Having “The Talk” With Your Parents… About Money

Have you had “the talk” with your parents yet?  I’m talking about the conversation that will help you help them manage their financial future most securely. 


Do they have enough money to see them through a long retirement?  Life expectancies have gone up – possibly to 95 or 100 years old.  Most people already in retirement didn’t plan for a retirement of that length.


Do your parents have the medical coverage they need to avert a financial crisis?  What about their plans in case of long-term care needs? 


What about their estate plans?  Do they have a current will, health care directive, and power of attorney?


Talking to your parents about this is hard, but it’s very important.  According to a recent Phoenix Fiscal Fitness survey, almost half of adult children with a living parent hadn’t discussed financial issues with them.  A third said they did not know their parent’s financial situation.  Thirty-five percent believe they will help support their parents financially at some time in the future.  If you are uncertain, now is the time to avoid any future surprises. 


Here are a few strategies to help the conversation along:

  • Tell your parents about your steps to secure your financial future, financial planning, insurance planning, estate planning, investment planning and ask their thoughts. 
  • Bring up a friend’s situation as an example of what to avoid.  For example, “My friend’s dad just got sick, and he’s worried about his mother’s future.  It made me wonder what your plans are.”
  • Ask their opinion about some retirement topic in the news headlines.  “More seniors are staying in their homes than going to facilities.”  What are your thoughts about where you want to live in the future?


The goal is for you to have a clear understanding of your parent’s preparation and the situation regarding their future, not just their resources but their desires.


Take the first step to begin a conversation and keep it going until you have sufficient information for both you and them to have peace of mind.  Even if they are not eager to discuss this now, it will prepare the way for a time in the future when they will be ready.  With compassion and patience, you can make the future better for both of you. 


-Sandra Cleveland-

Sandra Cleveland

Sandra Cleveland

Sandra Cleveland CFP®, CCPS is a Partner and Wealth Manager at BCR Wealth Strategies.