Financial Planning

Millennials, Are Your Parents Defining Your Financial Plan?

It isn't uncommon to turn to family for advice about money. Even if you don't seek out their opinions, you may be surprised how much their views about money shape your own.

Millennials, Are Your Parents Defining Your Financial Plan?

Be honest, millennials: When your parents give you financial planning advice, do you listen to them or look the other way?

Whether you seek out financial advice from your parents or find yourself pushing back against their ideas, research shows that when it comes to financial planning, you're probably more influenced by your parents than you think.

Millennials turn to parents for financial advice

Let's say you've received a hard-earned bonus or got a raise. You're probably wondering: Should I spend or save the money? Take a vacation? Put the money toward paying down student loans?

If you're thinking of turning to your parents to help you answer these questions, you aren't alone. A  "2016 Millennial Money Study" from Fidelity found that two-thirds (65 percent) of millennials trust their parents when it comes to getting sound financial planning advice.

Everyone needs to start somewhere. Conversations with family and friends are a productive way to explore positive strategies for the future, especially when it comes to big decisions, such as retirement. Nearly six in 10 millennials say they have already started saving for retirement, according to the study..

Imitation is not always a good thing

There are, however, downsides that can occur when parents greatly influence their millennial children's financial future. Many parents may not be the best financial role models and often do not engage in financial education, which could spell trouble for millennials who seek financial advice from their parents and follow in their financial footsteps.

Conversely, even if your parents are financially literate and had plenty of time to impart sound financial advice, it's important to recognize that every financial plan is unique. What was right for your parents may not be necessarily right for you, a millennial. Your parents are in a different life stage and most likely had a different work experience. To be optimally effective, your financial plan and strategy should be based on you.

Who defines your financial future?

Hopefully, you are defining your own financial future. Ask: Would you rather chart your own course or fly on autopilot? If you're not purposefully implementing your own custom financial plan, you may inadvertently make the same choices your parents made by default. Whether that's good or bad-whether you want to follow in your parents' footsteps, or blaze your own trail-you should be aware that your parents' life path is only one option out of many.

Which path is right for you? That's yours to decide.

Create a financial plan with advice suited for millennials.

When it comes to making a financial plan, many people continue to follow the choices and financial advice of their parents. This isn't necessarily a negative thing, but creating your own financial plan that's built on your own needs and goals can be much more rewarding in the long run. The start of a new year is a great time to start a new financial plan. Why not get started on yours today?

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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

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