Money matters, so talk and be open about it

In this digital era where dialogue tends to be undertaken in silence with two thumbs and a mobile phone, one wonders if the true art of conversation – like rhetoric – is being forgotten.

Perhaps it’s just unfashionable but conversations – or simply talking, if you prefer - are the most powerful and effective way of dealing with problems. They are also the very best way of avoiding them in the first place.

Disputes, misunderstandings, business deals and even wars are all resolved in the end with conversation. Can’t be done by text!

We are a Building Society so, the problems we see very often come about because of a lack of clarity or pure understanding as something has not been talked through properly in the first place.

And, of course, prevention is always better than cure.

In this era as well, where the Bank of Mum and Dad has become so influential in the purchase of properties for first-time buyers that it is now the equivalent of a top ten lender to the tune of £6.3bn a year.

This is excellent of course and being as we are the Family Building Society, we exist to help families do just that.

But we are also a real mortgage lender and we know exactly how tricky and sometimes complicated it can be.

Also, it is very unBritish to talk about money, so we tend not to.

This is not a good thing when it comes to using substantial chunks of your own financial resources to help your kids get on the property ladder.

So, among our many guides to how best to arrange your affairs as a branch of BoMaD, we have created another called, oddly, Bank of Mum and Dad – a Conversation Guide.

In it you will find checklists of all the issues which parents and children need to consider and discuss in order to avoid any misunderstanding later down the line.

Are you making a gift or loan, for example? How much will you need to contribute?

What will be the conditions of the arrangement? Will interest need to be paid?

If buying with another and the relationship breaks down, what will our plan be?

A really important area to be ironed out is exactly where do the funds to help your youngsters out come from?

The equity in your home, perhaps. Fine, most do, but you need to examine the impact on your financial affairs.

Many parents also use part of their pension funding to finance the deal. This can also be an effective way of accomplishing your goal. But here, particularly you need to think about the impact when you are older.

If you are 60 now taking a chunk out of your pension can have a dramatic effect on the future value of your fund – and you will need it when you are 80.

There are so many things to talk about we think this guide will help with that difficult conversation and help avoid any misunderstandings that may occur in the future.

Because talk you must.

Download our guide here.

Written by Steve McDowell

The content of this blog is Steve McDowell’s personal opinion and comment, and views expressed here are his and unless specifically stated, are not those of Family Building Society. The content on this page is not intended to be advice in any circumstances.