Q: I live on a modest income since I retired to a small town several years ago. I am surprised by so much gossip, the presumption that everyone knows everything about everyone. I am forthright about most of my life. As a youngster, I learned it is inappropriate to discuss personal finances outside the home. Questions on the subject make me uncomfortable. Am I alone in feeling curiosity about money is offensive? if so, how do I respond to questions I feel are rude?
A: No, you’re not alone. In general, personal finances outside the home should only be discussed at home or possibly with other family members depending on the circumstances. Therefore, in most cases, it is rude to ask about another’s personal finances. Two examples are asking how much you paid for your home or your income. Nonetheless, if someone does ask, you may simply respond: “I find that a personal question and would rather than discuss it.” or “I’d rather not discuss my personal finances.”