Money in the Middle

Sandwich Generation Talking About Money Up, Down and Across Generations

Tackling the Tough Talk with Parents

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Talking with aging parents about money and or their wishes about care is never easy.  Most of us have spent a lifetime making sure we stayed away from such personal issues.  Good heavens, a lot of us don’t even like to talk with our spouse/partner about money.  But, the conversation can be so helpful in reducing stress and adding some sense that you are “doing the right thing” when the time comes to lend a hand.

 A new website from Genworth Let’s Talk ( provides some great tips on how to bridge the communication gap, including recognition that sometimes you just have to back off, and come back to it later.

 “Families must face reality and understand that their financial, emotional and physical well-being will be vastly improved if they are prepared for the long-term care needs of their loved ones. The goal of the ‘Let’s Talk‘ campaign is to help families communicate openly, plan for the future and ensure that every member of the family is cared for and protected,”  said Colleen Goldhammer, senior vice president of Long Term Care insurance at Genworth. 

Don’t worry.  It’s not a site about long-term care insurance, though there are plenty of references about long-term care. It provides good practical tips on how to have a very difficult conversation.  Ask anyone who has ended up in a caregiver role (on-site or long-distance) having had a conversation that gives you a sense of what your mother or father or aunt or uncle would like helps you make choices when the time comes.  Without that background, the best you can do if do what YOU  think is right.  That might be just the opposite of what they want, but we just don’t know.

 I saw a quote yesterday that I think captures the reasons for tackling this tough talk:  Rather than planning for the future: plan for the surprises.

 Any caregiver who has taken “the call” can tell you that planning for the “surprise” would have made life easier for both them and their parents.

 Tackle the talk.


Written by Laura Rossman

June 4, 2009 at 1:13 pm

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