Families usually are the basic subjects of financial planning.


If you have a spouse and perhaps even kids, your responsibilities are multiplied, and you must prepare for more contingencies than a single adult. Accidents, illnesses, death happen, and one of the many functions of family is to help coping with emergencies and misfortune. It is easy to overestimate the capacity of families in that role, or to miscalculate someone's financial contribution. Thinking of life- or some living benefit insurance, some people deem that a non-working spouse - the most loved and helpful he/she might be - has no 'financial value' for the family, ... but usually he/she has. Similarly, there are limits to the support a spouse can provide to a seriously ill person, even with the best intentions. Healthy spouses have their own life, career, ... sacrificing too much for too long will surely claim its toll in one or more ways (physical and emotional health, job, financial, marital problems).

Having a family usually gives some strength to one's financial future. An extended and cohesive family provides support in many respects, including financial ones. Unfortunately, this kind of families are rather rare today. Squabbling over inheritance, divorce and child support issues, or managing a family business, and other issues tend to crop up and can be quite destructive if there was no proper planning done while relationships were still good. Family financial planning makes sense also because having family members gives some flexibility, in terms of tax-advantageous income-splitting options, savings on insurance, or creating a tax-deferred investment vehicle. Regarding retirement, it's important to be aware of some demographic basics: increasing life expectancy, increasing need for long term care (especially at advanced age), and gender differences in these regards.

Where there are kids, usually planning for their education is important. In addition, relationship with the elder generation (parents / grandparents) offers special blessings and burdens. There are many things to consider, and it takes time, knowledge, ... and a lot of communication among various members of the family about the ups and downs of life.

Teaching financial knowledge, skills, and good habits to next generation (earning, spending, saving, investing, protecting) starts in families, either intentionally, or simply by demonstration.




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