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人生规划局:关于金钱和财富的七个重要问题

更新时间:2016-10-6 9:11:07 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

7 Essential Money Questions Sure to Start a Conversation
人生规划局:关于金钱和财富的七个重要问题

It’s the season of the long hike, the slow beach stroll, the idle time when you can finally just talk and think for at least a little while. Even if you don’t get to go on vacation over these next two weeks, many workplaces will be quieter than usual, allowing, perhaps, for an early escape and a longer evening meal.

现在是徒步远足、在海边漫步的季节,是终于能够闲聊、思考一会儿的悠闲时光。就算你在接下来的两周里不去度假,很多工作场所也会比平常更安静,也许你能早点溜走,用更多时间进晚餐。

No time like the present, then, to put a few big, searching money questions on the table.

那么,现在比其他任何时候都更适合把几个关于寻找财富的大问题拿出来讨论一下。

What follows are the seven best queries that I could find that tend to stop people cold and get them to open up about whatever money they have and the emotions that wrap themselves around their personal finances.

下面是我所能找到的七个最好的问题,它们往往能让人们一下子愣住,然后愿意打开心扉,谈论自己的钱财以及围绕个人财务的种种情感。

You won’t find much about investments below, as it’s easy enough nowadays to put your retirement money in a target-date fund that automates everything or sign up for a cheap bit of software to spread your savings over a collection of index funds.

下面的内容大多并非关于投资的,因为如今你可以轻松地把退休金放入一个目标期限基金,它能自动办妥一切,或者注册一个便宜的小软件,把你的积蓄分散放入一些指数基金里。

Instead, the focus here is on family, feelings and the often unknowable future that we have to plan for nevertheless. Scoop out some ice cream or pour an adult beverage and take them in order.

相反,本文的重点是家庭、感受以及往往不可知而我们又不得不计划的未来。挖几勺冰激凌,或者倒一杯成人饮料,慢慢往下看吧。

What lessons about money did you learn from your parents?

关于金钱,你从父母那里得到了哪些经验教训?

I use this one when counseling my own friends and family for two reasons. First, it can help get at self-imposed guilt. Are you determined to maintain a certain social class or climb a rung up the ladder because you’ll feel less successful in your parents’ eyes if you don’t? Are you unhappy in a white-collar career because your parents worked so hard to send you to college and you can’t bring yourself to quit? If your children don’t go to a school as good as yours was, do you worry that you’re failing them somehow?

我在给朋友或家人提供咨询时经常问这个问题,原因有两个。第一,它能帮助了解自我施加的愧疚感。你下定决心保持某种社会地位,还是再向上爬一级(因为如果你不往上爬,你会觉得在父母眼中不够成功)?你为自己的白领工作感到不愉快吗(因为父母非常努力工作才把你送去上大学,所以你不敢辞职)?如果孩子上的学校还不如你当年上的,你会担心自己在耽误他们吗?

Also, it’s crucial to be explicit with yourself and your spouse, if you have one, about how or whether your parents are role models. What specifically did they teach you that has helped? And how, in their silence about some aspects of money, could they have failed you?

另外,坦率地评价你的父母是否、以及在哪些方面是楷模,这对你自己和你的配偶(如果有配偶的话)很重要。他们教的哪一点很有帮助?他们在哪些方面对金钱的沉默可能令你失望?

What does the word “money” conjure up for you?

“金钱”这个词让你想到了什么?

This bit of word association may seem elementary, but its power hit home for Peg Eddy, a financial planner in San Diego, when a client responded with the word “food.”

这种词语联想游戏似乎很初级,但是对圣地亚哥的财务规划师佩格·埃迪(Peg Eddy)来说,它的威力能击中要害,比如一位客户的回答是“食物”。

The client’s mother was an alcoholic, and their food stamps ran out each month, so she started working at age 11 and grew up to be a successful academic. Because of that history, it took a lot of work and conversation before she was willing to spend money on things she could easily afford. Ms. Eddy described a sort of victorious moment when she got a call one day from the client asking her to come outside and see her new car.

