Money in the Middle

Sandwich Generation Talking About Money Up, Down and Across Generations

Aging Parents and Money: Starting the Talk

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Are  your aging parents okay financially?  Really okay or just afraid to talk about their concerns?

 That’s the question many of us ask ourselves about our parents, but we just don’t know how to get the conversation started.  Talking about money, especially for the generation now in their 80s and 90s, is just not something that was done.

 I’ve provided some tips before and there is new article from Money Magazine’s September issue that might give you some new ideas.

 Here are three issues and how to tackle them.

  1.  Is their money secure?  Not only to know how it is invested, but also to make sure your parent doesn’t fall for an investment scam.  You can talk about all the email you get that are scams and see if they’ll open up about any they may be getting and responding too. Research shows that we become more optimistic as we age – we want to believe others have our best interest at hear.  The Internet makes that all too easy. 
  2. Are you concerned about whether their bills are being paid?  Offer to help set up automatic payment for routine bills so they are not forgotten.  One good way is to talk about how you use auto bill pay to make sure your own bills are paid on time.  Start with one or two important bills so they can get comfortable with the process.
  3.  Talk about long-term care.  What would they like to have happen if they find themselves in the situation of needing care?  I’ve found one way to approach this is to talk about what is happening with others – and it seems there is always a friend or family member with long-term care needs.  You can then begin to get a sense of preferences and work into a more personal discussion
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Written by Laura Rossman

August 25, 2009 at 3:56 pm

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