Talk with your parents about their future

You probably never thought the day would come when you would be discussing your parents’ personal finances or health with them.  If you are like most people, it may be an awkward transition for your family when your parents get older.  It is hard to think about the inevitable when your parents have been so indestructible your whole life.  But the truth is we all need to make plans for our elder years and how our finances will be affected.  Our parents are no exception.

It is never too late (or early) to sit down with your parents and figure out what their plans for the future hold.  This could mean the immediate future or later down the road.  You may think you know a lot about your parents’ lives, but since you have moved on with a life of your own, how much do you really know?  What doctors do they see on a regular basis?  Do they have any medical conditions you are not aware of?  Do they have their finances tied up somewhere?  What type of insurance do they carry?

These are all questions you can ask them.  If they resist giving you information, do not get discouraged.  Realize that your parents may not be having the best time relinquishing the information either.  It may make them feel a bit less “parent” like.  Just reassure them that you are only there to help, not take over.  Be there to help when needed and find out contact information for their doctors, insurance agents, financial advisors, etc. Remember to keep their best interests in mind when helping with their affairs and really listen to their requests.  If your parents are saving up to buy an RV and tour the country in their later years, so be it.  They deserve all the happiness in the world.  

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