Talking to Elderly Parents about Finances

Post Written by: Kenneth L. Eshleman, CFP®

Talking to your parents about money is not easy. Many would rather talk to their kids about any other topic – even very uncomfortable ones! – than  broach this subject.

No one really wants to talk about death, dying, or the financial realities that come with aging. But without focusing on these important, if unpleasant topics, the financial and emotional price for silence can be high. Fifty percent of nursing home expenses are being paid out-of-pocket by families, with adult children contributing, on average, $10,000 per year. The majority of long-term care decisions are made during a medical crisis when stress levels and emotions are running high often creating both complexity and tension.

How can you begin this dialogue before it reaches a crisis point? Here are a few ideas:

  1. If there are siblings involved, they should all consult with one another first to make sure everyone is on the same page. Only one child has to approach the parent/parents, but all should be kept informed.

 

  1. Approach your parents at first cautiously and with empathy, explaining that you care about their financial life, stability, and independence, and want to make sure all of their needs and wishes are met. Be patient and do this during a quiet season when there are fewer stressful triggers (i.e. stressful holiday busyness).

 

  1. Initially, be brief and assure your parents that they are still in control. This is a journey that will take time. Be patient.

 

  1. Get the insight of a knowledgeable third party. Engaging with an experienced resource who can facilitate the discussion and offer independent advice outside the family dynamic may provide the best path to a consensus. Getting guidance from someone who is viewed by everyone as a neutral authority can also help minimize some of the otherwise awkward conversations.

 

We have helped many families work through similar situations and can help your family find the course of action that best meets their financial needs.

Any financial discussion with your parents can be stressful. But constantly avoiding the topic can lead to a crisis many times worse. You don’t have to go it alone. Taking action today is part of showing how much you care and can set the entire family up for less stress and tension down the road.

If you are working to navigate a stressful or complex financial matter, Domani Wealth can likely help. Our experienced advisors are known for their listening, support, and helping clients understand options and next steps. You can get in touch with us today by calling 855-855-5455 or emailing info@domaniwealth.com. You can also get in touch with one of our team members directly.

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