It can be difficult to discuss topics like money and finances, especially with seniors and aging parents. As children, your parents are the ones that take care of you. They cover finances and any emotional stresses kids go through. But as they age, the roles reverse. The tricky part comes when your aging parents are not aware of this role reversal. Often, they still want to take care of you and don’t think they need help with their money. While this conversation can be hard, it’s important. Even though we don’t like to think about a time when our beloved seniors can’t be with us, you will be thankful you prepared for these changes ahead of time. This way, when the time comes, you can focus on grieving instead of stressing about finances and money.
Approaching the topic
Deciding when and where to have a discussion with your senior parent can be difficult. It never seems like the right time to bring up matters of money, inheritance, and finances without sounding crass. You will want to ensure that when you’re having the discussion that your aging parents are of sound mind, you are in a private space, and you have your senior’s full attention. Avoiding busy holidays and other stressful events are key – avoid having a conversation about finances around birthdays as well. Try to approach your senior individually instead of in a group so your senior doesn’t feel like you’re having the conversation to make a money grab, but instead are saying it because you care. Approach the topic of finances and money calmly, and choose your words carefully.
You may also want to consider bringing a financial planner on board to help if your aging parents have a lot of moving parts to their finances. A financial planner can help guide you and your elderly parents into setting up good decisions for the future.
Remind them that a will may not be enough
Many seniors think that as long as they have a will drafted, they do not have to worry about anything else. Unfortunately, this is not true. Wills can come up short when it comes to handling complex finances, so if mom, dad, or any other beloved senior pushes off talk of finances and tries to shut you down with “I already have a will written” you can be prepared to tell them that may not handle all of the unique situations of their particular finances.
Be kind, patient, and compassionate
Your conversation should happen when your aging parents are of sound mind and can make rational decisions that they don’t feel forced into. Approach the situation with ease and compassion. Try not to be pushy, insistent, or seem like you are trying to force them to sign over their hard earned money, but instead remind them that you love them, care about them, and want to make sure that they are properly taken care of as they continue to age.
Ready to make more steps toward your parents’ future care? Contact As Life Goes On today for more information on our availability and care.