Communicating with an aging loved one about personal finances is most efficient when initiated before the need develops, appreciating it may take a few talks until an understanding can be reached. These discussion starters will help:
- “Dad, in time, we are going to have to make some decisions regarding the future. Now might be the perfect time to take a seat together and examine your wishes plus the financial side of making sure we are able to comply with those wishes.”
- “Mom, I know you are managing your money just fine now, but what if something were to happen to your health that stopped you from paying your bills on time? It would be very good to have a backup plan in position. Let’s take a moment and come up with one.”
- “Mom and Dad, you have always been so good at managing your finances and providing for us while we were growing up. We would like to be sure to carry on that legacy, and also to know how best to help you both meet your financial obligations in the event that the time comes that you might want some assistance with that.”
It’s also important to share real-life examples of a relative or neighbor who was victimized by identity theft, or a story from the news about the changing economy, stock market declines, adjustments to tax laws, etc. This could trigger a conversation about your aging parents’ own retirement plans and any financial fears for the future, allowing you to arrive at a mutually agreeable resolution, such as talking with a financial advisor together.
Most of all, make sure to uphold a feeling of respect, never seeking to “take over” your parents’ finances, but to provide the reassurance and peace of mind that their financial matters will still be managed effectively. Ask your parents for guidance and include them in the decision-making process. Daniel Lash, certified financial planner at VLP Financial Advisors, advises, “Tell them what you’re thinking about doing so you give them the power to tell you what they think you should do. It’s like they’re giving you advice because that’s what parents are good at – giving advice.”
Seniorcorp, experts in senior services in Suffolk, VA, offers a free in-home consultation to assist older adults and those who love them to know their choices for care, and to help mediate complicated conversations such as those pertaining to finances. Call us at 757-640-0557 for help or to learn more about senior care services Portsmouth and the surrounding area depend on.