The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 13, 2013

The Color of Money: Why moms are worth it

Here's a no-brainer: Mothers and fathers have different styles of communication when it comes to talking about money.

     Fidelity Investments released a study showing that mothers have far more substantive discussions about money than fathers do when talking about estate planning or wills, health and elder care topics, and the ability to cover living expenses in retirement.

     Turns out moms are also a little easier to talk to. Sixty-four percent of mothers surveyed said it wasn't hard to start a conversation with their adult children about savings and investments, compared with 54 percent of fathers.

     Ahead of Mother's Day, many companies are releasing surveys about the financial roles of moms.

     One reason women are talking more about money, Fidelity said, is because they tend to be the family treasurer. Nearly 60 percent of working mothers say they also manage their household budget, according to a survey released earlier this year by Working Mother magazine and Chase Card Services.

     Here's a statistic from the Fidelity survey that made me laugh. Thirteen percent of mothers, compared with 3 percent of fathers, are planning on an adult child caring for them as they advance in years. That's because many mothers drill it into the heads of our children as a backup plan in case they don't have enough money for retirement.

     I've often jokingly (OK, maybe not completely joking) said to my three kids in response to their begging to buy them something, "You going to take care of me in my old age?"

     In reply, they often say, "It depends." Right now, since I won't buy my 12-year-old a cellphone, her "depends" is a firm "no." 

     That's why I'm saving for my own retirement.

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