BY JASON M. MORLEY
When I was growing up, I had no clue whether I was poor or rich. It wasn't until I was in middle school did I really realize how different people lived and what incomes people actually made. I had had so much life experience up until that time yet didn't really know anything about what my parents made or how they survived on what they did. Then, just before my last two weeks of college, my father past away and I was left discovering his estate and what he earned and saved.
This was not only a turning point of maturity, but also a lesson in what to now help my children understand how much daddy makes and what they should expect when he is no longer here.
I currently live in a gated community that is very sheltered from the outside world in terms of real estate. Each month the community newsletter has our two resident agents with their listings predominantly placed throughout. Here lies an accurate value of just about every home in the development based on the homes for sale.
I can only picture my daughter now, as I would have done, when she figures out that our house is worth a lot more then she could imagine. Granted, the price of my home currently is no Gold Coast price; however, in five to ten years when she cares or realizes it may be a significant amount to her standards.
This bring up the question of how to deal with you children guessing or wanting to know what you make or what you are worth.
Currently, I have had the most amounts of clients coming in to see me and having some sort of issue with their parents leaving them money or parents discussing issues of leaving money to their children.
Besides giving specific advice to a particular situation, my best advice is to speak to your children about your financial status as soon as possible and as often as possible. This dialogue will help build a better bond with your family and also allow for better expectation of your children.
Jason M. Morley, CPA/PFS, CFP is founding principal of Morley Financial Planning, a Fee-Only financial planning and Registered Investment Advisory firm headquartered on Long Island in Suffolk County New York. The firm specializes in providing financial planning and investment advice to people from all walks of life. For more information you can contact Jason at 631-454-9444 or visit his Web site at