It's one problem if you're not saving enough for retirement, but you could be faced with a completely different obstacle down the road if you fail to discuss it with your spouse and children.

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In a recent survey from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, more than half of parents over the age of 50 said they haven't discussed key financial issues (wills, inheritance plans, where they plan to retire) with their children. Just one-third of people in the same age group said they feel well prepared for retirement, as long as everything goes as planned.

"I think it could lead to a mess of trouble if things are not discussed," said Maury Randall, chairman of the Finance Department at Rider University. "If there are constraints, and for most people that is the case, the beneficiaries of what the parents have should understand that there are limited resources."

The same survey noted 70 percent of those over the age of 25 have not had a discussion with their parents regarding retirement plans and issues.

"As they're growing up, at some point, they have to understand -- what is the real world, and that if you don't manage your money carefully and properly, you're going to be in a heap of trouble," Randall said.

Randall also said a discussion with family members can help avoid any mistakes.