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Wealth Enhancement Column: Tips to help You with those scary financial conversations

It's that time of year where people are in the Halloween spirit and are carving pumpkins, collecting candy and facing their fears to watch scary movies. Along those same lines, we recommend that you also get over your fear of that scary financial...

It's that time of year where people are in the Halloween spirit and are carving pumpkins, collecting candy and facing their fears to watch scary movies. Along those same lines, we recommend that you also get over your fear of that scary financial conversation you need to have with your loved ones, whatever that might be.

So whether you need to discuss paying off debt, your retirement date or just getting on a stricter budget, here are some tips to help make those scary financial conversation a little less fear-inducing.

Stick with topic at hand

Beginning the conversation can often be the hardest part and personal finances can be complicated, so our advice is to make it clear what exactly you are hoping to talk about and stick to it. Money isn't something that everyone is comfortable talking about which means that these conversations can be difficult to begin. If you're going to discuss a sensitive issue, acknowledging that off the bat can help to diffuse some of the tension. By keeping your focus clear and staying on task, you're more likely to get to the root of the issue and find a solutions that just going into a conversation with our significant other about all of your money concerns.

And keep in mind, finances can be a deeply personal topic, so prepare for possible emotional reactions. For some people, talking about money can be a difficult thing, and if the conversation is about a negative financial situation, like how you're going to pay off a large amount of debt or having to delay retirement, it's understandable that your partner, or yourself, may get upset. Just don't let those reactions send you off course before you've come up with a solution.

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Be open and honest about difficulties and expectations

Honesty truly is the best policy. Take responsibility for any issues you may have had a hand in or for the reasons you feel a new major purchase is warranted.

It's also important to be honest with your expectations for your solution. If you are talking to your spouse about paying down $10,000 of credit card debt, make sure the timing you discuss to pay that back is realistic. It's unlikely you'll be able to put all of that debt to bed in a couple of months, so make sure you can take your conversation and put it into action.

Leave with a plan

On that note, focus your conversation on actionable steps you can take going forward versus spending time lamenting or placing blame. If the issue is that you don't have enough saved for retirement, for example, come up with some steps to up your savings, create a list of to-do items you can accomplish and assign a date to each of them to help keep you and your family on track.

Utilize your financial advisor if the task seems too big alone

Finally, know that your financial advisor is a great resource if you need a mediator in the conversation or help creating actionable steps. Reach out to your advisor about any issues you feel he or she could help you with. Having an unbiased third party there to help facilitate the discussion could help ease your fears about having that scary, but necessary financial conversation.

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