Parent Finances, a Family Discussion

It’s better for parents and their children to discuss how to financially plan for later years than to wait until financial and health issues arise.  These discussions can be emotionally difficult but it is important that children and parents agree how critical matters such as housing, caregiving, estate planning, and inheritances are to be decided.

Family discussions between parents and children can often be eye opening and serve as a reality check to both the parent and children.

Should the discussions take place now or later?  Ideally, it’s best to have the conversations before any issues arise.  Try not to delay and to have these conversations sooner than later.

Areas of discussion should include…

Long-term care and housing alternatives.  Surveys indicate a small percentage of parents and children have had this conversation.  In addition, there is much misconception between parents and children of what the alternatives are and what makes the most sense.

Wills and estate planning.  A proper will and estate plan will often help to avoid the unexpected.

Income and expenses at retirement.  Parents and children often do not correctly understand what their income and expenses will be at retirement.

Guide to important documents, assets, and debts.  It’s important for loved ones to know where wills, trusts, and health directives can be found: and, a complete listing of all assets owned and debts owed should be maintained.