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More Parents Want to Talk About Money Instead of Sex

Even though parents don’t know enough about personal finance to teach it to their children, they’d still rather talk about that than sex.

A new study from Chase shows it’s still hard to teach your kids about Money, but not as bad as it used to be. The study shows baby boomers didn’t hear a lot of money talk growing up — because it was taboo — while 3-in-4 millennials have had talks about money with their parents, and more than half know how much money their parents make.

“We find that different generations have different family obligations and different willingness to talk money with other family members,” says professor John Lynch, who directs the Center for Research on Consumer Financial Decision Making at the University of Colorado. “Perhaps that is because millennials are in tighter financial circumstances and need to talk with family members and others to cope.”

It seems because baby boomers grew up in the dark about money — it was tucked under mattresses and literally hidden from view, the study reports — they did a better job teaching their kids about it. That was Gen X, which has passed on the same attitude to the grandkids.

Because of this, more millennials are following a budget (78 percent verses 59 percent of boomers) and are optimistic about their financial futures (64 percent versus 57 percent of boomers) making them the most financially-savvy generation in history, Chase says.

“They’re confidently making critical financial decisions and are actively preparing for the future,” the study says. “In fact, the majority of millennials start saving for retirement at age 23—exactly 17 years earlier than boomers did.”

Because they graduated into the recession, millennials are even more motivated than previous generations to get the next group of young people on the right track financially. They plan to teach their kids about money by age 13.

Among the rest of the study’s findings:

  • 20 percent of baby boomers knew how much their parents made; 54 percent of millennials admit they know how much their parents made.
  • 74 percent of millennials said they had the “money talk” with their parents — more than double the boomers who said their parents talked about money with them (34 percent).
  • 96 percent of baby boomers believe the money talk is important, which is more than the 89 percent who believe the sex talk is important.

So it seems the birds and the bees can at least wait until you talk about the banks and the fees.

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