The honest advice is difficult to hear, but it’s almost always the most useful.
For years, I was always a little too blunt. My mom told me that my brutal honesty affected my personal and professional relationships. It is a character flaw, and one that I’m still working on. It’s not that the advice is not genuine, but telling it exactly like it is can sometimes be disrespectful.
Giving the advice may make other’s faces cringe, but what about receiving genuine advice no matter how bad it sounds? Isn’t it appropriate to hear what others really think sometimes?
The Fastest Way to Fix Your Finances
We’ve seen it happen, and we will continue to see it forever. People fall into a financial trap but when they find out, they fall way behind (or in some cases, it’s too late to fix it).
It’s not what we know that hurts us. It’s not even what we don’t know that affects us the most. It’s what we know that turns out to be wrong that really kills us.
- Are we too much in debt? What should we do to avoid living in decades of disastrous twilight years?
- Are we really on the right track? Is our savings rate enough for retirement?
- I’m debt free, but where should I put my money? I have savings, investments, retirement accounts and all, but what is the right mix? Do I really need to work until 65?
These are all good questions, but without someone to tell you what they honestly think, how would you know?
A Couple Options
Some of us are blessed with a support system already in place for us to talk comfortably about financial matters, but many of us don’t.
For the latter, here are some suggestions on where to find honest advice.
- Parents/Kids – Not many people talk to their parents about finances, and that’s a shame. Communication allows everyone involved to get a better sense of the whole situation, and if actions are needed to prevent/fix a problem. Is the parents doing okay financially? Will there be money left over or should kids pitch in for the parent’s living expenses? Are the kids saving enough for their own retirement? These questions are sometimes difficult to talk about, but you are so much better off if you know the truth.
- Life Partner – This sounds obvious, but I’m beginning to find that many couples never talk about money matters, which lead to more problems down the road. The two of you, whether you combine or separate your finances, should know exactly where you stand financially. Like it or not, you two are in it together, by law and by reality.
- Financial Planners – Some are just advising on investment decisions, but many are actual planners who will give recommendations on improving your overall financial health. Unfortunately, the nature of the business requires that these people be salespeople too. Not so much to sell products but to sell their service, as someone who angers their clients probably won’t be doing too well. However, I would argue that the more upset you are after a typical meeting, the more you need to go back for another chat. Honestly is a rarity these days, and is worth paying for.
I left out friends on purpose because it’s very difficult to share finances with them unless everyone is on financially equal footing. The tendency to inflate/leave out/deflate important details is too great, and it will defeat the purpose and effectiveness of having the discussion in the first place.
There is beauty in white lies, but not being honest with your financial situation is as black as it can be.