Monday, May 1, 2017

Share The Wealth: Helping Less Financially Savvy Loved Ones

financial strength
When you have got your financial affairs in order, it can feel like you’ve taken a life test and passed with a grade A. While everyone else is flummoxed by changing economic times and the need to secure their future, you have no such concerns. You can relax, enjoy life, save what you can, and anticipate a future that is financially secure. Does that make you a little bit smug? Perhaps! But it takes a lot of hard work to get to the point where you can feel smug - so allow yourself a touch of indulgence!

Then, the smugness begins to dissipate as you realize that people you care about - your friends and family - don’t have the same financial security that you do. You know you could help, but is there any way to do it without stepping on toes? 

1. Emphasize You’re Self-Taught and That You Found It Hard

Don’t go bulldozing into a conversation touting your own financial nous as if you woke up one morning and had everything sorted.

Begin a conversation (or wait for a natural opening, such as them lamenting their financial state) by mentioning you too had felt the same. You felt the fear, the concern, the worry, but you managed to battle through it.

Don’t say: “I got myself sorted so why don’t you let me help you too?”

Do say: “If you ever need any advice, I’d be more than happy to help you out.”

2. Insist They Get What They Are Owed 

Some people have a tendency not to chase what they are owed as they somehow think it is rude, money-grabbing, or just an uncouth way to behave. Of course, this is nonsense: if you are entitled to something, then you should have it, especially if not doing so has an impact on your financial viability. 

This can be an entry point for allowing you to help with their finances. If they have been short changed, hurt in an accident they have not claimed compensation for, or are just not receiving the right benefits from the government - step in and offer to help. Or you can be more subtle: talk about consumer rights, mention how useful a personal injury lawyer can be to ensuring someone doesn’t have the same accident they suffered, or just briefly mentioned government benefits you think they might be entitled to.

If they express any signs of feeling uncomfortable, then back off. Don’t be insistent. Just make it clear you know what you’re talking about and they are more than welcome to tap into your font of knowledge whenever they want. 

3. Ask For Their Help

Sometimes, the best way to get someone to investigate their finances is to approach them with a problem you have. If you suspect they don’t have a good deal on their credit card, you could start a conversation worrying about that exact thing yourself. This is just an example; the principle applies to any financial matter.

In helping you chew over your “problem”, it might give them pause and make them check things out for their own financial status. The best thing about this is there’s almost no way they will know you manipulated the conversation, so it’s perfect if you find interceding necessary but awkward.

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