Discussions about money and finances are not always easy to tackle in general. Talking about money with elderly parents is therefore a topic of discussion that one may be tempted to avoid.
And that can be easily understood, we want to stay away from conflicts and misunderstandings related to this often taboo subject. Yet discussing finances, expenses, savings and budget can become essential for the well-being of your aging parents and their future. Here are some tips to help you talking about money with your elderly parents.
Finances: a delicate subject
Talking about finances with the elderly in your life can be tricky. Questions about money tend to create mistrust and insecurity. When they do not seem necessary at all, then they could be avoided. However, this subject is often a must. These financial issues must therefore be approached with caution. Of course, you have to respect the fact that your parents may be uncomfortable talking about their savings. Try to reassure them by showing them that this exercise is necessary for their good. Also remember to surround yourself well to offer them the best support. There are different resources in this direction, such as advisors from different financial institutions and notaries for example. They are there to help you!
Questions not to be overlooked
What are those more specific money-related questions that need to be discussed with your aging parents? Here are some of those important topics to discuss:
- Financial management (budget, savings, expenses, etc.);
- Their financial independence (savings, pension funds, RRSPs, etc.);
- The list of essential expenses (groceries, transport, accommodation, care, etc.);
- Whether they have thought about protections in the event of death (life insurance, wills, questions related to funeral expenses and their preferences, etc.);
- Financial planning for their future (health care costs, home care, retirement homes, etc.);
- Inform them well about the risks of financial abuse towards seniors and the prudence that must be exercised;
- And finally, see with them who is there to advise them if necessary?
These discussions will allow your parents to face their future in the right way for their well-being. Thus, it will avoid worries and unpleasant surprises.
Talking about money with your elderly parents: some tips
It is true that this subject is often perceived from the outset as being taboo! Talking about money with elderly parents, however, must be possible. Here are some tips to apply in view of these exchanges with your close elders.
- Start these discussions as early as possible while your parents are independent and healthy. This will make it easier for everyone. Everyone will feel more free in their decisions.
- Use a reassuring tone and demonstrate that you are addressing this issue in their best interests.
- Discuss your parents’ priorities and preferences for their future. For example, in the event of health problems or loss of autonomy, are they no longer receiving home care for home support or would they be more comfortable in a retirement home adapted to their needs?
- Help them list their essential expenses and sources of income. Are their retirement funds and RRSPs sufficient for priority everyday expenses? Are the costs of accommodation, food, health care, drugs and more covered?
- Your parents may need to feel that they are being supported and safe. After all, they have saved their whole lives for this money. Sometimes they even had to make several sacrifices to save it. So don’t hesitate to offer them your support if you feel they need it. Also remember to seek the necessary help from the right resources and professionals when necessary (notaries, financial institutions, financial planners, etc.).
In the end, talking about money with your elderly parents can be tricky. But it is important! And it is quite possible to do this without creating discomfort. By being well prepared and knowing what topics need to be covered, discussions will be easier for you and your parents.
For advice on home care or to find a retirement home for your parents in need, do not hesitate to call on our help services. At Visavie, our advisers and professional helpers are available to assist you.