At Peninsula Wealth, we believe the best financial plan is a personal one, built around your individual needs and assets — but that doesn’t mean that financial planning should be a solo sport. The best plans for the future will take into consideration not only your goals but those of your family and help you to provide for the future of your spouse, your children, and other loved ones.
Here are a few key tips for including your family in your financial plan:
Create a Family Budget
One easy way to get your family started on the path to financial planning is by creating a budget for the entire family unit. Tracking your spending helps to assess your family’s needs and guard against overspending, while including the entire family in the exercise reinforces the team aspect of budgeting and helps educate your family members about your financial situation. On top of that, it can help set your children up for future success by familiarizing them with the act of budgeting.
Set Goals Together
Financial planning helps families to achieve long term goals, but it’s difficult to achieve goals that aren’t planned and developed together. Include your family in the goal-setting process to find out what matters to them as individuals as well as to your family unit. You may want to consider debt payoff as a financial goal or include the long term educational plans of your children in your estate planning. Either way, it’s easier to plan for and achieve goals that you’ve outlined together.
Take Stock of Assets
As a family, you’ve likely acquired assets that are seen as common property, but have you ever thought about the future of these assets later in life or after you’re gone? Making sure to inventory your assets as a family and to discuss individual attachment to certain items can help avoid tension down the line.
If you’re married or have children, retirement won’t be all about you and your desires. Talk to your spouse about their personal vision for retirement — including when they’d like to retire and what they want to do with their retirement — and keep your children in the loop on your plans for retirement. Including the entire family in these discussions can help make sure you’re on the same page and that everyone is looking forward to retirement together.
As you can see, communication is key as you develop a financial plan that works for you and your family. Including family members in the development process can help set you up for success and educate your family about how financial planning works. By working together, your financial plan will be more likely to stay on track and provide for the people you love most.