to inspire someone to follow your lead is not a fruitful exercise.

Very rarely I will encounter someone, usually at the beginning of their earning career, who is seeking or open to advice on personal finance. In that situation too, I don't think it's necessary to disclose personal specifics in order to be helpful to them.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:02 AM   #50
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I don't think sharing your personal financial details is likely to change the likelihood someone will take financial advice from you.

In my experience, people are set in their ways and beliefs with respect to personal finance (and actually most everything else). Trying to inspire someone to follow your lead is not a fruitful exercise.

Very rarely I will encounter someone, usually at the beginning of their earning career, who is seeking or open to advice on personal finance. In that situation too, I don't think it's necessary to disclose personal specifics in order to be helpful to them.
You have addressed directly the issues raised by the OP.

I am not even at the point where I can tell my grown children what I have. To encourage them to save, I have told them that LBYM is how we don't have to work until we die, or even to SS-eligibility age. To hint to them how much is needed to retire early, I told them about the 4% WR rule of thumb.

About disclosing my net worth to people, I just don't do that. I subscribe to the principle of "the need to know", as was practiced in my former work places.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:16 AM   #51
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My kids (18 and 15) know what they have for college, as well as a good idea what I have overall. Fiance' knows as well. Don't know what she has shared with her adult children, but they're not in line for anything from me anyway.

Only 3 other people know the full extent of my finances-one is a sibling in similar circumstances and the other two are entrusted to look after my kids if I die early.

All anyone can see is I live in a decent neighborhood, don't work, and volunteer for my kids' activities. Had a few acquaintances I have gotten to know later admit they wondered if I was in the "Latin America import business"

Like Walt Disney's Mary Poppins, I never explain anything
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Who knows your $hit?
Old 11-08-2019, 05:13 AM   #52
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Who knows your $hit?

Our children know our financial affairs. They are now 35 and 37. We are in our early 70's, so I want to make sure that if something bad happened quickly, they would know where to start in taking over. They have known for some time though and always had a sense that things must be pretty comfortable for us. No FAFSA forms were ever filed for two private university tuitions. Nice family vacations with stays at nice hotels. That sort of thing. As they became independent, they have each sought out our guidance on saving, investing and budgeting. I'd say they consider us their financial advisors. They are financially independent of us with good conservative financial habits and both very focused on their careers.


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Old 11-08-2019, 05:26 AM   #53
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I have never felt like it was right to share specific numbers with others. Fired at 57, keep a pretty new car, and travelling a lot gives clues. We have not shared specifics with our sons either. They are independent but have poor jobs and little savings. They too know we are well off but would likely be surprised with the specifics. I would not want their potential future inheritance to be a disincentive to them trying to improve their situation. They are not much inclined to do that already. We also wonder if there is something we can do to help educate/prepare them to handle it someday.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:51 AM   #54
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My Mom worries that I am "blowing that dough". She is always asking why I don't have photos on FB of our travels. Hey no one has to know.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:08 AM   #55
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I've only shared "the number" with a very close friend who has been also following a strategy and will likely RE soon. I did so four years ago. I summarize our financial investments picture on a monthly basis and share it with my wife, of course. She is interested, likes to get the updates, and says she is glad I have taken on the job.

I have some young friends in their twenties, just starting out in real jobs, etc. and I am always urging them to put away some funds NOW, not "later, when I get settled in life". I never talk numbers except to illustrate the power of compounding, of starting early. It will click sooner or later.

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Old 11-08-2019, 06:31 AM   #56
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Our children know our financial affairs. They are now 35 and 37. We are in our early 70's, so I want to make sure that if something bad happened quickly, they would know where to start in taking over. They have known for some time though and always had a sense that things must be pretty comfortable for us. No FAFSA forms were ever filed for two private university tuitions. Nice family vacations with stays at nice hotels. That sort of thing. As they became independent, they have each sought out our guidance on saving, investing and budgeting. I'd say they consider us their financial advisors. They are financially independent of us with good conservative financial habits and both very focused on their careers.
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^^^ Same for our family. I taught the techniques to our daughters (28/26) when they started earning income. They both have access to 401k/HSA and opened a brokerage account for index fund investing in Roth IRA.
I'm 55 and just recently opened the Kimono for our oldest, so that she can help my DW in case anything happens to me.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:54 AM   #57
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We don't share specifics with children, just the total. When the time comes they'll know specifics. They'll need to understand how to take care of the survivor. They have their unknown challenges, so weighing them down with additional burden is not my style.

As time goes on I mention when appropriate that they should think of their own happiness and goals, instead of dollars.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:58 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by timemoveson View Post
We've got pretty much the opposite approach from many of you. To each their own of course.

In terms of family, since we've built for multi-generational wealth, we went fully transparent with our kids when they became young adults. They need to understand the scope and scale and they now do. They will be more tightly linked in as we go and they continue to full adult-hood. I expect one of them to take an active role.

By virtue of my prior business situation and early business exit, hundreds of contemporaries know I'm well above average and likely "rich" in terms of numbers. We are very quiet with zero flash, but there are few secrets at this point except for actual detailed dollar amounts. It's obvious we have a lot and know how to get it and keep it.

We also live in a place with a lot of actual high net worth people, not to mention hundreds of thousands of households with high incomes and challenges getting ahead and meeting their goals. As a result, I get asked a lot and help a lot of people with their strategies and specific questions; they don't have to guess whether or not I know what I'm doing. I do.

I'm another. I don't see the value in feeling like certain topics, like sex or money, are taboo. I don't discuss them with most people only because I know most people find them distasteful, but as far as money goes, I let a lot of friends know that I have done a lot of research and feel qualified to give some very basic advice. I've shared some numbers with family (not just nuclear family, but we needed to reassure the older generation that it would be well within our means to be the custodians of a family property), and with a few friends who are my brothers from other mothers.

EDIT: Oh, and my dad was an accountant, and we talked money and financial strategy quite a bit, which probably explains some of it. My mom....had that shame thing, and hid all the details from us, and didn't seem to want to know how we were doing financially, so I didn't share (as per my take on taboo topics). The kid has a good idea, and we don't hide it, but doesn't seem that interested yet. And I know better than to try to lead a teen to a water; it's a sure way to generate resistance! Sometimes the only solution is to wait for them to get thirsty.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:58 AM   #59
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My wardrobe and car seems to indicate to family that I might need some financial assistance, would like to accept but always decline. Suggest you stay quiet - doesn't seem to help. Maybe a suggestion or two might be listened to.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:37 AM   #60
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I tell nobody nothing. Total stealth. Keep 'em guessing.
+1

Our son may or may not be informed at some point, but see no point in revealing numbers to anybody else.
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