这位客户的母亲是个酒鬼,他们的食品券每个月都会用光,所以她从11岁就开始工作,后来成为一名成功的学者。因为那段经历,经过很多努力和谈话,她才愿意把钱花到她能轻松买得起的东西上。埃迪描述了一个类似胜利的时刻:有一天她的客户给她打电话,让她出来看自己买的新车。

Other common responses to the question include security, freedom, reward and burden. One particularly honest person answered Ms. Eddy with the word “control.”

对这个问题的其他常见回答包括安全、自由、报酬和负担。有一个特别诚实的人用“控制”来回答埃迪的这个问题。

How many children would you like to have when you retire?

你退休时希望有几个孩子?

Credit for this brain-twister goes to Derek Tharp, a financial planner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who said he drew heavy inspiration from a book called “Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids,” by the economist Bryan Caplan.

这道有趣的题目来自艾奥瓦州锡达拉皮兹的财务规划师德里克·撒普(Derek Tharp)。他说自己从一本名叫《生更多孩子的自私原因》(Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids)书中获得了很多灵感。这本书的作者是经济学家布赖恩·卡普兰(Bryan Caplan)。

Mr. Tharp said the younger couples he counseled often thought too hard about the financial cost of children in the short term and the amount of attention that younger ones needed. He encourages them to more carefully consider their future selves, the ones who will want to improve the odds of being surrounded by grandchildren — and having adult children who may be able to help in their old age.

撒普说,找他咨询的年轻夫妻,往往会对抚养孩子的短期财务成本以及小孩子所需要的关注考虑得太多。他鼓励他们更仔细地考虑一下自己的未来——他们可能想要提高孙辈绕膝的几率,年老时可能希望成年孩子能够帮助自己。

For the record, Mr. Tharp has no children, but he has not been married for long and expects that the family dog, Eli, will not be the last living being that he and his wife will care for.

声明一下,撒普没有孩子,不过他结婚的时间还不长,而且他并不希望自家的狗埃莉是他和妻子照顾的最后一个生命。

How do you think your children feel about that?

你觉得你的孩子们对此是什么感觉?

Sometimes, the people who call in Julie Ford, a financial planner in New York, to help them are in some degree of financial distress. If they have children, Ms. Ford says she asks them this question, knowing full well that parental anxiety has almost certainly rubbed off on the children as well.

有时,有些向纽约财务规划师朱莉·福特(Julie Ford)致电求助的人处于某种程度的财务困境之中。福特说,如果他们有孩子,她会问他们这个问题——她非常清楚,父母的焦虑几乎肯定会影响孩子。

Invoking the little people, she finds, often gets adults to be more honest and vulnerable. “I also try to give them ideas on how to involve kids in money conversations,” she said. “If they need to make big budget cuts or vacations will look different going forward, kids can handle it. It can be a teachable moment, and that may be a bit of a silver lining.”

福特发现,提起小孩往往会让大人们更诚实、更脆弱。“我也会给他们提供一些关于如何让孩子参与金钱谈话的建议,”她说。“如果他们需要大量削减支出或者对以后的度假计划进行很大的改变,孩子们是能够应对的。那可以是一个具有教育意义的时刻,可以是黑暗中的一线光明。”

Tell me about your financial situation when you first met.

谈谈你们初次见面时你的财务状况吧。

When Ted S. Halpern, a financial planner with two offices in the Washington suburbs, feels tension brewing when he talks to couples, he hits them with this storytelling opportunity. “It goes from a tighter face to a glimmer in their eye,” he said. “And they look at each other and realize that, yes, they do still love each other.”

