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The majority of people are embarrassed to ask for financial help

19th May 2020

Is money the key to happiness? According to 30% of people we asked in a recent survey, the answer is yes.

A recent study* conducted by Hodge revealed 56% of people are embarrassed to ask family members for financial help.

We asked more than 3,000 people about their attitude towards money and their financial aspirations for the future. The research included in-depth face-to-face interviews and more than 3,000 shorter interviews, it was designed to help us understand how attitudes towards finance change between the generations.

Future financial security

The research found that while a third of people pin a lot of their future happiness on financial goals, they don’t feel comfortable discussing this with their families.

Emma Graham, business development director for Hodge, explained: “The study highlighted not only how much importance people put on their financial security in the future, but also how difficult families find financial conversations.”

Embarrassment really hits a peak in the 35-45 age group, with 60% thinking it’s awkward asking for financial help. This figure drops with age and 58% of those over the age of 75 are happy to help out financially.

Emma went on to explain: “At Hodge, we view financial circumstances from a lifelong point of view, it’s not just about individual products – it’s a lot more about helping people throughout their lives and understanding their individual and family circumstances and how they change. This study was commissioned to understand how different generations approach their finances and how this evolves over time.”

Talking tricky topics

The study also revealed other areas families are reluctant to discuss, including inheritance planning, with just 25% having spoken to their spouse and only 13% with children (increasing to 35% of grandparents with their children) about inheritance planning. Just 3 in 10 of those aged between 35-54 have a will in place, and only 42% of all respondents organised a will.

This is the first part of our campaign “It’s all relative” which looks at family relationships and how finances impact them. As part of the campaign, Hodge has worked with financial advisor, Siobhan Thomas, who specialises in family finances.

When asked about the findings, Siobhan said: “It’s not surprising that families don’t have these conversations willingly; it’s not an easy subject to broach. But finances within families are often more woven together than most of us realise and consider. Not only with regards to inheritance, but joint ownership of property, investments for grandchildren and parents, there is a lot that happens over time that we as financial advisers are sometimes not party to.

“It’s important to examine how a client’s current and future wealth are connected, and how this then connects to other family members as you plan for their financial journey ahead.”

Emma added: “The ONS family and household report for 2019 showed that households are changing at a fast pace, with lone parent families and same sex families growing significantly each year. It shows that the conventional family unit isn’t typical these days, and conversely neither are our finances.

* The study of 3,000 people was conducted on behalf of Hodge during February 2019

** Office of National Statistics

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