Finances can be a touchy subject, especially between children and their parents.
And as parents age, it can become even more difficult.
Because parents are typically the ones who teach their children all about money. They’re the ones who give you that weekly five-dollar allowance and tell you to “make sure you’re saving some”.
And they’re the ones that maybe help pay for a car or help put you through college. They made you start mowing lawns at ten so you could have a little extra money, and they were full of ancient wisdom, like “money doesn’t grow on trees” and “a penny saved is a penny earned”.
And then, all of a sudden, you’re the one helping them.
It doesn’t really happen that quickly, but the role reversal isn’t easy.
It reaches almost every area. Whether it’s helping them through the ever-changing nuances of technology or the first inklings of worry when they get behind the wheel. You may find yourself supporting your aging parents more and more as time goes on.
And one of the most confusing, scary, and awkward areas of all can be finances.
You begin to worry that providers are taking advantage of your parents, or that their funds are proverbially sitting under the mattress, not accumulating anything.
Parents worry that there won’t be enough to cover what lies ahead.
And it’s a weird thing to talk about. No one really wants to come across like they’re trying to get at mom and dad’s money. We’ve all seen how that plays out.
You don’t want to talk about it, and honestly, they may not want to hear it.
But silence around finances can be costly.
No one wants to start thinking about nursing home or funeral costs for their parents, but those are real things to think about, and if there’s no early dialogue about all of it, it just becomes more difficult and more dangerous.
Here are a few ways you can support your parents now:
- Begin gently opening the dialogue with short conversations.
- Get them organized by compiling sensitive information.
- Give your parents support, but don’t micromanage the process.
So as you begin to open the conversation and support your aging parents with their finances, finding a CFP® professional that has their best interest at heart will set both your minds at ease.
There are tons of advisors out there but finding the one you trust may sometimes prove difficult. We always recommend using a CFP® practitioner. Next you must decide whether you want to work with a fee-only or fee-based financial planner. You can read more about that here.
But the good news is that we love talking about finances – with everyone. It’s not awkward for us at all. Let’s chat.