Yearning to talk about finances with your parents but feeling shy or awkward about it? You are not alone. Money and death are taboo topics to talk about specially with our parents but that doesn’t take you off the hook.
It is a little fiddly but as they approach their retirement age, it’s important to talk for your and their sake and you need to keep the communication open to understand how well secured they are and how much help if any would they will require from your end.
Get the ball rolling by asking some of these questions that you need to get an answer of to maintain the financial success of yourself and your parents.
While it’s important to talk, don’t bombard them with question and make it look intrusive. Start by asking question to get guidance for yourself and as the conversation starts rolling, move the questions to them by asking how they went about their finances and how are they invested and whom could you connect with their lawyer and financial adviser.
Have they planned their retirement? Parents may be excited to talk about this topic if they are coming close to their retirement age. Begin by asking them their retirement plans. What do wish to do in their free time and if that are planning to do any odd or part time work to keep the money coming in. Once they start talking, you can ask them about their retirement income. Have they invested earlier in retirement plan to support them or will they need little help from your end? The important point here is what are their spending plans and how they are going to fund it.
Do they have medical and insurance policy? The next important thing to know about is their plans for medical and healthcare. We can’t deny that medical expenses surge as we age, and we have to be secured to pay for it by having a medical insurance. Ask your parents if they have any medical and insurance policy or not and if there is some time to their retirement left, guide them on how they can have one.
How much and where do they have property and land? This could be a little tough to ask but you need to understand and know about all the properties that your parents hold. Ask if the paperwork is clear. Who are the nominees? What’s the latest evaluation of the property and if all the documents are safely kept?
Have they got their Will done? Another difficult question but a realistic one as all family disputes route through this. Ask your parents if they have their will done and if now, encourage them to get it done as soon as possible. Life is uncertain so better keep a realistic view about it to make life simpler for the next generation.
How are they Invested? You have to understand if your parents are well invested to provide for themselves in their retirement. Ask about where all they are invested and guide them if they need to switch keeping in mind the change in risk appetite and income.
What do they plan for heritance? In case you are a single child or have siblings, your parents may have planned who gets what after them. Chances are if you have a sibling with special needs, your parents would leave them more to secure his/her life. Some parents may not want to leave anything for their children and plan to give it all away to a cause or charity they support and believe in.
Where are all the documents? After knowing about their investments and retirement plan you also need to know where they have kept all the important papers and keys in case of any emergency. If your parents are organized, you would be lucky but if not, you will really have a tough time to get all papers in line and set the ducks in row after them.
Who are their Lawyer and Financial advisers? If your parents have a financial planner and a layer who have been managing all their paperwork and finances, ask your parents to share their details so you know whom to get in touch within case of any crisis.
How can you help them in their retirement? As much as your parents may feel shy to admit or answer this question, chances are they spend their money building a life for their family and now may need help in their retirement from your end to support them financially.
While you have the money talk with your parents, make sure of these things;
. You are calm and composed and not all pushy to get information out of them.
. Don’t give your advice. Listen to them before you share your opinion.
. Invite your siblings too so the entire family is on the same page.
. Keep your questions and your intentions clear. Don’t make them feel you are digging information for your own benefit.
Money talks are tough with anyone and specially when it comes to your family members. It’s a personal matter and not everyone is happy opening up about it. We love our parents and want to ensure that they have a happy and blissful retirement life and the longer you wait the tricker it can get to ask. But remember, when you talk money, you need to talk respectively and peacefully.
In my last blog of the Blogchatter #BlogchatterA2Z challenge, I will talk about”Personal Finance lessons we can learn from the current Pandemic“.
Till Next time,
Keep India in your prayers and hope to see a ray of light and hope soon.