Communicating Finances in the Family

Talking and Taking Action (First Edition)
Roberta A. Davilla Robbins and A. Frank Thompson
©2020, 192 pages

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Communicating Finances in the Family

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    Most financial planning decisions faced by families are the result of family life stages—entering into a committed relationship; having and caring for children; working; taking care of parents; securing retirement funds; and distributing wealth at the end of life. All of these family life stages require planning, budgeting and, more importantly, communicating in order to reach these financial goals.

    Exploring the vital relationship between communication and financial planning, Communicating Finances in the Family: Talking and Taking Action helps students move from seeing money as a “problem” to viewing money as the “path” to achieving their financial goals.

    Readers learn about the role of money within a family, the emotional controversy it can create, the importance of honest communication in financial planning, and how to develop a family financial mission statement, set financial goals, and develop a budget. Included are case studies that demonstrate communication strategies in action and self-check questions to help students consider their own experiences and plans.

    Communicating Finances in the Family is an ideal supplementary text for courses in interpersonal communication, family communication, group communication, community, finance, economics, and family studies.

    For a look at the specific features and benefits of Communicating Finances in the Family, visit

    Roberta A. Davilla Robbins (Ph.D., Ohio University) is the past president of the Central States Communication Association, has served on numerous communication journal editorial boards, and has held faculty positions at University of Northern Iowa, Western Illinois University, and Monmouth College. Her areas of study, research, and publication include family communication, instructional development, and the basic communication course.
    A. Frank Thompson (Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is a financial and business teaching and training consultant. He is the former chair of the Department of Finance at the University of Northern Iowa College of Business and has held positions at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Cincinnati, Federal Home Loan Bank Board, and Iowa State University.
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    Binder Ready versions have pages that are loose leaf, three-hole punched, and fit into any standard three-ring binder (not included). They are fully typeset, include front and back covers, and are available at a discount compared to standard paperbacks. Contact us for course adoptions; not available for individual purchase.
    $37.95 Paperback
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    Adopting instructor will receive six detailed PowerPoint presentations, a test bank containing over 90 questions (approx. 15 questions per chapter), and an instructor's manual containing learning activities for each chapter of the textbook.
    "I thought that I was a good planner until my children graduated from high school. All of the sudden, I was overwhelmed with their financial needs including college tuition, accommodation, and transportation. By adopting the financial planning strategies of Communicating Finances in the Family, I learned to be better prepared to set goals and make sound decisions related to planning for my children's expenses, emergencies, major purchases, savings, investments, and retirement. Now, I feel that my financial outcomes have improved, my peace of mind has been restored, and my retirement goals have been achieved."
    Mohammed Rawwas, Ph.D.

    "Straightforward and accessible, this book successfully bridges discussions of communication and finance. As the importance of connections among communication, relationships, and finance becomes increasingly evident, this book is a much-needed and valuable resource."
    Dr. David T. McMahan, Department of Communication and Journalism - Missouri Western State University, First Vice President - National Communication Association

    "This book does something different from the thousands of books on financial planning. It teaches the reader how to talk openly and directly about money with loved ones. Again and again, the emphasis is on honest and frequent communication among family members. Mission statements help families get on the same page; yearly reviews of those statements help them stay on the same page. The book is chock full of informative and fascinating examples of couples and families confronted with financial decisions. How comforting to learn that careful and realistic planning, combined with a thoughtful communication strategy, can bring out the very best of a family. This book is a recipe for more fulfillment in life and for greater cohesion among family members. Bravo Davilla Robbins and Thompson!"
    Andrew S. Parlin, Founder, Washington Peak Investment Advisors LLC

    “I have read many personal finance books over the years. However, this is the first book I have read that integrates the importance of communication with personal finance. The book provides steps to ensure financial planning has a higher probability of success by teaching communication strategies throughout the process. This book will change how families talk about and handle their personal finances. I wish I would have read this book a long time ago!”
    Ryan Sheridan, President and CEO of PSB Corporation and Denver Savings Bank, Denver, IA

    "Communicating Finances in the Family is a rare book which doesn’t just focus on the dollars and cents of financial planning but also covers the human relationships involved in setting and implementing financial goals. Making financial decisions should involve family members. This book lays out the importance of ongoing communication within the family unit, laying out the process including constructing a mission statement, collecting financial statements, creating goals, and producing action plans. As a financial professional, Chapter 4 on financial analysis provides a simple and doable outline for collecting the necessary data to assist in the communication and financial planning process. But this book, unlike other financial planning books, also provides a blueprint for family communication. All families would benefit from the communication principles laid out in this book. I wish my parents and I could have had read this book and had these discussions. I strongly recommend this book to all families whether you are just starting out or have already accumulated wealth.”
    Dr. Linda E. Bowyer, Professor Emerita of Finance, University of Toledo

    "Communicating Finances in the Family: Talking and Taking Action is a much needed presentation of the important elements of a discussion that all families should pursue in attempting to manage family finances and to achieve important family goals. Too often families find themselves managing crisis situations that most likely could have been avoided with some planning and anticipation of important family needs. This book addresses the important facets of the planning discussion. As I have come to know, failure to plan is planning to fail. Families that adopt the ideas in this book and take the time to identify their short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term goals will be significantly better off. The clarity of writing and the real-life examples of families at different stages make this a necessary reference book."
    Dr. Daniel Klein, Associate Professor Emeritus of Finance, Bowling Green State University

    "I really like the idea of turning the problem of money into the path to achieving financial goals! Almost everyone can benefit from more education on finances. This looks like a great read and very well written."
    Mr. Taylor Anderson, principal, Denver (Iowa) Community High School