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I bet you think I’m joking right? You’re probably thinking that talking about finances in the most boring thing in the world. Why should you talk about that?

Most people feel that having a lot of money will solve financial problems. “If I hit the lottery, I am going to be set for life.” Well how come most people that win the lottery are broke in a few years? The common theory is they lose it because they do not understand money…more importantly they never talk about it. And as the saying goes, it’s easy to make it, but much harder to keep it. Managing money is a skill that is lacking with so many people because some parents never wanted to discuss and it carries over until adulthood.

Throwing money at money problems may help in the short-term, but not over the long haul. Think about it, so many millionaire athletes are broke only a few years after playing their sport. It seems some entertainers and celebrities lose millions overnight. Now is more prevalent than ever for individuals to discuss finances amongst themselves and with their children. Before people felt, if I ever get a lot of money, I’ll just get someone to manage it and invest it for me. Well if you know anything about the Bernie Madoff story, you know that’s not the best solution. He scammed billions of dollars from very wealthy individuals and charitable organizations.

We don’t have to be experts in all areas of finance. What we do need to know is enough to make sure that the professionals we hire are doing their part. The world has changed and it is forcing people to be open and discuss their personal finances. Gone are the days of working for a company for years and retiring from the company pension. Gone are the days of buying and holding stocks. And who knows what is going to happen to Social Security and Medicare. Individuals are expected to make their own financial decisions and invest for their own retirement.

Studies show that people don’t like to talk about issues that they don’t understand. In essence, people don’t discuss finances because they don’t want to look ‘dumb.’ Instead of asking questions and getting answers, people sit back and say nothing. And society wants to keep people ‘dumb’ so the few that do understand make all the money.

Talking about money really is fun, but it does take a commitment to understand what you’re talking about, or at least think you know what you’re talking about. How come so many people enjoy talking about their favorite TV show, sports, or relationships? That is because they feel they know what they are talking about. The same commitment that is made to our favorite sports team or TV program is the same commitment we should make to our personal finances because it really can be fun!

I’m not a journalist, just a person with an opinion!

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Kathleen Norris

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