My Mom is Selling Her Jewelry

"My mom is selling her jewelry," said a client to me recently, "and I don't know what to do! Since dad died, she's been unwilling to talk to me about money, except to drop these hints that she's struggling financially. What should I do?"

Money is taboo. We often avoid talking about money in families. We rarely talk about it with colleagues or friends. We don't talk about money even when we're alone, with no one but ourselves to criticize. Yet we depend upon money for almost everything.

With technology, it's tempting not to balance our checkbooks anymore. We check our accounts online, often at the worst of times, and the more we check, the more we feel pain. If, by chance, we see recent gains, we discount the good feelings because the preponderance of the news around us says, "Be afraid! Sell! Run!"

Many of us learned ineffective money habits from a very early age. These are not our fault. We repeat comments in a mental loop that can be dangerous in the later years of our lives. Think about the long-term ramifications of common tropes we learned in public school or Sunday school, like "money is the root of all evil" or "money is dirty."

It's no wonder so many of us struggle with money. Yet later in life, without an accumulation of money, we are at great risk. We cannot simultaneously gather what we subconsciously (or consciously) push away.

Look, a conversation about money is not easy. Few things in life worth having come easy. Weekly we sit down, as a team, and have this conversation. We hone our skills at listening and learning, at communicating and caring. We, too, grew up, just like you, with "tape reels" in our heads that cause unhealthy habits, hard to unwind and relearn. As we lean on each other, you can lean on us. An authentic conversation about money is invaluable, and it's at the core of excellent financial planning.

Make it an excellent week!

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