How to Talk About Finances with a Senior Parent
Do you ever feel like starting a conversation about finances with your senior parent is like walking through the flames of Mount Doom? Understandable. But seniors should have plans in place for the future and it’s important to talk through their finances before things get out of hand.
Financial conversations with a senior parent can be tricky, especially if you’re expecting them to be receptive. If money talk has been avoided your entire life, it probably won’t come naturally now. But discussing plans for later years – and their finances in general – is important for all seniors and their families. So it’s worth overcoming the awkwardness of talking about one’s cash flow before there are any problems down the line. With our tips on how to start this conversation, you’ll both feel better prepared when the time comes! Don’t worry: while finance talks may seem intimidating at first, they can actually become a great bonding opportunity between you and your parent — with benefits that last longer than just a lifetime.
Talk about your own finances first
Before launching into a conversation about senior finances, set the tone by starting with your own financial story. Sharing your experiences is an effective and friendly way to get everyone comfortable talking openly about money matters and will help them feel more comfortable discussing their own finances with you. Get the conversation rolling by talking about your own experiences with budgeting, savings and investing.
Be respectful and understanding
They might not be accustomed to discussing money openly, so just take your time. Let them know that you’re genuinely interested in understanding their financial situation so you can provide better assistance.. To ensure that seniors feel respected and appreciated, show kindness by maintaining a calm demeanor that will not only help them feel more at ease but also help foster more effective conversations about this topic. Even though seniors may take some extra time answering questions or making decisions related to finances, remember that our elderly citizens have earned the right to express themselves without feeling rushed. Showing kindness and courtesy to seniors helps provide the much-needed support they need when discussing money matters.
Ask your parent how they feel about their finances
Asking how they feel, and if they have any concerns about their finances, is a great way to start the conversation without being too direct. If your parent doesn’t have any worries, then it’s likely they’re already on top of their finances, and you can move on to other topics. If they do have financial concerns, however, you can work together to find solutions that will make them feel more secure in the future.
Find out if your parent has a retirement plan
Knowing if they have a plan, and how much is currently set aside for their retirement, is important information to know in order to make sure their finances are secure. It’s also a good idea to ask if they have any insurance policies that could cover unexpected medical expenses or other costs. Knowing their financial situation can help you and your parent make informed decisions when it comes to retirement planning.
Discuss what you can do together to help manage their finances
You may not have the same level of financial knowledge as your parent, but you can still work together to find ways to save money and plan for the future. Talk about budgeting techniques and other ways to manage finances that will benefit both of you. Ask your parent what goals they have for their finances and work together to come up with a plan of action.
Discuss ways to cut costs and save money
It’s important to talk about ways seniors can reduce their expenses, such as looking into discounts for seniors or shopping around for better rates on insurance and utility bills. Cooking at home more often, downsizing to a smaller home, and using seniors-oriented services such as ridesharing can also help seniors save money. These are small changes that can make a big difference.
Brainstorm ways to make extra income
If your parent is looking for ways to make extra money, consider ways they can do this without putting too much strain on their current lifestyle. A part-time job, like working at a local store, or selling unwanted items are two great ways for seniors to supplement their income.
Make a budget and stick to it
This will help you both stay on track financially. Budgeting is one of the most important steps seniors can take to ensure their finances are in good shape. Set up a budget together and discuss ways to stay on track with it. Remember, a budget isn’t set in stone – it can change as their situation changes.
Thank your parent for their input
At the end of your financial conversations, be sure to thank your parent for their input and let them know that you’re here to support them financially. This will help seniors see that you take their finances seriously and are committed to helping them make wise decisions about their money.
Schedule follow-up conversations
This will show your parent that you are serious about helping them manage their finances and that you want to be there for them when they need it. Agree on a timeline for future conversations, so everyone knows when the next talk is scheduled.
Although it can be difficult to have conversations about money, it is worth having these discussions with your senior parent early on. This will help ensure that their finances are in order and that they are prepared for any future financial challenges. If you need further details or want to talk to someone about your plans on retirement, please do not hesitate to contact us at (678) 494-8129 or drop us an email at info@SilverCompanions.com. We, at Silver Companions, would be more than happy to chat with you about your options and help you plan for a more secure future.