Thanksgiving Table Talk Taboos: Religion, Politics, and Money?

It’s one of those unofficial and unspoken rules of the Thanksgiving meal that’s about as traditional as having a turkey and pumpkin pie: don’t bring up politics, religion, or money during the meal!

Thanksgiving is about bringing families together and being grateful for one another, so this unspoken rule is really meant to keep the meal focused on gratitude, happiness, and the close bonds we share. In today’s climate, it’s very easy for a small mention of any one of these things to bring a cloud over the whole meal (not to mention, causing blood pressures to spike!).

However, when it comes to money, it’s not always a bad idea to bring it up—just maybe not during your meal! During the holiday season, we tend to gather together as a family from all generations, and we usually spend a few days together, so it can be a great time to bring up conversations about money that may need to happen. For example:

Topics if you are younger:

  • Do we have enough money to start a family?
  • Should we look at buying a house?
  • How are we going to pay for college?
  • What’s our student loan payback plan?

Topics if you’re midlife:

  • Can we afford to change careers?
  • Can we afford to start our own business?
  • How do we help our aging parents?

If you’re a little older:

  • Is it time to retire?
  • What will we do in retirement?
  • Should we downsize and move?
  • Let’s talk to the family about our estate plan.

All these topics can be great to discuss amongst family members from every generation because many times, older generations have already gone through what the younger generations are currently experiencing and can offer advice. Also, older generations can use the younger and middle generations as sounding boards, especially if the decisions they have to make affect everyone.

Ultimately, you want Thanksgiving to be enjoyable for everyone, so if you already know that some of these topics can cause a lot of emotional pain or anger for anyone, don’t bring them up. Choose another time when it’s just you and the other person/people, and if it’s truly a traumatic subject, ensure you have professional help from counselors, financial advisors, or other professionals that need to be involved.

This Thanksgiving season, we hope you enjoy your meal, your family and friends, and the conversations!

Until next time, enjoy.


Gary Klaben is in our Glenview, IL office and serves our clients who are now located all over the country. Instead of being afraid of change, Gary is always looking at how technology will affect clients and bringing the best of it into the practice. Whether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.

Learn more about TransformingWealth™ , our proprietary approach using the best technology and proven research so you’ll make informed financial decisions. Schedule a complimentary TransformingWealth Preview Meetingand start living the Good Life Managed Well™.
800-480-7913 |

We value your comments and opinions, but due to regulatory restrictions, we cannot accept comments directly onto our blog.  We welcome your comments via e-mail and look forward to hearing from you.

All information is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty is made to its accuracy or completeness.   This material is being provided for informational or educational purposes only, and does not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any client or prospective client.  The information is not intended as investment advice, and is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or invest in any particular investment or market segment.  Those seeking information regarding their particular investment needs should contact a financial professional.  Coyle, our employees, or our clients, may or may not be invested in any individual securities or market segments discussed in this material.  The opinions expressed were current as of the date of posting, but are subject to change without notice due to market, political, or economic conditions.


book img2

A Comprehensive Guide To Safeguarding Your Financial and Family Wealth.

Subscribe to our blog

Looking for Something?

Coyle Financial
Counsel Events

Recommended Reading

book img3
Download Free Chapter on
Lifelong Learning

Watch More Videos