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Families talk turkey at Thanksgiving financial meetings

[ 2011-11-23 16:15]     字号 [] [] []  
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File photo of National Thanksgiving Turkey "Pumpkin" surrounded by hands moments after former president George W. Bush pardoned him in the Rose Garden of the White House on November 26, 2008.(Agencies)

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For most American families, there's one major money-related tradition associated with Thanksgiving: Black Friday shopping. But for others, bargain hunting takes a back seat to a financial reality check. They use this time together as an opportunity to discuss and review a host of financial issues ranging from estate planning and wills to investment and philanthropy.

And financial advisers, who sometimes attend more formal versions of these Thanksgiving conversations, have much to share in terms of what direction these meetings can take. They stress that with a little preparation, and a lot of nonconfrontational goodwill, families can come out with an increased sense of connectedness, cooperation and shared vision.

Still, it's hard to gauge how family members will react, even to the most innocuous statements. Every tribe has its more emotional and melodramatic types, and so it's crucial to limit the chances of misinterpretation or outbursts. This may be especially true if younger adults are involved and feel cornered in front of the whole family, experts say.

"Listening is the most important part," says Ben Tobias, president of Tobias Financial Advisors in Plantation, Florida. If a son or daughter wants to join the Peace Corps instead of get a more traditional job, "find out the reasons why, and remember that doing something for two or three years can be a valuable experience. But ask, 'Have you given any thought to your plans after that?' You want them to look a little more in the future than just immediate gratification."

"It's like the facts of life talk with our kids; no one wants to have it, but you have to do it," says Eleanor Blayney, consumer advocate for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. "People worry that if they sit down with Mom or Dad, it will be awkward or difficult. But it's important to open up about your goals and aspirations, and then ask people in the family what their situation is. You model the conversation by sharing where you are."

Conversely, Blayney says these meetings may go "one generation up," where the needs of aging parents or grandparents get discussed. That gets tricky for many, as three out of four Americans have never discussed long-term care with their loved ones, according to Genworth's 2011 Financial Reality Check Study.

If that subject is on the agenda, "Be straightforward and don't take family members by surprise," says Genworth national spokesperson Wendy Boglioli. "Tell your family that you have something important you want to talk about and do it in a comfortable, pleasant setting."

"With elder parents, you have to ask them if they need some help with living expenses, medical expenses, all sorts of things," adds Bob Stammers, head of investor education for the CFA Institute, a global nonprofit of investment professionals from more than 100 countries. "Some people don't like to talk about it, and so you have to come at it from the heart. The older generation doesn't like to admit they need some help."

(Read by Nelly Min. Nelly Min is a journalist at the China Daily Website.)






“倾听是最重要的,” 佛罗里达州普兰泰申的托比亚斯财务顾问公司总裁本•托比亚斯说道。如果儿女想加入美国和平队,而不是找一份更传统的工作,“找出原因,而且记住,花两三年做点事情是宝贵的人生经历。但要问问,‘你有没有想想这之后怎么办?’你想要子女们多想想未来,而不是暂时满足。”

“这有点像跟孩子讨论性知识,没人想这样,但你必须得做。” 注册金融策划师标准委员会的消费者权益倡导者埃莉诺•布莱尼说道。“人们担心坐下来和父母谈话很尴尬很艰难。但是坦诚地说出目标和愿望很重要,之后询问一下家人的近况。和他人分享你的境况可以引导谈话。”








Warm Wishes 感恩节温馨英文祝福



A time of family reunion 美国人怎么过感恩节?

(中国日报网英语点津 Julie 编辑:陈丹妮)


Black Friday: 感恩节过后的星期五。这一天,不仅是感恩节后的血拼日,也是圣诞购物季的开始。

bargain hunting: 买便宜货

take a back seat: 黯然隐退,处于次要地位

melodramatic: 情节剧的

Peace Corps: 美国和平队

the facts of life: 性知识,生活方面的基本知识