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5 useful questions to ask family and friends during Talk Money Week

Talk Money Week is the perfect opportunity to have constructive conversations about your wealth. These five useful questions will help you get the ball rolling.

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Talk Money Week is an annual campaign that aims to encourage us to have more conversations about our wealth. Initiatives like these are crucial as many people still have trouble discussing financial matters.

In fact, a recent study [1] found that one-third of Brits don’t feel comfortable discussing money with their friends and family.

If you typically shy away from talking about your wealth, it can be difficult to open a dialogue with those close to you and you may not know where to start. Fortunately, asking some simple questions can help to get the conversation moving.

Here are five useful questions to ask friends and family members during Talk Money Week.

1. Do you have a budget?

Budgeting is one of the most basic steps you can take to organise your finances and plan for the future.

If you have friends and family members who haven’t considered financial planning at all, this could be a good place to start. Simple conversations about budgeting can help encourage them to think about their spending and how much they could contribute to savings or investments each month.

You could even show them some example budgets and point them towards useful budgeting apps.

Once they have a budget in place and are in control of their spending, they can begin thinking about their long-term financial goals and how they might be able to achieve them.

2. What does your dream retirement look like?

Talking about pension contributions or investments can be daunting for people who don’t know anything about retirement planning.

Instead, it may be better to ask friends or family members what their dream retirement looks like. This starts a conversation about their goals and what they imagine their retirement might be like, without overwhelming them with technical financial planning concepts.

Typically, determining what their dream lifestyle looks like is the first step when creating a retirement plan. It’s also an effective way to demonstrate what people can achieve when they plan ahead.

When they have a clear idea of the retirement they want, you can then start conversations about pension contributions and the potential benefits of financial planning.

3. Have you thought about your estate plan?

Estate planning is a difficult topic to bring up because most of us don’t like thinking about our own death. However, it’s important for people to consider estate planning as early as possible so they can take care of their family and make sure their estate is distributed according to their wishes.

Talk Money Week may be a good opportunity to ask your parents if they have thought about their estate plan. It’s especially important that you encourage them to create a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) if they don’t have one, as the Actuarial Post [2] reports that more than 3 million over-75s are yet to put one in place.

You might even decide to create or review your own estate plan at the same time, to help break the taboo around the topic. Involving the whole family in estate planning discussions may also help you work together and find ways to retain and transfer wealth more tax-efficiently.

4. What protection do you have in place?

Many people don’t have adequate protection, so asking friends and family about what cover they have in place can spark important conversations.

According to Direct Line [3], only 35% of people had life insurance in 2022, despite 60% agreeing that it would help their family if they died. Additionally, people often assume that protection is only necessary for older people, who are more likely to face health problems.

In reality, protection is important for almost everybody, and starting a conversation about it can help people understand the crucial role it could play in their financial plan. It’s also a good way to encourage people to learn more about different types of protection, such as critical illness cover or income protection.

5. Do you know how to spot a financial scam?

A lot of people think they know how to spot a financial scam but, because the methods that criminals use are constantly evolving, they often don’t.

For example, deepfake scams use advanced technology to create lifelike videos of celebrities and convince people to put their wealth into investment scams. Scammers can also impersonate phone numbers so a call appears to come from your bank or another trusted organisation.

People often assume that older, less tech-savvy people are most likely to fall victim to a scam but that’s not necessarily the case. As methods become increasingly complex, scams could be more likely to affect people of any age.

Indeed, according to a 2021 study by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau , scammers were more likely to target over-55s. However, those younger than 34 are almost five times more likely to fall victim to a scam than older people.

So, it’s useful to ask friends and family members of all ages about scams and the steps they take to protect themselves.

Get in touch

These simple questions will get the conversation started, but if you have more complex questions about your financial plan, we can answer them for you.

Please visit our contact page or speak to your adviser.

Please note

This article is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until 55 (57 from April 2028). The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances. Thresholds, percentage rates and tax legislation may change in subsequent Finance Acts. 

The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate estate planning, tax planning or will writing.

Note that protection plans typically have no cash in value at any time and cover will cease at the end of the term. If premiums stop, then cover will lapse. Cover is subject to terms and conditions and may have exclusions. Definitions of illnesses vary from product provider and will be explained within the policy documentation.

[1] 25.10.2023 A third of Brits feel too uncomfortable to talk about money with their friends and family Klarna

[2] 25.10.2023 Over 3 million over-75s yet to arrange Power of Attorney the Actuarial Post

[3] 25.10.2023 Only 35 per cent of people have life insurance cover Direct Line

Important information

The views and opinions contained herein are those of Benchmark Financial Planning. They do not necessarily represent views expressed or reflected in other Benchmark Financial Planning communications, strategies or funds and are subject to change. This document is intended to be for information purposes only and it is not intended as promotional material in any respect. The material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. The material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, accounting, legal or tax advice, or investment recommendations. Information herein is believed to be reliable, but Benchmark Financial Planning does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. The data has been sourced by Benchmark Financial Planning and should be independently verified before further publication or use. No responsibility can be accepted for error of fact or opinion. Benchmark Financial Planning is not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained within linked sites. Reliance should not be placed on the views and information in the document when taking individual investment and/or strategic decisions. Past Performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amounts originally invested.

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Benchmark Financial Planning is an Appointed Representative of Best Practice IFA Group Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, the registration number is 223112. Registered office: Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurst Wood Road, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 4QP. Registered in England and Wales No 07572431.

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The guidance and/or advice contained within this website are subject to the UK regulatory regime and are therefore targeted at consumers based in the UK.