My father is a credit union guy. A credit union moved into our town back in the 1980s, and he was hooked.
I’m also a credit union guy. I belong to six credit unions. It is a quasi-addiction that I am completely at peace with, given my situation.
One of my many credit unions has a nice rate on a share certificate. I let my father know, so he could take advantage.
He had a number of questions for me:
- Can I belong to more than one credit union?
- What’s the difference between an annuity and a share certificate?
- I see ads for a CD at a local bank. Are they different than a share certificate?
- The website did look confusing. My father thought that he only had access to IRA certificates with this credit union. It turns out that the IRA certificates were simply the first listed on a chart. You had to click to move to the non-IRA certificates.
I could easily explain all of these things to my Dad. And for a second, I was surprised at some of his questions.
But then it hit me. He didn’t know these things?
Why would he?
My Father has a BS in physics with a minor in math. He is very smart. He spent his days in a manufacturing plant dealing with quality control issues with phosphors. He now spends his time helping our local church.
He isn’t a financial services expert.
Sometimes, we can get too close to things. In our head, they are as clear as crystal. Share draft accounts. Suffix “three.” NSF versus ODP. In some places, BSA means the Boy Scouts of America. Not in our heads.
My conversation with my Dad reminded me that we always need to paint a clear picture. Communication is tough. Assume nothing. Keep it simple.
So I took my time and explained things to my Dad. Which is only right.
He helped me learn to eat with a spoon not too long ago.