From our experience, many adult children are asking this important question of how to talk to parents about their finances. In many circumstances the question arises after a decline in their parent’s mental or physical health, which may be too late. Some common reasons that children avoid or delay the conversation are…
My parents will think I’m being nosy.
My parents will think I’m being greedy.
My parents will be offended, and our relationship will suffer.
If I approach this in the wrong way, I’ll lose the opportunity to have this necessary conversation.
I don’t know enough about this to even try.
These reasons represent certain fears, which in reality may not be true. In reality, your parents may be grateful to have the conversation and sincerely want your help with money issues. If you are clear about your intentions that you are asking out of concern for their well-being, they will see that you have their best interest at heart, not your own. It might be uncomfortable at first, but they are your parents, they’ll keep loving you and your relationship might grow stronger. You may have to try multiple times, but eventually they’ll come around and realize you’re trying to help. Don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back from trying, this talk needs to happen sooner rather than later. Here are a couple of our recommended resources to get you started…
Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk is the practical guide for helping adult children have the essential conversation with parents about their finances. Author Cameron Huddleston, a noted financial expert, offers a step-by-step approach for the family financial talk that will help adult children plan with their parents for issues they will face as they age.
This book is full of ideas from others who have been in this situation as well as tips from experts on how to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. There are specific tips on talking to your siblings about your parents’ finances, suggestions for tackling conversations about estate planning documents, long-term care, and when it’s time to move. Also, Huddleston provides advice on how to help your parents avoid scammers.
Imagine having someone who makes sure bills are paid on time, organizes tax documents for tax preparation, and even follows up with parent’s insurance company regarding unpaid claims or reimbursements.
Sound too good to be true?
Engaging a Daily Money Manager (DMM) can be a cost-effective way of making sure your parent’s financial life is in order, particularly if this is not your area of expertise. Very often family members may not be in a position to help because they are strapped for time or simply live too far away.
A DMM is a professional who helps people with their personal household finances.
Getting help managing daily financial tasks doesn’t mean giving up control. In fact, it is intended to be just the opposite and can help an aging person extend control.
How to find a trusted professional? A good place to start is by contacting the American Association of Daily Money Managers, the national organization that sets standards of practice for its 700 members, who must abide by a code of ethics.
If you are located in the Kansas City area, AgeWise Advocacy & Consulting is here to help! Stephanie Missey, AgeWise Daily Money Manager, is available to meet with you and your parent(s) to find out how she can help with personal household finances. Contact Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-695-3356.