A new survey conducted by Hodge Bank has revealed that (over half of the consumers surveyed) 56% of people are embarrassed to ask their family for financial help.

Over 3,000 people were interviewed as part of the study which asked about their attitudes towards finances and aspirations for the future. The study was conducted using a range of interview techniques, from in-depth face-to-face interviews and over 3,000 shorter interviews.

The aim of the research was to understand how peoples’ attitudes towards finances evolve across the generations.

The findings revealed that, while a third of people pin a lot of their future happiness on financial goals, it’s not something they like to talk about with their families.

Emma Graham, Business Development Director for Hodge Bank, said of the research “The study highlighted not only how much importance people put on their financial security in the future, but also how difficult families find financial conversations.”

The embarrassment factor hit its peak in the 35-45 age group, with 60% of this age group thinking that it’s embarrassing to ask for financial help. This drops with age and conversely, 58% of those over the age of 75 are happy to help out financially.

“At Hodge, we view financial circumstances from a lifelong point of view, it’s not just about individual products – it’s a lot more about helping people throughout their lives and understanding their individual and family circumstances and how they change. This study was commissioned to understand how different generations approach their finances and how this evolves over time.”

The study also revealed other financial areas where families are reluctant to chat – which includes inheritance planning. The research found just 23% have spoken to their spouses and only 13% with their children (increasing to 35% of grandparents with their children) about inheritance planning. Only 3 in 10 of those aged between 35-54 have a will in place, and only 42% of all respondents organised a will.

This is the first part of Hodge’s campaign “It’s all relative” which looks at intergenerational relationships and how finances can impact this. As part of the campaign, Hodge has been working with financial advisor, Siobhan Thomas, who specialises in family finances.

When asked about the findings, Thomas said: “It’s not surprising that families don’t have these conversations willingly; it’s not an easy subject to broach. But finances within families are often more woven together than most of us realise and consider. Not only with regards to inheritance, but joint ownership of property, investments for grandchildren and parents, there is a lot that happens over time that we as financial advisers are sometimes not party to.”

“It’s important to examine how a client’s current and future wealth are connected, and how this then connects to other family members as you plan for their financial journey ahead.”

Graham continued “The ONS family and household report for 2019 showed that households are changing at a fast pace, with lone parent families and same sex families growing significantly each year. It shows that the conventional family unit isn’t typical these days, and conversely neither are our finances.”

“Through this campaign, we want to help understand the reasons why people don’t like to talk about money but also equip our brokers and networks with the right materials to help families talk comfortably about these topics.”