You do plenty of client handholding during times of market volatility, but your clients might need you in another anxiety-inducing situation: when it’s time to talk finances with kids.

Parents say money is among the top-four most important topics to discuss with kids, reveals a TD survey. (The other three: being polite, dealing with strangers and bullying.) But 31% say they find broaching the subject difficult.

If they don’t talk about money, however, parents’ worries might increase.

That’s because the survey finds that, without healthy money habits, parents are worried their children will go into debt as adults (54%), depend on them to bail them out of money troubles (36%) and continually ask for money (32%).


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Canadians who grow up to exhibit such behaviours could potentially suffer dire consequences.

That’s because a Manulife study finds that shame and embarrassment impede Canadians from acknowledging their financial struggles, resulting in a cycle of mental and physical health problems that reduce quality of life and work productivity.

Professional counsellors (those dealing with mental health issues) say many Canadians are unable to talk about their financial challenges because of their intimate nature.

“We believe that the industry as a whole has a bigger role to play in helping remove these stigmas,” says Sue Reibel, executive vice-president and general manager, group benefits and retirement solutions at Manulife, in a release. “Only once an individual is comfortable discussing their own money problems can they begin to take steps to address them.”

Read: How to moderate family meetings

Half the time, financial challenges are the underlying element beneath issues for which people seek support from mental health counsellors, finds the study. Further, only one in three counsellors say they witness clients making the connection between finances and other life problems.

About the TD survey: TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research to conduct an online survey of 1,101 Canadian adult parents with a child aged 4 to 17 currently living in their households. Responses were collected between Sept. 19 and 26, 2017.

About the Manulife study: The study was conducted between April 2016 and July 2017 in three phases: qualitative interviews with nine professional Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) counsellors, a quantitative survey of 223 EFAP counsellors, and five key qualitative interviews with EFAP counsellors.

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