While it's not the easiest conversation to have, it's better to have it sooner rather than later. Here are 5 financial topics to discuss with aging parents.
They kissed our boo-boos when we were hurt. Wiped our tears. They made everything better with a simple hug. Our parents did it all but years go by and things change. Suddenly, it is they who rely on us: for advice and help around the house. While it may not be the easiest conversation to have, there are a few things we should discuss as parents get older.
5 Financial Topics to Discuss with Aging Parents
Retirement appears to be distant no matter where we are in life. While we want to begin saving as early as possible, it’s never too late to start. Encourage your parents to examine where they are and where they want to be.
Have them ask themselves some key questions:
- What lifestyle do they want to have after they retire?
- What will their income be like?
- Will there be an increase in expenses?
Ask questions early to ensure they are on their way to achieving their retirement goals.
I’m not talking about your cousin; I’m referring to the document that may have gone unmentioned for some time. If your parents have a will, encourage them to review it every 5 years or so and update is as needed.
If they don’t have one, consider working with an estate lawyer to get everything squared away. They probably want to have a say in what happens with their entire life’s work. Have them carefully consider beneficiaries and choose an executor who will ensure their wishes are respected.
Most of us plan for fires and accidents; how many plan for long-term care? People live longer these days; we may get to the stage in which we need assistance with everyday activities.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, long-term care is covered by Medicaid only when you meet certain income criteria and by Medicare only when you require skilled services or rehabilitative care. The cost likely falls on us. Familiarize yourselves with the options now.
It’s a good idea to work towards reducing debt. It’s about more than saving money on interest, although that’s a plus. The less debt we have, the greater financial freedom we enjoy.
Payments your parents make today can be used for anything from utilities to entertainment tomorrow. This gives them the ability to choose. Help your parents avoid being bogged down by debt by learning how to get out of debt.
Retirement is a complex topic. If your parents have questions about whether they are saving enough or wonder about other investment opportunities, have them sit down with an expert. A financial advisor can provide answers and guidance. Also, it never hurts to get a second opinion.
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