Assisted living takes many forms. While it’s true that talking about money and finances is taboo in many social settings, a distinct exception is when an adult child needs to discuss finances with an aging parent. The families and residents at our senior living center understand the importance of this topic and the need to have a retirement living plan in place should an aging parent one day require help managing their finances.
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Start by Discussing Your Financial Planning
If you’re looking for a way to broach the subject of finances with an aging parent, it makes sense to start by discussing your financial planning, whether for yourself or your family. Engage your parents in conversation by keeping them abreast of things you’ve learned or pursued and bring the conversation to a more intimate level by asking them for advice and to reflect on their own experiences when they were raising children. This is a non-confrontational method of breaking the ice and facilitating open, honest conversations that you and your parents can feel increasingly comfortable having.
Emphasize the Importance of Planning
Although every parent wants the best for their children and grandchildren after they pass away, a good many older adults have yet to approach a financial advisor or attorney to create a retirement plan or an estate plan. Explain to them that, without proper planning, you and other family members may need to undertake the complex process of seeking guardianship to manage their health care and finances. Moreover, without good planning, some of their assets could be taxed in ways they’d rather avoid.
Put Them in the Driver’s Seat
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, everyone in our assisted living community has at one time or another felt scared about someday losing their independence and having someone else control their lives. So it will go a long way towards putting your parents at ease by stressing that they’re in the driver’s seat and that your primary goal is to ensure flawless execution of the financial game plan they’ve created for themselves. If they understand that your intent is for their wishes to be respected in life and death, then in turn they’ll understand why you must have a clear understanding of their preferences so you can follow their desires to a T. There’s a good chance that this discussion will create a few nervous, tension-filled moments between you and your parents, but by putting them in the driver’s seat they’ll soon understand that your role is to safeguard their future and respect their decisions.
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At first glance, the idea of talking finances with an aging parent comes across as awkward or as a recipe for a heated conversation that will happen once and never again. However, the reality is that this conversation–or ideally, a series of conversations–is an important facet of retirement living. Contact NewAldaya Lifescapes today for tips and advice on how to get the most out of your discussion.