Religion. Politics. Money.
The “Big Three” topics that are not supposed to be discussed in polite company.
While strong arguments can be made about the first two, the taboos surrounding money conversations can have serious (negative) consequences for the financial well being of individuals and their families. In the book, Life Savings Conversations: Prepping You for the Ten Most Important Money Conversations You’ll Have In Life, author Amy Jamrog discusses the importance of breaking through the awkwardness with solid, practical suggestions, and avoiding problems that cause many people heartache, frustration, and worry.
How many times have we said to ourselves things like, “I wish I knew then what I know now”, or “I wish someone would have taught me about this when I was growing up”? If only our parents and teachers had helped us form clear, rational ideas on budgeting, saving, investing, college selection, taxes, and other matters, we may have been spared some of the lessons we learned from the “School of Hard Knocks”. With Jamrog’s help, a reader can learn how to help young people get a leg up on their financial future.
Or, what about the complexities that come when we chose to integrate our lives when we get married? Divorce and remarriage can also present some very messy issues when it comes to money. How do we cut through the emotional aspects of these significant life events and get clarity on how to reinforce financial health for all the people who are affected? With an ample serving of encouragement and sensitivity, the author guides the reader to consider what matters can become significant issues if they are not addressed.
Overall, this book is an excellent resource for a general audience. I suspect most people shy away from reading books on finance because they fear the subject will get too technical, or math heavy. Not so with Life Savings Conversations. Jamrog’s writing style is very conversational, which is not surprising as she has been in the financial planning field working with clients for over 20 years. In a very succinct manner, this book lines up each of these topics and gives the reader very practical lessons on how to have these conversations with yourself, your loved ones, and your team of advisors before decisions are made. The organization of the chapters lends itself to either reading it from front to back, or jumping to whichever topic concerns the reader the most. Whichever way a reader chooses, they are continually presented with useful guidance on what could otherwise be a difficult subject.
As a financial planner myself, I have often found that most people do not even know what questions they ought to ask about their finances, let alone what their answers should be. Life Savings Conversations helps the reader by doing just that: asking the questions that are not asked until it’s too late. With the publication of this book, I hope that is a trend that will begin to get reversed.