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Asked by Anonymous

Asked on 08 Sep 2019

Any advice on how I should go about discussing financial matters with my parents?

33 years old & single, male. Parent r both 60 y/o. Currently living in their 5 rm flat w/younger sibling who is working. She is not in gd financial shape. Nt much saving. I'm giving mom monthly allowance. I'm trying 2 achieve financial freedom by learning abt stocks investments and improving salary earning capabilities. Dad has been in financial difficulty. I often pay electrical bills, internet bills and occasionally provide substantial monetary support to his business. Till now is >25k SGD...

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Your question was not very clear anon, what would you like to speak to them about?

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Question Poster

08 Sep 2019

Sorry my apologies.. financial support to dad thus far is ~17k..
Hariz Arthur Maloy
Hariz Arthur Maloy

08 Sep 2019

Maybe you might want to tell him to try to do a budgeting exercise for both him and your mom? Maybe do one for yourself first and then show him that as a sample.
Junus Eu
Junus Eu
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Top Contributor (Jan)

Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 04 Dec 2019

When you mention 25k - do you mean what you have paid cumulatively

Apart from my dad not being in financial difficulty, I find similarities between yours and my situation in terms of age of parents, also 5 room flat, with one older sibling.

All of my family members (3) do not have any savings apart from me. Which is why I over-compensate and save alot, because I am not saving just for myself but also for the family unit.

Apart from getting them to reduce their expenses, there's not much they can do tbh. So what I do is to try to earn more, spend less, invest more.

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Firstly, we need to have a complete understanding on our cashflow. Through this process, we will understand our earning ability and spending habit. Here is a guide to help you: https://www.blog.pzl.sg/understanding-your-personal-cash-flow/

With the cashflow completed, share it with your parents and allow them to understand on what is going on. Brainstorm the situation together openly and find solutions that work for all parties.

Thereafter, analyse the business and find out its profits and loss. Improve the business model if necessary to ensure long-term sustainability. If not, discuss on alternative measures to improve liquidity.

In any case, you should always do your own budgeting and save some money regardless of the situation. Here is how I do mine: https://www.blog.pzl.sg/how-to-create-a-monthly-budget/

The discipline and the need to have a budget is even more important as your finances is pivotal to the family. Therefore, having some savings on your own is a must.

Talk together as a family and let them understand your perspective. With proper financial planning and the willingness to discuss openly, I am sure all will be well. =)

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Choon Yuan Chan
Choon Yuan Chan
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Top Contributor (Jan)

Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 04 Dec 2019

Have an honest chat with your parents. Sit down lay out your plans, ask them about their financial statements such as how much they have in CPF/Bank Savings/ Dad's business financial balance sheet.

With all the information, then will you be able to evaluate the financial matters. It is important that all parties have to be open on their financial issue no matter how embarrasiing

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Question Poster

05 Dec 2019

Yes..i will try.. its tough... as i will get a bit emotional... it's a mixed feeling..a mixture of disbelief and sad and angry..
Hwee Kian
Hwee Kian
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 04 Dec 2019

I think at their age, they are not far away from tapping into their CPF for retirement funds. So you might want to check what's their CPF savings so far and would it alleviate the financial concerns in 5 yrs time.

It's also important to know their monthly expenses and how much do they really need, so you know what's the delicate balance in terms of the financial support to render which suffice.

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Adelyn K
Adelyn K
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 04 Dec 2019

It sounds like your parents doesn't have much financial literacy, and they are both reaching retirement age soon. But the good thing is that your dad has his own business, so he can still 'work' for as long as his business is viable. Is he or your mum comfortable with you in helping to manage their expenses and budget?

I think you need to know more on your parents' financial state of health first before you can give them advice. Once you know of their spending & saving habits, and you are able to track their expenditures, then you can discuss with them on how to save more money or cut down on wants. Since you mention your dad is in financial difficulty, knowing his exact problems with his business will help you to understand better and provide better support.

Also, how's their CPF like? If your dad has his own business, has he been contributing to CPF? Would your mum and him have the CPF Life payout on a monthly basis?

Would also be good to talk to your sister on financial literacy too, as it will also be her responsibility to take care of the household finances, and not just you. Since she is working, she will be a good candidate to talk to on how to utilise her paycheck better.

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