Family and Money

Myth: Parents must protect their children from college financing decisions

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Ryan Lane, Senior Editor, American Student Assistance 

The college selection process is complex and stressful, and many parents fail to discuss the long-term financial ramifications of taking on student loan debt with their children. In today’s episode, Kathleen and Ryan discuss how many parents try to protect their children by not talking about money, but do the family a disservice by not engaging in this important and enlightening conversation. Ryan offers tips for involving your children in the college funding decision-making process and how doing so can help them avoid huge student loan debt when they graduate from school. 

Take Aways: 

  1. Start the college application process early by involving your children in the FAFSA process and talking about different ways to finance their education, such as loans, grants, scholarships, and good old hard work.
  2. Schedule a money talk with your children to discuss the FAFSA results, repayment schedule, how it may affect their college choice. Create a mock budget to demonstrate the long-term, real-life impact of each of the funding options.
  3. When discussing this topic with recent graduates, encourage them to pay down student loans faster by making an extra payment per year. Have your child calculate the amount of money saved by avoiding additional interest expenses. Then brainstorm all the other ways they could use this cash. For example, if you save $1000 in interest expense, what could you buy instead? A long weekend in Bermuda comes to mind?!

Guest Bio:

Ryan Lane is the Senior Editor, at the national nonprofit American Student Assistance. In his role, he oversees the development of articles, infographics, course materials for the organization’s free education finance support program: Salt. Working with internal and external subject matter experts, Ryan creates content that simplifies the world of college financing and helps families successfully plan for, pay for, and repay higher education expenses. Over the past three years, he has written about student loans as a co-author of the U.S. News & World Report Blog “The Student Loan Ranger.” For more information about Ryan and the ASA, visit

Myth: Aging parents communicate with you about money.

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Kelly Pelissier, Creative Director and owner of Sage Hill Design

Does talking to your parents about money make you feel like a child? As our parents age, we may find ourselves in the position of parent in many aspects. Kelly and Kathleen delve into this money myth in today’s episode. Listen and learn how to approach your parents for this difficult conversation.

Key take aways include:

  1. Starting the conversation with loving intent.
  2. Acknowledging your parents’ difficult feelings about the topic.
  3. Introducing the idea and then letting them set up a time later on to discuss the topic in more detail.
  4. Know that it is a journey not a one time conversation.
  5. Give your parents control over what financial information to share and when.
  6. Know that breaking money silence with your aging parents allows you to learn more about your family history and more about them as people, not just parents.

Kelly Pelissier – Having more than 15 years in the creative industry, Kelly decided to put the long commutes behind her and begin her own firm, Sage Hill Design in 2008. Her prior experience as both Art Director and Adjunct Design Professor have given her advantages in both corporate and educational realms. Her irrational fear of boredom and sense of global responsibility have led her to start a small organic farm with her husband. 

Kelly has worked with KBK Wealth Connection since its inception and continues to be an important part of the team.

Special Offer: For Breaking Money Silence(TM) podcast listeners:  Complimentary 30 minute consultation with Kelly to discuss your branding and creative needs. Just mention that you hear about Sage Hill Design from this broadcast.

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Myth: If my adult children are college educated then I don’t need to talk to them about family finances.

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Jim Silbernagel, CFP® LUTCF, Real Wealth®, Registered Advisor with Woodbury Financial Services, Inc.

Jim was motivated to discuss this myth because it can be heartbreaking to see situations when the parents pass away and fights over the will resulted in their children not speaking to each other again. Estate planning is a crucial conversation parents need to have with their adult children. However, some parents believe that if their kids are smarter than they were, then they don’t need to talk to them about money. The truth is it’s always important to communicate with your family about finances. Join us for today’s episode and find out how to bust this myth wide open and engage in important conversations about money and estate planning with family members. 

Jim Silbernagel is an independent agent registered with Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. and the creator and host of Real Wealth®, an online radio program for insurance and financial professionals. He entered the insurance and financial business over three decades ago and is a CFP and LUTCF, as well as  holding various security licenses. Jim leads Power Session LIVE, a monthly best practice and sales ideas session with top industry leaders. He can be reached at 262.626.2590 or at