Don’t wait to talk to your aging parents about their financial situation. This is one of the best pieces of advice to have as someone who has “been there,” both as a financial advisor and as an adult child.
In the financial planning world, this is called “30/60”: If you’re in your 30s, or your parents are in their 60s, you should have this conversation. This is because the time to “talk” is great before any health emergency occurs. If your parents don’t already have a permanent power of attorney, health care proxy, or other important legal document, you may face a complicated legal process to ensure that something like an Alzheimer’s diagnosis In such a situation, their wishes may be fulfilled.
While care and finances go hand in hand, many adult children have not yet discussed this with their parents. National Alliance for Caregiving and . The burden of caring for the family has also increased since the start of the pandemic, according to AARP,
Many caregivers still have children at home, putting them in a difficult position to pay for summer camp, college and swim lessons, while also worrying that parents will protect their assets. How to do long term care
In my experience mentoring families, adult children often find themselves dealing with a few different scenarios, each with its own set of emotional and logistical challenges. In the first group are parents who need additional emotional and financial support. Another has parents who are financially secure but may be reluctant to disclose their full status, and who are focused on skillfully gifting while protecting their heritage. In both cases, the focus is still on caring.
Preparing for a conversation with your parents
If you have siblings, make sure you are on the same page. Coordinating with them can help reduce any resentment and ensure better results. To keep things simple, ask one person to initiate the real conversation, but be sure to let your parents know that you are available to help as needed.
Cameron Huddleston, author of “Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk,” recommends finding the right environment for this conversation in which your parents will feel comfortable enough to be more comfortable and open. The holidays, which can be a more stressful and emotional time of year for families, may not be the best place for this conversation, especially if they include extra people who shouldn’t be part of it.
Recognize that you are likely to have more than one conversation with your parent. With a topic this complex, there are likely to be check-in and follow-up conversations.
Make sure your parents are in the driver’s seat. When you are there to offer help and support, remember that ultimately these choices are their decision.
start of conversation
Remember to pay attention to your parents’ health — no potential inheritance — and how you can support them. Here are some good ways to get the ball rolling:
- “Mom and Dad, have you thought about your retirement a lot?”
- “Mom and dad, you took so much care of me when I was little. I want to be able to provide the same care if you need it. Can we talk about how I can help?” ?”
- “Mom and dad, I’ve been thinking about my retirement. I’d love to get your advice on how to plan ahead.”
- “If something happens to you, do you have a will or health care directive? Where can I find these?”
key to success
Although it may be difficult, don’t push. Some parents are unwilling to talk, and that’s okay. Remember that your parents may have trouble opening up to you, their child. They may not feel comfortable being in an unsafe situation or want you to worry, especially if they are not fully financially prepared for retirement or any health emergency.
If so, you can still ask them if they would feel more comfortable talking to someone they trust, such as a clergy member, good friend, lawyer, or financial advisor. Also ask if they would consider putting pen to paper and writing down things that you (or another trusted person) should know, such as their wills and other important legal documents, financial account statements, and to whom in the case. have to contact. Due to health crisis.
While these conversations can be difficult, they are an important part of protecting your parents and supporting their legacy.
Credit: www.forbes.com /