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How Talking About Money Gave This Family a ‘Cathartic Moment’

As Personal Capital continues to advocate for financial wellness, we’re pleased to share this real-life money story from a family who uses Personal Capital’s free online tools. 

Many people shy away from talking about money with their parents.

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All too often, finances are treated as a taboo topic to be swept under the rug. However, many parents invest a great amount into their kids’ future, and they are glad to know when their grown children are financially healthy. 

This was certainly the case for Gregory* and his father.

As a young university professor, Gregory immigrated to the United States for work in 2005. For years, talk of money remained off-limits with his family back in Europe.

That changed in the summer of 2019.

Visit to Ailing Father Leads to ‘Cathartic’ Conversation

As Gregory’s father was battling stage 4 prostate cancer, Gregory returned to Europe to spend time together.

“He was always anxious about money, saving money, and being financially independent,” Gregory recalled of his late father.

During the visit, he had an idea to set his dad’s mind at ease. He grabbed his laptop, took it to his father’s bedside, and explained how he used the Personal Capital dashboard to track and manage his finances. Gregory told us:

“I showed him how much money I had saved. He smiled and told me not to ‘lose’ the money. It was a cathartic moment for both of us because it made my immigration to the United States worth it to him. Despite me being away from my family, being away from them, it made it worth it to him that I had achieved his vision of the American Dream.”

Tools for Financial Empowerment

Back in 2013, as Gregory was adjusting to life in the U.S., he decided to register for Personal Capital’s financial tools. Since then, he has used the tools to check his investments, optimize his portfolio and steadily grow his net worth.

He said he loves the tools because “they are organized, reliable, and I can see all of my accounts in one place without needing to reconnect my accounts every time I want to view my finances.”

Gregory said his favorite tools are for investing and long-term financial planning. His family also uses the budget planning tool. However, as a one-income family, they are very conservative with expenses and know how much they spend on a monthly basis.

Instead, the tools have had greater impact on the family’s financial wellbeing. “Now able to track my net worth, my wife and I have a much clearer idea of how much money we need to save, how to properly invest, and what our priorities are in order to reach our long-term financial goals,” Gregory told us.

Learn More: Get Clarity on Your Money

Armed with his financial data, Gregory has been able to plan his financial future. Just as importantly, he was also able to show to his father how far he’d come in achieving financial confidence. Seeing Gregory’s complete financial picture, his father felt at peace.

Just a couple of months after that summertime visit to Europe in 2019, Gregory was back in the U.S. attending a major psychology conference when his mother called asking him to return to Europe as soon as possible to see his father one final time.

“I end up visiting my father at the hospital,” Gregory said, “and to prove to me that he remembered who he was, where he was, he starts telling me the first three digits of my net worth.”

Gregory is among 2.7 million people who use Personal Capital’s free financial tools to track their net worth, analyze their investments, and plan for retirement.

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* Names, locations and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals in this post.

The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money.

Any reference to the advisory services refers to Personal Capital Advisors Corporation, a subsidiary of Personal Capital. Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training nor does it imply endorsement by the SEC.

Alex Bae is the Communications Manager at Personal Capital.
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