Changes in Families Mean Changes in Financial Planning

The standard for a “traditional” family has changed quite dramatically since the 1950s. According to the 2013 Census, the family consisting of two heterosexual parents and two children under the age of 18 makes up only 20 percent of American households.

Traditional and modern families have many similar financial needs, modern families have a whole set of challenges not presented to traditional families over 50 years ago. Investors say that 71 percent say that common financial advice has not changed with the times. John Garvey for UBS Financial Services believes a “customized financial plan is one of the best ways to help meet the goals and challenges of each family.”

One of the modern families Garvey talks about is the blended family. He says that financial planning and open conversations about finances are critical for families with at least one re-married parent in it. “Parents must set financial expectations with their children and step-children” in order to alleviate relational stress within the family.

A second modern family is a family hosting same sex parents. “Despite the federal court ruling, same-sex couples still need to seek counsel to make sure their financial plans fit in with local and state laws,” Garvey explains. Same-sex couples must take precautionary measures to ensure that their distribution of assets and inheritance is protected at a state level, even if they do not have children.

The third family Garvey mentions is the multigenerational family. Between student loan payments being higher than ever before and increased rent payments, many adults in their 20s and 30s are living with their parents with 60 percent of young adults are receiving some kind of financial help from their parents. All of this meaning that adults in their 40s and 50s are not only caring for their children who have moved back, but their own aging parents as well. Garvey suggests that anyone taking in an aging grandparent consult a financial adviser to inquire about tax-deductible expenses.

With the rapid changes occurring in familial situations, Garvey urges all families to bring their financial questions to an adviser in order to take care of everyone in their household as best as they can.