Mom, Dad We Need To Talk About Your Finances.

Spring is here, and it looks very different than last year for almost all of us.

Recently I have been reflecting on all the change so many of us have gone through.

The dreaded money/future planning conversation every adult child has to have with ageing with their ageing parents.

If you are a young 40 something, then some defining conversations should occur with ageing parents while they are relatively young.

We tend to avoid these conversations about the inevitable road ahead. When your parents are in their 70's and not in great financial shape, they turn to you for help, and at that point, there is less time and opportunity for either yourself or your parents to deal with things effectively. It would be best if you had specific conversations sooner than later; trust me, you will be better off.

This is all about you and your parents coming together to work out a plan for the future. When you are ready to have that uncomfortable talk, here are the Four most important topics that will need to be covered.

  1. Will they be able to retire mortgage-free?

  2. Have they considered long-term care insurance? Moreover, what will that look like in their future? What are their children's expectations when it comes to the care of their health later in life?

  3. Have they carefully run the numbers on their retirement income? Do your parents feel confident that they will have enough retirement income to support themselves for 20-30 years?

  4. Do your parents have their essential legal documents updated? For example, a will in place, their wishes are written down, so there is no confusion between family members if something happens.

This alone will help the family as a whole to avoid unnecessary healthcare and often irreparable sibling discourse about how to handle end-of-life decisions. Ageing parents can make sure it never comes to that by having documentation in place.

If you're on the fence about whether you want to go through with this, here's something significant to consider about why you need to have this conversation sooner rather than later.

You are either going to do it by plan or by crisis. Ideally, you want the conversation to happen when your parents are in good health, are mentally alert, and aren't an emotional mess (nor are you).

Know that these may not be the easiest of conversations to initiate, bring the right energy to the task, and you may be surprised by how cathartic this could be for everyone. The goal here is to establish that your parents have what they need for a comfortable and secure retirement.

The good news is that your parents probably won't resist your efforts to get them to share at least some of their financial information with you if you use one of these conversation starters. There are many people out there who are interested in having these talks with their children. They just need to be asked.

So what are you waiting for?

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