NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Money is too often a taboo subject at kitchen tables across the U.S.
But when almost two-thirds of U.S. households of older parents and adult children can't agree on when to talk about family finances, you know you have a problem. A disagreement among 64% of respondents to a Fidelity Investments survey have parents wanting to wait until after retirement for serious talks about such things as retirement preparedness, eldercare and estate planning, while their adult children want to talk before their parents retire or get sick.
The survey shows families perennially "at odds" over money discussions, with part of the problem being the older generation's hesitancy to discuss personal finances, even with family. It's a combination of respect and privacy issues -- older parents still see themselves as the financial stewards of the family and don't want their sons or daughters taking control, even it's in their best interests, even as a separate 2012 study from Ameriprise Financial shows that only 33% of baby boomers say they are highly confident of their ability to provide financial security for themselves and their family, compared with 51% in 2007.
But what adult children and their parents worry about when it comes to money varies widely.
The Ameriprise report says the top concern among baby boomers is "poor investment returns," understandable given the need to build some capital appreciation for retirement during a boomer's working years. But parents of boomers aren't as concerned about their investments -- their No. 1 money concern is "changes to Social Security" (although both groups do worry about health care costs, Ameriprise reports).