财务规划师特德·S·哈尔彭(Ted S. Halpern)在华盛顿郊区有两个办公室。他与夫妻客户谈话时如果感到气氛有点紧张,就会给他们提供这个讲故事的机会。“紧绷的脸庞转变为眼里的泪光,”他说,“他们互相对望,发现依然爱着彼此。”

With one set of clients, they recalled their first date in a Honda Civic with a busted back seat and manually controlled windows. So he asked a follow-up: Imagine if I could have offered you a deal back then where 20 years later, you would be married with healthy children and your own business with your current income. Would you have signed that contract?

有一对夫妻回忆起他们在一辆本田思域车上的第一次约会——那辆车的后座都破了,窗户是手摇式的。所以他接着问了一个问题:想像一下,如果当时我向你们提出一项交易,承诺20年后,你们会结婚,有几个健康的孩子,有自己的生意和目前的收入。你们会跟我签那个合同吗?

The wife leaned forward. “In blood,” she said.

那位妻子身体前倾。“当然会,”她回答说。

People usually respond in the affirmative, Mr. Halpern said. And it helps remind them of a larger point, if they are bickering over where to cut back on spending. They are arguing over something that they already have.

哈尔彭说,人们通常会给出肯定答案。如果他们在争论该在哪方面节省开支,这能帮助提醒他们更重要的一点。他们是在就自己已经拥有的东西进行争论。

What are the most important things in your life?

你生命中最重要的事情有哪些?

Kevin M. Reardon, a financial planner in Pewaukee, Wis., has tried a number of leading, searching questions over the years, including the three that George Kinder, who has trained many planners, suggests. How would you live your life differently if you were completely secure financially? What would you change if you knew you only had five to 10 years left to live? And what would you regret if you knew you would die tomorrow?

这些年,威斯康星州皮沃基的财务规划师凯文·M·里尔登(Kevin M. Reardon)尝试过很多引导性、探索性的问题,包括培训过很多规划师的乔治·金德(George Kinder)建议的那三个问题。如果你在财务上完全安全,你会过上怎样不同的生活?如果你知道自己只能再活5至10年,你会做出哪些改变?如果你知道自己明天就会死,你会后悔什么?

Mr. Reardon eventually settled on this more basic question, which doesn’t immediately suggest anything related to money. “But if you get to the why and what motivates someone, everything else just fills in from there,” he said. That means using the answer and working backward to set financial goals around these matters of great importance.

里尔登最终采用了这个更基础的问题,它并不直接与金钱相关。“但是如果你能知道某个人的动机以及为什么,那么其他问题就迎刃而解了,”他说。那意味着,用这个答案逆推,围绕这些重要问题,设定财务目标。

What does the prospect of retirement look like to you?

你觉得自己退休后会是什么样子?

Many of us thought we knew what that word meant once upon a time, and perhaps some of us still do. Financial independence. Not having to work at a job to survive. Travel. A particular age span.

我们很多人以为我们很早之前就知道退休意味着什么,也许有些人依然这么认为。财务独立。不用工作就能活下去。旅行。活到某个岁数。

Twice, however, Rick Kahler, a financial planner in Rapid City, S.D., has heard the following answer: I die.

不过,南达科他州拉皮德城的财务规划师里克·卡勒(Rick Kahler)两次听到这个答案:我会死去。

One client who said this, a physician, had some empirical proof that this would be his fate, since all of his male relatives had dropped dead within a year or two of the day they stopped working.

其中一位这么说的客户是一名医生。他有一些经验可以证明这会是他的命运,因为他所有的男性亲属在停止工作一两年后都去世了。

Mr. Kahler says he helped bring him around to a big-tent description that is slightly more optimistic: Retirement means doing what I want, when I want, with whom I want. Once we figure that out, a successful retirement is just a matter of filling in the activity calendar and inviting others along.

卡勒说,他说服这名客户进行略微乐观一点的大帐篷式描述:退休意味着在我想做的时间,和我喜欢的人一起,做我想做的事。一旦我们弄清了这一点,成功的退休生活就是把活动日程填满,并且邀请其他人参与。

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