The Money Talk with Your Parents
The Five Step Process
Randy L. Thurman, CFP, CPA, PFS
More adult children are concerned about Mom and Dad and their financial status. Are they going to be OK? It’s an uncomfortable situation because you don’t want your parents to think you’re prying or even worse, that you’re greedy. But what if they need your help or you could do something now to avoid problems?
Many seniors don’t like talking about finances, but doing so now could help keep them comfortable. The hardest part is getting the conversation started.
I suggest a five-step process:
Step One. Plan the conversation and prepare the four key questions, such as, “Do you have enough money?”
Step Two. Visit with your siblings. You shouldn’t have to do it all. Ask their opinion, share responsibilities.
Step Three. Start the conversation right. Pick a low-key occasion, not a family event. Start off by talking about your situation. “I just completed a Health Care Proxy (if you have). Have you prepared one?” Bring an article you read on the topic to be addressed. That way the author is the expert, not you.
Step Four. Talk. Share your concerns. Start with health issues first, then go into financial issues. It’s important they know they are in control, but they can raise your comfort level.
Step Five. Listen. Your parents are probably private people. Respect that. Offer your help and opinions, but remember, it’s their money.
Do you have enough money?
How much do you receive from your pension, social security, other sources? Who are your advisors?
Are you using your savings?
What if you get sick?
Do you have a durable power of attorney?
Do you have a health care proxy?
Do you have a long-term care insurance policy?
Where will you live?
Are you able to keep up your house?
How do you feel about assisted living care?
How do you feel about moving closer to us?
What if you die?
Do you have a will? Does it...
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