Parents and money… not an easy conversation.

I have written before about talking to my Mom and In-laws about their finances. It is never an easy conversation, and often a hard one to bring up. My Father passed away at the age of 50 – this was a sudden death that rocked our world emotionally and financially. A number of years later when we were all together for my Daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, I brought up the subject of my Mother’s passing, asking my siblings what they wanted from her home. This may have seemed crass, but we were all together for a happy occasion, my Mother was not ill, so the discussion was easier. Here are a few more tips regarding talking to your parents about their finances.

Don’t make the conversation about money.
If they have not retired, ask them what their retirement might look like. Ask what types of plans they have, where they want to live, how they plan on spending their time, etc. This will lead to how they plan on financing everything.
Ask them for advice.
This may be a bit sneaky, but it is an easy conversation opener. Share ideas about what you are thinking for your own retirement savings, then ask what they are doing so you can learn by example.
Use a current event.
If a family member or good family friend has passed or entered into a long term care facility, this can be a great conversation starter. By discussing the choices, or lack thereof, that they have can be an opener to ask questions of your parents.

It takes a bit of thought to get the conversation going, but once you open the door, the conversation should flow.


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