No matter the level of income of a family, disagreements arise about money, independence and roles.
That is even more the case in family businesses, which John Davis of the MIT Sloan School of Management says represents half of the publicly traded companies in the US. UU. And two thirds of the companies in the world. The "business" of the royal family is largely to provide ceremonial leadership in the United Kingdom, which a brand consultant estimates at $ 2.3 billion a year through its drive to tourism and other industries.
Families who do not run a business together also become entangled in the financial lives of others. Older generations are increasingly tied to the finances of younger generations, a problem that can reach a critical point in life's conjunctures such as marriage or the birth of a child, financial experts say. Such events can cause adult children or their parents to reassess their priorities.
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In the case of Harry and Meghan, their decision to separate came eight months after the birth of their son, Archie. In their Instagram post last week announcing their decision, the couple cited their desire for "geographical balance" to raise their child between the United Kingdom and North America.
For family business members, "there are expectations of you, not only in your work but also in your lifestyle," as in what neighborhood you live in, says Davis, who is the director of the Family Business Programs faculty at Sloan of MIT School and advises multigenerational family businesses.
Those expectations "may feel limiting, not only for the blood family member but especially for the spouse," says Davis. "It is an obligation".
In announcing their decision, Meghan and Harry said they want to become "financially independent." That means they will give up their share of the Sovereign Grant, the fund provided by taxpayers for members of the royal family, which has covered 5% of their expenses. His remaining income comes from Harry's father, Prince Charles, according to his website.
While they live on a much larger scale, Meghan and Harry still share an experience that is increasingly common for millennials: having parental financial support. And even if it is difficult to relate to the wealth of the royal family, many middle-class American families increasingly feel the tensions arising from such arrangements.
Approximately one in six Americans says they receive financial support from their families, including a third of the millennium generation, according to the Northwestern Mutual Planning and Progress study in 2019.
The opinions of Americans about when young adults should obtain financial independence have changed. Only a quarter believe that adulthood begins at age 18, while a third say it begins at age 25, according to a Country Financial survey last year.
"It's often a kind of life event that makes them activate that independence," like getting married, says Troy Frerichs, vice president of investment services at Country Financial.
Experts say that can lead to discussions about financial goals and limits for several reasons. For example, parents may decide that marriage signals the preparation of an adult child for financial independence, while adult children may want to set goals to move out of the parents' house if they find a better paid job.
"It's awkward for American families, and it's also awkward for royalty," says Chantel Bonneau, wealth management advisor at Northwestern Mutual. “I have many clients of 21, 30 and 40 who say: & # 39; My parents still pay my cell phone & # 39; or & # 39; My parents will give me a down payment for a house, but then they have something to say in the place of the house and the style. "It is a double-edged sword".
Of course, in the case of millennials who receive support from their parents, it is often the older generations who seek to break things, rather than the younger generations who seek to get away from the situation, due to their concerns about retirement savings.
But whatever the situation, experts point to guidelines that can help adult children and parents navigate discussions about finances, independence and expectations.
Be clear about what you want to achieve
To avoid unpleasant surprises, tell your family what you want to discuss before the conversation, says Bonneau of Northwestern Mutual. "If a child comes in with the expectation of asking for help to buy a house, and the parents did not expect that, they are suddenly fighting," she says.
Understand the intention
Like Meghan and Harry, adult children can be "more emotional and drastic than their parents" as they try to find their own way, says Bonneau. And parents can try to give unwanted advice. But the key is to assume a positive intention, he adds. For example, parents' unwanted advice probably comes from the desire to help their children avoid difficulties.
Do your research
If you have a financial proposal, make sure you have executed the numbers, says Bonneau. For example, young adults who ask their parents for help with the initial payment of a house or car could show that they can handle the monthly payments.
Establish plans for family businesses
Families with multigenerational businesses often face the diversity of views, geographic locations and careers, says MIT Davis. In that case, considering the creation of a formal family government plan can help create a coherent family culture, such as organizing annual family gatherings. Davis says: "Create good meetings for the family to stay together and enjoy each other."
Aimee Picchi is a business journalist whose work appears in publications that include USA TODAY, CBS News and Consumer Reports. He previously spent almost a decade covering technology and media for Bloomberg News. You can follow her on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.