As your parents get older, they may need some additional assistance taking care of some of their daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, including managing their money. And although speaking about money can be awkward for many people, it’s important that your parents have someone looking out for their financial future if they’re unable to do it themselves.
So if you’re thinking that you might have to step in and help your parents with this task, here are three tips for offering financial management help to your aging parents.
Talk To Them First
Before you step in and take any action for your aging parents on a financial level, it’s vital that you speak with them first. Even if you think this conversation is going to be uncomfortable, you need to get your parents on board if you think you need to take on this responsibility.
According to Ben Luthi, a contributor to Money Under 30, you should try to start the conversation by expressing why you think your parents need assistance in this area and what you see your role being. In this conversation, be sure you get all the necessary information to begin making wise financial decisions for your parents if this is the route that you choose to take together.
Don’t Give Yourself As Their Only Option
For many people, speaking about money, even with family, can be very taboo. Because of this, your parents might not be too keen to have their children knowing about and managing all of their financial decisions.
To prepare for the event that your parents don’t want you to manage their finances, Alina Tugend, a contributor to the New York Times, recommends that you research some third party options that they might want to work with. These third party options should include a financial planner that charges by the hour rather than working on commission so your parents are only charged for the work that’s done for them.
Think About More Than Just Money
If your parents are needing help with their finances, it’s likely that they’ll be needing assistance in other areas of their lives as well. So before you just leave the conversation with your parents finances, make sure you think about more than just the money.
According to Mary C. Hickey, a contributor to Consumer Reports, you should take this opportunity to also speak with your parents about things like their will, any living will they may have, healthcare directives, power of attorney, and more. Because people often have their spouse as their beneficiary, once your parents start needing help with these things, a new beneficiary should be chosen.
If you think it’s time that you step in to help your aging parents with their finances and more, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you navigate this conversation.