The Need for Conversation
Throughout your life, you have looked to your parents for assistance and guidance. However, there comes a time when you may have to sit down with your parents to assist them with their finances. It can feel awkward, but it’s necessary to take this step. If your parents are becoming more forgetful and the finances are going down the wrong track, here are some tips to help make the conversation a little easier.
Spend time with your parents and try to work it into a casual conversation. One of the perfect times is when everyone is sitting down watching the news. You can start a discussion about current events, and lead the conversation into financial matters. Ask them if their estate plans have been updated, and let them know that you want to be sure the plans are consistent with the current laws.
Ask for their Advice
Your parents are probably accustomed to offering you advice, so asking for their assistance with some retirement planning may be a natural conversation starter. This can also serve as a fantastic gauge for determining if your parents are still in good control of their finances.
Your parents always taught you that honesty is the best policy, and that belief doesn’t change with time. Talk openly with your parents about your concerns
and offer your assistance. Even if they aren’t ready to let you step in and help, you can still make it clear that you are willing to assist them whenever they are ready.
Watch for Warning Signs
Spend time with your parents and talk with them openly. If you notice them mentioning late fees or complaining that they cannot get the checkbook to balance, then it is a good time to step in and offer assistance. If they aren’t going out as much and seem to be spending more time in the house, then it might be an indication of money problems. Look for subtle changes regarding spending habits, because those can indicate a more serious issue.
Professionals can Assist
Financial advisors can be a blessing, especially if you don’t live nearby or lack the necessary financial skills yourself. A good financial advisor can keep the money invested, help your parents make smart choices and keep them updated on their financial position. If helping them yourself isn’t an option, suggest that they turn to the services of a great financial advisor.
Be Helpful in Other Areas
Helping your parents out with general maintenance around the house is generous, caring and smart. When your parents are accustomed to accepting your help with the yard and repairs, they will be more receptive to letting you assist them with finances. It’s also a great way to keep an eye on them and watch for the warning signs.
Talking to your parents about finances isn’t easy, but it may become necessary at some point. While the conversation may be awkward, stepping in and helping your parents manage their money can make a big difference in how far their retirement stretches. Watch for the warning signs and maintain open communications with your parents to make the conversation easier when the time comes.
Guest Post: Doris Sanchez is a freelance blogger and is writing on behalf of http://www.debtmanagement.org.uk