GO
Loading...

Don't avoid 'taboo' topics at the turkey table

With Thanksgiving a day away, you should be prepared for some topics that may come up over dinner that you may rather avoid talking about. If your family doesn't often openly discuss money matters, financial issues may seem "taboo." But it's important to have "The Talk"—and doing so over the turkey table may be the perfect opportunity.

Don't avoid these topics, though they may be tough to talk about:

Managing health care for an aging parent

If your parents are growing older, talk about their health. It's important to discuss plans for their physical and financial care. Your 95-year-old mom has a pacemaker and has been ailing.

"It's time to discuss how to take care of her physically and financially," said Lori Sackler, a certified financial planner and senior vice president at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. "Most aging people don't want to relinquish control, you have to think about how to approach her and think about her needs."

Planning for retirement for yourself, your spouse and your children

If you've talked to family members for months about planning a vacation, you should at least spend a few minutes together discussing your retirement plans. Be open and honest about your preparation and plans for when you stop working.

"If Dad has been supporting family members during a tough economic time, it's time for Dad to sit down and discuss how he'll be able to contribute going forward," said Sackler, who is also the author of "The M Word: The Money Talk Every Family Needs to Have About Wealth and Their Financial Future."

Joe Michi | E+ | Getty Images

Merging families and finances

If you've remarried and your families are getting together for the holiday, it may be the right time discuss how the blending of families is impacting your finances. Make sure you're on the same page when it comes to sharing (and separating) assets.

"The biggest taboo topic is often who are you going to leave your money to—that's one of the reasons many people put off doing their wills," said Stacy Francis, a certified financial planner and founder of Francis Financial. "Don't skirt around the issue. Talk about it. Silence can be a big negative."

Certainly, these aren't the easiest topics to discuss, but they may be critical for your financial future—and that of your loved ones. Being together this holiday season could be the best time to get the conversation going.

(Read more: How heirs can cope with sudden inherited wealth)

—By CNBC's Sharon Epperson. Follow her on twitter: @sharon_epperson.

Contact Playbook

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More

Financial Advisor Council

  • Cathy Curtis, CNBC Financial Advisory Board

    Founder, owner, Curtis Financial Planning

  • Ric Edelman

    Ric Edelman is chairman and CEO of Edelman Financial Services, author, TV and radio host, and frequent speaker on personal finance.

  • President, CEO, Francis Financial

Latest Special Reports

  • Alibaba Group headquarters in Hangzhou, China

    In-depth coverage on Alibaba's IPO, including roadshow coverage, expert analysis, and Alibaba's stock price.

  • With more than 1,600 ETFs now on the market, learn more about how advisors and investors are profiting from the ETF boom.

  • Unlock the keys to building a successful long-term financial plan: manage your money, grow your money, and protect it.

Financial Advisors