How advisers foster intergenerational wealth discussions

financial advice intergenerational wealth family estate relationships Findex

11 September 2023
| By Jasmine Siljic |
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New research from Findex highlights the crucial role advisers have in stimulating financial discussions between parent clients and their adult children.

The research from YouGov commissioned by Findex analysed over 1,000 Australians’ attitudes towards having financial conversations with the family unit, alongside potential barriers and motivators.

One in five of those surveyed said that receiving advice on how to involve family members in financial discussions, as well as having a trusted adviser to facilitate these conversations, would encourage them to engage in regular financial dialogues. 

Matthew Swieconek, head of investment relations at Findex, observed that financial advisers are critical to guiding these intergenerational conversations. 

“Professional advice not only shapes financial discussions within families but also acts as a catalyst for enhanced financial literacy,” he said.

“Expert guidance is more than just a tool for managing finances – it’s a conduit for nurturing informed dialogues and empowering family members to make well-informed financial decisions.”

With a $3.5 trillion intergenerational wealth transfer set to occur over the next two decades, the most significant in Australia’s history, it’s essential for parents to equip the next generation with financial knowledge, according to Swieconek. 

Findex found that 90 per cent of Australians have money-related talks with their families. The rising cost of living is the driving force behind these conversations for younger Australians. 

The vast majority, 85 per cent, strongly believe in the positive impacts that financial discussions have on the family unit. 

In addition, one-third of respondents expand on collective financial literacy by sharing knowledge with family members. 

“Our findings show a clear appetite and openness from adult children to better their financial literacy and many are looking to their parents for guidance,” said Matt Games, Findex co-CEO. 

“Parents are integral to preparing the next generation to confidently discuss and manage short and long-term financial goals, especially with the great wealth transfer in mind.”

Shorter term financial goals are the main focus for Australian families. “Saving and budgeting” are a key topic for 65 per cent of respondents, while 52 per cent mention “navigating the rising cost of living”.

Longer horizon topics, such as investing and retirement, are less talked about at 26 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively. 

However, three in five cite challenges stop them from having these discussions. 

The main barriers include differences in opinion on how money should be spent and saved (28 per cent), fearing judgement on how one manages their finances (27 per cent), and being concerned about potential conflict with family (26 per cent). 

Gen Z is more likely to be concerned about having financial conversations at 71 per cent, compared to 45 per cent of Baby Boomers. 

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