Talking to elderly relatives, especially your parents, about their finances can be a delicate subject. Your parents have been the ones to take care of you most of your life, and now the roles are reversing. It’s still important, however, to have these conversations in order to protect their future finances. The majority of people require extra support in their later years, so the more prepared you are the better. Here are five tips for talking to elderly relatives about money.
Research their options first
Do your research and find out which financial solutions could work for them in the future. The conversation will be less uncomfortable if you’re informed yourself. Rather than telling them what to do, compare their options together. If they’re struggling to pay off their property, they could consider a Reverse Mortgage for Seniors. Alternatively, you could research retirement homes or the possibility of downsizing to a smaller apartment in a retirement village.
Sooner rather than later
In order to help your elderly parents adapt to a new situation, the sooner you discuss their finances the better. This way they’ll have plenty of time to make the right decisions while still in a better health condition and state of mind. They’ll also have time to get used to the idea of change. You can also start to prepare yourself financially if you’re planning on supporting them later on.
Share responsibilities with your siblings
If you have siblings try and share caring and financial responsibilities with them. Before you speak to your elderly parents about finances, discuss your approach with your siblings if possible. It’ll be better if you’re on the same page. This way you can avoid family disputes in the future. Caring for elderly relatives should bring you together as a family, not the other way round.
Understand power of attorney
Power of attorney is the legal process of obtaining the right to make decisions on behalf of someone else. It’s essential that you understand how this works before proposing it to your elderly relatives. This way you’ll be able to handle the topic in a delicate fashion while giving them all the information they need. It’s another topic that should be discussed ahead of time, as any health problems down the line could complicate things regarding their estate. Here some common power of attorney FAQs for more information on the process.
Money is often a difficult topic to discuss. Your relatives may feel too proud to ask for help from you, but it’s important that they know you’re available. Be positive and supportive with a calm approach. Step back and let them make their own decisions without putting too much pressure on them. Speak to a financial advisor first if necessary. It could also be an idea to prepare a list of topics to discuss. Consider how your relative might react to each one and have a calm response prepared. If they feel you’re on their side discussing finances will be easier.