How do I keep my son out of my finances?
I am approaching retirement and have $1.5 million in various 401k/retirement accounts. I also have a non-curable medical condition. The money is invested with my long term financial advisers. I am married & have 4 kids. One of my sons just graduated college and became a financial adviser himself less than 1 year ago. Of course he wants me to become his client and transfer all my money to his accounts. My wife agrees with him because she says we need to help/support him. I am a private person about financial matters and don't want my child to know all about every dollar I've ever made. My current advisers consider all information about me, including my health situation before recommending any financial moves. I don't want to have to reveal to my son the details about my health and finances every time I need money. This will be quite frequently once i start withdrawing money soon. I don't want to feel like I am getting his permission each time. I don't want him judging me based on what I am spending my money on. I feel these are are private matters that would cause me lots of stress if I had to share them with just one child, and wouldn't be fair to the other kids. How do I find a way to solve this without hurting my son more. He is already moping around, acting like he is not successful because his dad won't become his client.
Have you had an honest conversation with him? You don't have to divulge anything you don't want to. Have you tried explaining to him that you're not comfortable mixing family and finances? In my experience, I've never seen it work well. It has always ended very badly. In some cases, it's ended familial relationships entirely. He should be able to understand that you don't want to have to involve him every time you want to access your money. Offer your support in every way possible, including recommends to possible clients outside of the family. Be his cheerleader in every way. But you shouldn't have to hand over your life's savings to show your support.
Ask him how he'd feel about having to ask a family member every time he wanted his own money, or if he'd rather keep that particular relationship strictly professional. My gut says it's better to have a difficult conversation and a mopey son for a bit now, then an estranged son down the road. Just explain you don't want to have to explain your financial decisions to your son any more than he'd want to have to explain his to you. Or, offer him a deal. You'll give him control of your finances, if he'll give you control of his. When he balks, he may start to understand where you're coming from.
I like your answer. I may have overstated just a bit- I don't really think that I'll have to get permission to access my money, it's just that he will know the total & when & how much the withdraws are. That's still too much info for me. I think if I ask him if he'd want me to know all his finanaces, he'd probably say "sure" just to make his point.
On the other hand, is there anyone else out there that has been in a somewhat similar situation but turned over their accounts to a close relative & it has worked out FANTASTICALLY??