I ran across this post on SavingAdvice.com which argues that it's almost always a bad idea to talk about money outside of the family. This topic of conversation often leads to jealousy, feelings of superiority, pity, and offense, according to writer Jennifer Derrick. So, she feels the less said about money outside of the family, the better; ideally, nothing should be said.
Taking such a strong stance about money talk does prevent news of your riches or lack thereof from spreading. That's the upside.
The downside of this strong stance is that it precludes conversations with other like-minded individuals. Recently I enjoyed a conversation with a friend about real estate, retirement, debt, and business. We mentioned specific numbers and suggested some options that might be of benefit. It's one of several conversations like this I've had with my friend.
I have a few friends with whom I talk candidly about finances. My wife calls it “talking cha-ching.”
Discretion and trust are the name of the game
Recently I enjoyed a conversation with a friend about real estate, retirement, debt, and business. We mentioned specific numbers and suggested some options that might be of benefit. Notice how vague that is? That was on purpose. It's similar to statements in a number of other articles on this website. We talk about these kinds of things, but I'm not going to share this with just anyone, and certainly not on a public website.
If I did, my friend wouldn't trust me anymore, because I lacked discretion. Those are the keys to having discussions about money with other people. Another friend made this point more directly: He was trusting me not to talk about this to anyone else — not even his spouse. If things slipped out, then he'd not speak to me about specifics anymore.
In most cases, the first person to turn to for financial advice should be in the family — typically your spouse if you have one. But sometimes that's not enough, and you want to get someone else's unbiased opinion; there's nothing wrong with that.
Why not turn to someone else that you trust for financial advice?