Your Parents Could Give Good Financial Advice
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) The best financial advice you may receive could be from your parents, a well-trusted source with many years of experience.
Only 36% of people believe their parents could give prudent financial advice, according to a recent online poll conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Respondents favored seeking advice from their fathers only slightly 20% said their dads were more financial savvy compared to 16% who said their mothers were a better resource.
The majority of respondents or 64% believe they could obtain better advice than what either their mom or dad can offer. Leaving your parents out of the equation might mean missing an opportunity for solid, tried and true financial advice, said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC.
"The younger generations may want to reconsider where they seek financial advice as the data associated with Baby Boomers from the NFCC's 2014 Financial Literacy Survey indicates that the 55-64 age range or baby boomer generation has their financial act together in many areas associated with successful money management," she said.
Baby Boomers can be a tough act to follow with 82% who pay all their bills on time, have no debt in collections and 52% who do not carry credit card debt over each month, according to the survey. The survey showed that 72% report having savings in addition to those earmarked for retirement.
Many people in the Baby Boomer generation feel confident about the lifetime of financial decisions they've made, Cunningham said.
"So often the answers we seek are in our own backyard," she said. "Most parents would consider it a compliment if their adult child reached out to them for advice, particularly around personal finance. Their advice may not include using the latest financial app, but it will have survived decades of a different type of testing real life."
While most Americans aged 55 and up have better control over their finances and have more manageable levels of debt than a Millennial, they are also in their peak earning years and likely have most of their mortgage paid off, said Charles Sizemore, a portfolio manager on Covestor, the online marketplace for investing with offices in Boston and London.
"By age 55, you have already made most of life's expensive, debt-financed purchases," he said. "That same baby boomer that has his or her act together today was probably a fiscal mess 30 years ago when they had just started their careers and made very little money."
Financial planners provide objective advice for many people, but parents can also give valuable advice, Sizemore said.
"Age comes experience," he said. "There is no substituting the advice of a good financial planner, but a parent who has diligently saved for retirement and "knows the ropes" of which savings vehicles to use such as IRAs and Roth IRAs can be an excellent source of information."