How To Talk To Your Parents About Their Finances
Have your parents given you the privilege of opening their books to you?
I don’t mean just allowing you to see how much money they have, but how they plan to make those funds last their lifetime. do they have enough to pay for that additional care and services they will most likely require?
Hello, I am Barbara Newman Mannix from A Dignified Life, and this is the topic of the week’s episode of Let’s Talk About You.
Some time ago I had the privilege of sitting at a table with five of the most formidable adult children imaginable. A few of them are household names. Fascinating to see them jockeying for their family assigned dining seats, being such professionally accomplished people.
Their mother, riddled with Parkinson’s; their dad the proudest man you’ve ever met. And my job? To approach and convince their dad to allow his children to supplement their income? Simply so they could comfortably afford the care they deserved while preserving their dignity and secure peace of mind.
So a question:
How does a third-party intrude and insert themselves into a situation, ask intimate questions, and expect to get an answer? Especially when it comes to finances?
I did–I reached my hand across their dining room table, looked the dad in the eyes, and said, “we have one question. We only need one answer. Will you allow your children to look at your books. Silence…I thought “the kids” would jump out of their seats. Grown adults… almost boomers -wringing their hands. And after a minute (seeming like an hour…)—the dad said…yes!
What happiness. What relief. What a win-win for all.
I would just like to highlight one of the many takeaways of this story. The adult children studied the timing of their meeting to help ensure the success of the outcome. “The plan,” Is as important as the subject matter. Difficult conversations are anything but haphazard. It may take you weeks if not months to analyze, internalize, and come up with the right time and approach.
This is just one of the steps you need to take to start the conversation with a parent. We have created a handout that we give to our clients called Starting The Conversation.
Normally, we only give this to our clients but I want to offer it to you as well. Just complete the form below to receive a copy.
If you have any questions on how to navigate elder care and end-of-life issues, please give us a call at (914) 475-7225.
Helping you is our pleasure. Helping your parents is our privilege.