If you are one of the lucky ones, growing up, Mom always looked out for you, offered you advice, and was there for you in good times and in bad. This Mother’s Day, it’s time to look out for your mom or another mom you love by offering financial education that can help her, both now and into her future. You may have picked up your current beliefs about money from someone in your family growing up. However, there is a real difference between how our parents handled their finances and how we handle finances today.

Why is talking about personal finances relevant to this Mother’s Day?

How often do you talk to your mother about finances? Maybe a casual comment about how expensive an item is, or a general statement like, “Oh, we can/can’t afford that” or “Let me talk to Dad”? Or, was it Mom who showed you how she balanced a checkbook or created a budget in a spreadsheet, Mom who got excited about a positive day in the stock market, and Mom who helped you open a savings account?

As I talk to people about these questions, it has become clear that there are circumstances to be mindful of — single women raising their children, married women without any interest in handling money, and women who have strained relationships with their moms.

Today, we know that most women will have to manage their own finances or make a significant financial decision at some point.

Let’s talk about a few different possible circumstances to help you figure out what educational tips you have to offer. As always, being respectful towards someone when talking about money is critical, and you can prepare yourself for the conversation by thinking about how Mom feels about the topic and how she might react. For example, if Mom has not been involved for years, start the conversation with examples of how you handle your own finances and see how familiar she is with the topic.

As another example, let’s say your mother is over 65 years old, she may or may not be working outside the home, and she continues to provide you with gifts and support. Ask three questions:

1) Mom, do you think you want to live here for the next 20 or 30 years?
2) Mom, is it important to you to continue giving me gifts?
3) Mom, do you know how to safely access all of your accounts?

Let the answers to these questions guide you on what to do next, especially if the answer is not clear. This can be a follow-up conversation on living options and health concerns, preparing a solid retirement plan, or an update to the technology she uses.

If, on the other hand, you are the one receiving a Mother’s Day card and burnt toast for breakfast from a little one, then you can ask yourself, “What can I teach my child that I learned from (or wish I had learned from) my mom?”

From helping with technology to thinking about her happiness, these are all gifts showing your gratitude this Mother’s Day.

Author Ambari Prakash Pinto Financial Advisor

Ambari earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Vermont and a juris doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center. She is conversant in Spanish and Hindi.

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