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Hodge survey finds most people are embarrassed to ask family for money help

15th May 2020

“Money makes the world go round” as the old song goes, but can it buy you happiness? According to 30% of participants in a recent Hodge survey, it can. 

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

More than 3,000 people were involved in the study which asked about attitudes 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.  

The research was designed to help the team at Hodge understand how attitudes towards finance change for each generation. 

Future gazing  

The findings revealed that, although a third of people pin a lot of their future happiness on financial goals, it’s not something they’re comfortable discussing 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 hits its peak for the 35-45 age group, with 60% thinking it’s awkward to ask 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 about tricky topics 

The study also revealed other areas families are reluctant to discuss, including inheritance planning, with just 23% having spoken to their spouses and only 13% with their 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 intergenerational relationships and how finances impact this. As part of the campaign, Hodge has been working 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.”  

Find out more about Siobhan’s experience of discussing family finances in her guest post for the 'Money - it’s all relative' campaign. 

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. 

“Through this campaign, we want to help understand the reasons why people don’t like to talk about money but also equip our brokers and networks with the right materials to help families talk comfortably about these topics.” 

Last month, Hodge also launched a series of seminars aimed at brokers and IFAs who are either currently operating in the later-life lending market or considering expanding into this area.  

The next one takes place on Thursday 28th May and covers the topic of intergenerational finances, you can sign up here

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